Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra Opens 80th Season With a Flourish under the Baton of its New Conductor Brent Chancellor


November 22, 2019
08:00 PM until 10:00 PM


The 80th season of the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra (RSO) will be ushered in with a vibrant musical program performed under the direction of its new Artistic Director and Conductor, Brent Chancellor, on Friday, November 22 at 8:00 pm at the West Side Presbyterian Church in Ridgewood.


"We are thrilled to welcome Brent Chancellor as our new Artistic Director and Conductor and know the energy and precision he brings to the podium will be inspiring to both musicians and audiences,” said Charles Dye, RSO Co-President with Herb Steiner. “Opening our new season under the innovative musical direction of Maestro Chancellor is the perfect way to celebrate our 80 years of presenting ‘Great Music Close to Home.’”


“I am delighted to work with the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra, known for its rich history of high standards and quality performances of varied repertoire,” said Brent Chancellor. “This orchestra has been serving the community for eight decades, and I am honored to contribute to its positive impact on the Northern New Jersey region.”


The program opens with the Overture to Ruslan and Ludmilla, an ideal curtain raiser to kick off the season. Highlighting themes from the opera by Mikhail Glinka, the exuberant Overture depicts a furious conflict between good and evil. The opera is based on a fantastical poem about the adventures of the noble warrior as he attempts to rescue his lovely bride from the clutches of a sorcerer. Sporting melodies patterned on folk music, the Overture is brisk and tuneful, scored in lavish orchestral colors.  Listeners may recognize it as the theme tune for the TV series Mom.


Guest soloist Kathleen Nester joins the orchestra for a glittering, tuneful performance of the Piccolo Concerto by Lowell Liebermann, one of America’s most frequently performed and recorded living composers. Liebermann’s music is known for its technical command and audience appeal. Nester is a member of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Stamford Symphony Orchestra and performs with many local and international orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, and the New York City Opera.


The concert also features Brahms Symphony No. 3 in F Major, op. 90, one of Brahms's most poetic and evocative works. The Third Symphony of Johannes Brahms has been popular since its premiere in 1883 and has been widely adapted in works of popular culture. For instance the theme appears in the film noir “Undercurrent,” starring Katharine Hepburn, "Take My Love" recorded and co-written by Frank Sinatra, "Love of My Life," by Carlos Santana, and the 2005 computer game Civilization IV uses the symphony as part of the soundtrack for the Industrial Age. The Third Symphony of Brahms has been hailed a feast for the music lover and musician.


Brent Chancellor, a dedicated music educator and opera conductor, is the Founding Music Director of LUX, an orchestra initiative dedicated to connecting young people to symphonic music, and Interim Music Director of the Montclair State University Opera Orchestra. He also serves as a Cover Conductor with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Conductor with the New Jersey Festival Orchestra, Principal Conductor of the New Jersey Vocal Arts Collaborative and Conductor with the International Vocal Arts Institute.


True to its slogan “Great Music Close to Home,” the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra presents exceptional, professional-level music and provides a platform for developing local and international talent under the direction of world-class artistic leadership. It is committed to enriching the lives of future musical performers and listeners through educational outreach programs, scholarships, Festival Strings Youth Orchestra, composer competitions and special treatment for patrons from senior living communities. All performances are held at the majestic, state-of-the-art concert hall of the West Side Presbyterian Church, located at 6 Monroe Street in Ridgewood.  It is handicap accessible with ample parking.


Subscriptions for the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra are now on sale and can be purchased by visiting the RSO website: http://www.ridgewoodsymphony.org or by calling the RSO office at 201-612-0118. Individual concert tickets are also available.


About The Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra

The Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra has been bringing classical music to the community since 1939. It is one of the largest community orchestras in the United States and one of Northern New Jersey’s premier cultural institutions. The intergenerational orchestra, composed of talented volunteer musicians, serves the surrounding communities with many musical and educational activities, including the Festival Strings Youth Orchestra, which provides a unique opportunity for young string players to benefit from the experience of playing in an orchestral setting. For further information please visit:  http://www.ridgewoodsymphony.org


$35 adult, $25 senior, $5 student


View map West Side Presbyterian Church
6 South Monroe Street
Ridgewood, NJ

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Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra



Contact name

Martha Whiteley

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