The Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is showcasing top talent on its 2023-2024 Season. Guest artists include 2022 Avery Fisher Career Grant winner, saxophonist Steven Banks, 2022 Grammy Award winners, violinist Jennifer Koh and Metropolitan Opera star and Princeton University graduate Anthony Roth Costanzo, trailblazing pianist Sara Davis Buechner, Westminster Symphonic Choir led by James Jordon, and 2023 Grammy Award-winning trio Time For Three.
Edward T. Cone Music Director Rossen Milanov has programmed works by no less than seven living composers including Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award winners Caroline Shaw, Kevin Puts, and John Luther Adams. Caroline Shaw was a graduate student at Princeton University and occasional second violinist with the PSO. Others with local ties are Princeton native composer Sarah Kirkland Snider and Princeton University doctoral candidate in music composition Nina Shekhar. The PSO will also play works by Missy Mazzoli and Gregory Spears, and modern classics by Henri Tomasi, William Dawson, and Marin Goleminov.
Fans of the classics will enjoy core symphonies by Jean Sibelius, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and Robert Schumann, and important works by Felix Mendelssohn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, George Frideric Handel, and Sergei Prokofiev.
Of the forward-looking season, Maestro Milanov says, “People are craving music and artists of the moment who are bursting with creative genius and virtuosity. They look to be excited by what they witness onstage – to absorb the energy that only live music can bring.”
All performances take place on select Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 4pm, at Richardson Auditorium on Princeton University’s campus. Rossen Milanov conducts all but one concert. PSO’s Kenneth Bean, in his third season as assistant conductor, conducts performances in October.
Opening weekend is September 9-10, and features Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Forward Into Light, inspired by women suffragists, and saxophonist Steven Banks performing Henri Tomasi’s Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra. Also on the program is William Dawson‘s Negro Folk Symphony, one of the first full-length works by a Black composer to be performed by a major US orchestra.
The annual Edward T. Cone Concert takes place October 14-15. Violinist Jennifer Koh performs Missy Mazzoli’s Violin Concerto (Procession), a work created especially for her. Mendelssohn’s The Hebrides Overture and Sibelius’ Second Symphony complete the program, which will be conducted by Kenneth Bean.
November 11-12‘s concerts featuring the Westminster Symphonic Choir are centered on Mozart’s unfinished Requiem in D Minor with new movements to complete it by Gregory Spears. Caroline Shaw’s Entr’acte leads off the program. The work was premiered at Princeton University in 2011 by the Brentano String Quartet.
The PSO celebrates its connection to opera January 13-14 with performances by star countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo. He sings the aria “Quella Fiamma” from Arminio, an opera by George Frideric Handel, and Gregory Spears’ Love Story with words by Tracy K. Smith. Also on the program are Nina Shekhar’s Lumina, which received an ASCAP Foundation prize in 2021, and Tchaikovsky’s powerful Symphony No. 4 in F Minor.
March 9-10, patrons will be treated to Time For Three’s performance of Kevin Puts’ 2023 Grammy Award-winning composition, Contact. The work was written for the trio of Ranaan Meyer, double bass, Nick Kendall, violin, and Charles Yang, violin, and garnered them their first Grammy Award in 2023 for “Best Classical Instrumental Solo.” Lush orchestral suites drawn from Marin Goleminov’s The Fire Dancer and Sergei Prokofiev‘s Romeo and Juliet ballets complete the program.
Pianist Sara Davis Buechner plays Beethoven’s first piano concerto with the PSO May 11-12. The orchestra is spotlighted with performances of John Luther Adams’ nature-inspired Become River and Robert Schumann‘s bold fourth symphony.
Initially, these concerts are available only by subscription, with single tickets going on sale over the summer. Concerts take place on Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 4pm. Subscriptions start at $180. Youths 5-17 receive a 50% discount with an adult purchase. To subscribe, visit the Princeton Symphony Orchestra website at princetonsymphony.org or call 609-497-0020.
ABOUT THE PRINCETON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
The Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is a cultural centerpiece of the Princeton community and one of New Jersey’s finest music organizations, a position established through performances of beloved masterworks, innovative music by living composers, and an extensive network of educational programs offered to area students free of charge. Led by Edward T. Cone Music Director Rossen Milanov, the PSO presents orchestral, pops, and chamber music programs of the highest artistic quality, supported by lectures and related events that supplement the concert experience. Its flagship summer program the Princeton Festival brings an array of performing arts and artists to Princeton during multiple weeks in June. Through PSO BRAVO!, the orchestra produces wide-reaching and impactful education programs in partnership with local schools and arts organizations that culminate in students attending a live orchestral performance. The PSO receives considerable support from the Princeton community and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, regularly garnering NJSCA’s highest honor. Recognition of engaging residencies and concerts has come from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the PSO’s commitment to new music has been acknowledged with an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming and a Copland Fund Award. The only independent, professional orchestra to make its home in Princeton, the PSO performs at historic Richardson Auditorium on the campus of Princeton University.
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