Review: N.J. Symphony musicians return to live performance with world premieres—outdoors

Posted on: June 16, 2021

“After 466 days away due to the coronavirus pandemic, members of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra played in front of a live audience Wednesday evening in Newark,” writes James C. Taylor in Friday’s (6/11) “The full orchestra will return to performing with Music Director Xian Zhang at its six indoor venues later this year. Wednesday night’s hour-long, outdoor concert in the Newark Museum of Art … was a small, but smart first step back … [and] featured eight members of the NJSO playing together in front of its subscribers and supporters…. It also marked the debut of Daniel Bernard Roumain in his new role as the orchestra’s resident artistic catalyst…. The garden concert … began with DBR leading the musicians in the world premiere of his six-minute composition, ‘Lift Every Voice And…’ The chamber piece opened with the rousing refrain of the century-old hymn heard as a plaintive wail, the uplifting line ‘let us march on’ played by the French horn as a somber cry…. He then handed the baton to another conductor, Raquel Acevedo Klein, who led the band in another world premiere: ‘Can You See’ by Montclair-based composer Allison-Loggins Hull.” Other works were by Gabriela Lena Frank, Paquito D’Rivera, Bach, and Mozart.