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[Premiere] NJSO premieres Sunlight, a new work for 11-piece chamber ensemble

  • Lewis Center for the Arts 94 University Pl Princeton, NJ, 08540 United States (map)

Press Release

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players perform a concert of contemporary chamber and solo works in the Lee Music Performance and Rehearsal Room at Princeton University's new Lewis Arts Complex on May 13 at 8 pm. The concert features the world premiere of an NJSO commission from Princeton-based composer Juri Seo, who curates the program. Longtime NJSO collaborator Steven Mackey conducts and hosts informal conversations with Seo and the performers in an event that celebrates a rich variety of contemporary scores and furthers the NJSO's commitment to championing female composers.

Inspired by Seo's influences, the program's chamber works by living composers include preeminent Korean composer Unsuk Chin's ParaMetaString for String Quartet and Tape, French composer Tristan Murail's Seven Lakes Drive and American composer Reynold Tharp's San Francisco Night, alongside the premiere of Seo's new work.

The concert also includes two solo works: NJSO Assistant Principal Cello Na-Young Baek performs English composer Jonathan Harvey's Curve with Plateaux for Solo Cello; Principal Horn Chris Komer performs French composer Olivier Messiaen's "Interstellar Call" from Des Canyons aux étoiles for Solo Horn.

Seo says: "There are a few common threads that unify the works in this program. Much of the music is inspired by places imbued with sense and memory. There are various evocations of song-birdsong, for instance, or the song of a superhuman presence. All of the composers were touched by spectralism, a compositional attitude that approaches pitch as a primarily acoustical phenomenon. Most importantly, each of the pieces communicates through warmth and delight, attempting to connect, to inspire and to heal."

General-admission tickets are $15 and are available at, by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) or in person at the NJSO Patron Services office. The performance is approximately 60 minutes with no intermission.

This concert continues the NJSO's tradition of presenting contemporary music in Princeton. 2019 marks the sixth year of the NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute, a multifaceted program that promotes new music and emerging composers, led by Institute Director Steven Mackey. The Institute will select four composers to hear their music performed by the NJSO and participate in in-depth sessions with industry leaders, July 15-20 on the Princeton University campus. The NJSO will perform the participants' works on July 20 at 8 pm at Richardson Auditorium.

The Institute grew out of reading sessions the Orchestra has held with Princeton University graduate students biennially for more than a decade.

Full program information is available at