New Jersey arts and entertainment news, features and event insights.


originally published: 09/22/2022

(PRINCETON, NJ) — American-born Finnish violinist Elina Vähälä appears for the first time with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) during performances the weekend of October 15 and 16. She will play the violin concerto op. 15 on a program largely in English also featuring Variations on an Original Theme by Edward Elgar, Op. 36 “Riddle”. Starburst by American contemporary composer Jessie Montgomery opens the concerts, conducted by Edward T. Cone Music Director Rossen Milanov, on Saturday, October 15 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, October 16 at 4:00 p.m. Performances are held at Richardson Auditorium, on the campus of Princeton University, with a pre-concert lecture at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Vähälä was originally scheduled to perform with the PSO in fall 2020, but this concert was canceled due to the pandemic.

Milanov says: “Britten’s Violin Concerto is one of the most original and profound works in the repertoire. I look forward to collaborating with Elina Vähälä and presenting this extraordinary piece to our audience! »

Finnish violinist Elina Vähälä to perform Britten's Concerto with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra

Born in the United States and raised in Finland, Elina Vähälä made her orchestral debut with Sinfonia Lahti at the age of twelve and was later chosen by Osmo Vänskä as the orchestra’s “young master soloist”. Since then, her career has grown steadily on international stages, earning praise from audiences and musicians alike as “a fluid, elegant and gifted musician whose brilliant technique is accompanied by wit, sensitivity and of an abundant imagination” (Chicago Grandstand). Elina Vähälä performs regularly with all major Finnish orchestras and is a guest of countless renowned orchestras around the world, and has toured throughout the UK, Finland, Germany, China, Korea and South America.

A composition fellow at Princeton University, Jessie Montgomery’sstar burst is characterized by explosive gestures juxtaposed with soft fleeting melodies, and is the third work by the composer to be performed by the PSO in recent years. Benjamin Britten wrote his Violin Concerto as a requiem for fallen soldiers in the Spanish Civil War, as well as a foreshadowing of World War II. by Edward Elgar Variations of puzzles is his best-known work with its main theme suggested, rather than played, and its variations linked to personal friends, represented in the score by cryptic initials.

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Classical concerts take place on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 4:00 p.m. Youth ages 5-17 get 50% off with an adult purchase. To subscribe or purchase single tickets starting at $30, visit the Princeton Symphony Orchestra website at or call 609-497-0020.

Health and security: The Princeton Symphony Orchestra is closely monitoring and adhering to the New Jersey Department of Health’s COVID-19 requirements and complying with rules established by partner sites. Concert attendees will receive information regarding security procedures, entry, seating directions, and more. before the selected show(s).

Accessibility: The Princeton Symphony Orchestra is committed to ensuring that all programs are accessible to everyone, working with venues to provide the necessary services. Online events include digital concert assets, closed captions, and transcripts where available. If you have any questions about this or if additional services are needed, contact ADA Coordinator Kitanya Khateri at [email protected] or 609 497-0020. Note: Some services require at least two weeks notice to arrange.

Finnish violinist Elina Vähälä to perform Britten's Concerto with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra

Internationally Acclaimed Conductor and Music Director of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) Edward T. Cone Rossen Milanov looks forward to collaborating in 2022-23 with established and emerging artists from across the orchestral world and leading the PSO’s popular June celebration of the performing arts – The Princeton Festival.

Respected and admired by audiences and musicians, he has established himself as a conductor with a considerable national and international presence. In addition to directing the PSO, Mr. Milanov is the music director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and the conductor of the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra in Ljubljana. During his eleven-year tenure with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Milanov conducted over 200 performances. In 2015, he completed a 15-year term as Music Director of the nationally acclaimed training orchestra Symphony in C in New Jersey and in 2013, a 17-year term with the New Symphony Orchestra in his hometown. from Sofia, Bulgaria.

Mr. Milanov collaborated with Komische Oper Berlin (Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtzensk), Opera Oviedo with the Spanish premiere of Tchaikovsky mazepa and that of Bartok Bluebeard’s Castle (best Spanish production 2015) and Opera Columbus (Verdi’s La Traviata). He has been seen at New York City Ballet and has collaborated with choreographers such as Mats Ek, Benjamin Millepied and most recently Alexei Ratmansky in the critically acclaimed revival of Swan Lake in Zurich with the Zurich Ballet and in Paris with La Scala Ballet.

Mr. Milanov is deeply committed to music education, presenting Link Up educational projects with Carnegie Hall and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and directing the annual BRAVO! School day concerts. He was named Bulgarian Musician of the Year in 2005; he won a 2011 ASCAP Award for Adventurous Contemporary Music Programming at the PSO; and he was selected as one of New Jersey’s 100 Most Influential People in 2014. In 2017, he received a Columbus Performing Arts Prize from the Columbus Foundation. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School.

The Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is a cultural centerpiece of the Princeton community and one of New Jersey’s premier musical organizations, a position established through performances of beloved masterpieces, innovative music by living composers, and an extensive network of educational programs offered free of charge to area students. Led by Edward T. Cone’s Music Director, Rossen Milanov, the PSO presents orchestral, pop and chamber music programs of the highest artistic quality, supported by lectures and related events that complement the concert experience. Its flagship summer program, the Princeton Festival, brings an array of performing arts and artists to Princeton for several weeks in June. Through PSO BRAVO!, the orchestra produces large-scale, impactful educational programs in partnership with schools and local arts organizations that culminate in student participation in a live orchestral performance. The PSO receives tremendous support from the Princeton community and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, consistently earning the NJSCA’s highest honor. Recognition for residencies and engaging concerts came from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the PSO’s commitment to new music was recognized with an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming and a Copland Fund Award. The only independent, professional orchestra to call Princeton home, the PSO performs in the historic Richardson Auditorium on the campus of Princeton University.

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