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TCNJ Orchestra makes its New York City debut

The College of New Jersey Orchestra will make its New York City debut on Thursday, performing seminal, musically linked works by Czech and German composers at the Bohemian National Hall at the Czech Center in Manhattan.

Conductor Michel Galante will lead the 43-member orchestra’s performance of Czech composer Antonín Dvořák’s celebrated Symphony No. 9 in E minor, known as the “New World Symphony,” followed by German composer Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F major, or “Pastoral.”

The “New World Symphony” was composed by Dvořák in 1893 during an extended visit to the United  States. The Largo theme famously  includes music heard in the American Spiritual “Goin’ Home.” The “Pastoral” Symphony was composed decades before, in 1808.

But Galante sees links between the two works, which both take inspiration from the natural world and reflect its sounds.

“The TCNJ Orchestra is delighted to perform Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony, a celebration of nature in all her diverse glory: serene, abundant, violent, harmonious, and playful. In the second movement of this work, the scene by the brook includes references to nature’s great divas: birds. Beethoven imitates the birdsong of quails, nightingales, and cuckoos to add to the bucolic environment of his music,” Galante said. “Many years later, Dvořák also used birdsong in the Largo theme from his “New World Symphony,” quoting robins and blue jays.”

Galante has performed frequently at the Czech Center with the Argento Chamber Ensemble, a nine-member ensemble that regularly expands to perform and record chamber orchestra works of up to thirty musicians, and works closely with leading and emerging composers.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. on Dec. 9 at Bohemian National Hall, located at 321 East 73rd Street in Manhattan. It is free, with a suggested donation. For further information about the event, please call 609-771-2551 or e-mail tcnj.orchestra@gmail.com.

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