WESTFIELD, NJ — The New Jersey Festival Orchestra will perform the first Westfield concert of its 35th anniversary season on Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Presbyterian Church in Westfield with “Serenades to Music,” a dramatic concert that combines voice, virtuoso violin and Mozart. 

The performance begins with the famous “Serenade to Music” (from The Merchant of Venice) set to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams. The Choirs of St Peter’s Morristown will partner with the NJFO to present this choral work.

“This is a particularly skillful vocal ensemble,” NJFO Music Director and Conductor David Wroe said. “Wonderful proponents of the English choral tradition, and with a mix of professionals and vocal devotees, it prides itself in achieving high professional standards.”

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The human voice, Wroe noted, “arguably the most expressive of all musical sounds, is a central theme throughout the NJ Festival Orchestra's season.”

Internationally acclaimed Serbian violinist Stefan Milenkovich will also join the festivities, bringing to life Paganini's B minor violin concerto, one of the most dazzling scores ever created for the instrument.

“Stefan —  up there with Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang and Hilary Hahn to name but a few — is among the ranks of the greatest violinists of our generation,” Wroe said. “His talents as a virtuoso and master interpreter have afforded him invites with orchestras across the globe. That he comes to perform with the Festival Orchestra is a highlight for us, and without a doubt, he will enthrall our audiences.”

The Westfield concert will be preceded Oct. 13 with the orchestra’s debut performace at St Peter's Church of Morristown.  

“The venue’s spacious, vaulted ceilings reminds us of the great churches of Europe, and the warm, reverberant acoustics will animate the fireworks of Paganini's Violin Concerto, the ethereal essence of Vaughan William's Serenade to Music and the vigor and vitality of Mozart's 39th Symphony,” Wroe said.

“Serenades to Music” is made possible through the support of the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and The Jerome and Helene Dreskin Family Trust.

For tickets, call 908-232 9400, email info@njfestivalorchestra.org or go to www.njfestivalorchestra.org.