This season Princeton Festival has undertaken one of the most complex and challenging operas in the repertory with Benjamin Britten’s dark but poetic Peter Grimes. Like the World War II years in which the opera was composed, Peter Grimes has many levels, reaching back to 19th century morality while drawing on fears and suspicions still prevalent today. The date of the opera’s premiere, in London’s first few post-war months, makes the genesis of this work even more remarkable. more
State Theatre of NJ in New Brunswick will host a free screening of Disney’s “Frozen” on Tuesday, July 12 at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. The event is part of a Free Summer Movie Series at the State Theatre. Upcoming films include “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” “Despicable Me 2,” “Babe,” and “Monsters University.” For more information, visit www.statetheatrenj.org.
SUMMER COURTYARD CONCERT SERIES: Soul R&B artist Lindsey Webster will perform at the Princeton Shopping Center on Thursday, July 7 at 6 p.m. as part of the Summer Courtyard Concert Series.
The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP), in partnership with the Princeton Shopping Center and Edens, presents the Summer Courtyard Concert Series every Thursday from June 23 to August 25 at 6 p.m. in the Princeton Shopping Center Courtyard, 301 North Harrison Street. more
Dark Star Orchestra – Publicity Images – 2016 – Suzy Perler
The Mercer County Park Commission announces that “Dark Star Orchestra: Continuing the Grateful Dead Concert” is coming to Mercer County Park Festival Grounds on Friday, August 12. The concert will start at 6 p.m., with doors opening at 5 p.m. Tickets are $27 for general admission and are available now for purchase through the Sun National Bank Center box office. To purchase, call (800)-298-4200 or visit www.sunnationalbankcenter.com.
Over 120 young pianists competed in this year’s Princeton Festival Piano Competition. The 2016 Young Artist Winners are (l to r): Mia Huang, Petrina Steimel, Stephen Joven-Lee, Isabella Florendo, Kyle Huang, Angeline Ma and Linsy Wang. Jacobs Music was again the sponsor for the Young Pianists Competition, which has been a highly anticipated feature of The Princeton Festival since 2008. Lois Laverty and Glenn Smith were Masters of Ceremonies and Randy Brown from Jacobs Music Company presented the awards. (Photo Credit: Pia Ruggles)
“THE PLAY’S THE THING”: “We thought this was an opportunity for Pennington School graduates to continue to work in the theater. They might not have been able to do this after graduation, and found they missed it. It’s also an opportunity to work together with alumni who were not classmates. We have graduates from the Class of 2016 and one from 2011.” Henry Sheeran (left) and Tim Secrest, Pennington School Class of 2014, have started a new theater company, which will have its first production June 23.
CLARIFICATION: The Pennington School production of “Charlie and Bruno” will be performed on Thursday and Friday, June 23 and 24 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 25 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
The curtain is going up on a brand new production at The Pennington School. Charlie and Bruno, a one act play, written, produced, directed, and acted by former Pennington School students, will be performed at the school June 23rd and 24th. more
Princeton Festival has placed a special emphasis on the music of 20th-century British composer Benjamin Britten this year. The cornerstone opera of the Festival’s 2016 season is Britten’s Peter Grimes, and this past Friday night, Concordia Chamber Players offered some of Britten’s more charming works for voice and instruments as the festival concluded its first week. more
The Prima Trio will perform at Richardson Auditorium on Tuesday, June 28 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Princeton University Summer Chamber Concerts series. Founded in 2004 while its members were studying at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio, the Trio triumphed at the 2007 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, winning the coveted Grand Prize, as well as the Gold Medal in the Senior Division. In addition, the Prima Trio was awarded a Midwest Winner’s Tour and a European debut at Italy’s Emilia Romagna Festival. more
Soprano Dominika Zamara and classical guitarist Stanley Alexandrowicz will perform arias, songs, and solos at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, August 10, at the Lawrence Headquarters Branch of the Mercer County Library System. The program will highlight Romantic-era songs by Croatia’s preeminent 19th century composer-guitarist Ivan Padovec (1800-1873), Baroque and contemporary guitar solos, as well as famous operatic arias by Vincenzo Bellini (“Casta Diva” — from the opera “Norma”), and Georges Bizet (“Habanera” — from the opera “Carmen”). more
Photography by Erica Cardenas
The Historical Society of Princeton’s Concert Under the Stars took place on Saturday, June 4 at Updike Farmstead in Princeton. Guests enjoyed wine and dined outdoors while exploring the property’s six acre estate. This year’s fundraiser featured a 90-minute live performance by The Samples, an indie rock band formed in 1985. The event proved to be one of the most memorable nights of the summer.
A PRESTIGIOUS PRIZE: Max Azaro and his mother, Kathy Azaro, attended the opening of American Ballet Theatre at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House. As part of the festivities, Max was presented with the coveted Northern Trust Scholarship. (Photo Courtesy of ABT Jackie Kennedy Onassis School)
Max Azaro was already studying gymnastics when he first took his place at the ballet barre at Princeton Dance and Theater Studio in Forrestal Village. For the energetic 10-year-old, there was something about this different way of movement that grabbed his attention. He has never looked back.
Princeton Pro Musica closed its 2015-16 season with a concert of Americana this past weekend. In this election year, Pro Musica Music Director Ryan James Brandau chose to program Sunday afternoon’s performance at Richardson Auditorium in the hope that the spirit of American classical music might effectively ground people amidst the political flurry. With a sampling of 20th and 21st-century choral works, the 100-voice Pro Musica ended their season in uplifting fashion. more
The Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is pleased to be partnering with the Princeton Festival and Princeton Garden Theatre to present Voices of Light, an oratorio by Richard Einhorn with the 1928 silent film classic The Passion of Joan of Arc, on Thursday, June 9 at 8:30 p.m. at the Princeton University Chapel. It is a first collaboration of the orchestra with the festival, made possible through the generous support of long-term PSO patrons Enea and Dave Tierno.
PSO Executive Director Marc Uys elaborated on the benefits of the new partnership, “The PSO is always looking for opportunities to work with other arts organizations in the community. This partnership with the Princeton Festival is ideal as it provides patrons and new audiences the chance to experience the excellence of PSO musicians in a unique setting, accompanying beautiful vocals with the added element of a classic film.”
The Princeton Festival’s General and Artistic Director Richard Tang Yuk is equally pleased with the collaboration. He said, “We are thrilled to be collaborating with the PSO on this very engaging and moving multi-media project.” more
Princeton Day School (PDS) Director in Residence Stan Cahill announced that Austin Phares ’16, star of the fall production of Our Town, was named Outstanding Actor in a Drama at the 2016 New Jersey Theatre Awards held at Montclair State University on May 16, 2016. The cast of Our Town was also named Outstanding Acting Ensemble. Productions from 57 schools across New Jersey were eligible. more
Many dance schools place students in classes based solely on age. At Princeton Ballet School, age is only one factor in determining a student’s placement. Entering students with prior dance training for 1st through 5th grades, and grades 6 and up are welcome to audition. Open enrollment for all other students is underway, as well.
MOTHER-DAUGHTER MATTERS: Ruth (Caroline Aaron, left) and her daughter Miranda (Stephanie Janssen) are completely bonded, and in conflict on almost every possible issue, in Sharyn Rothstein’s world premiere family “dramedy,” All the Days, at McCarter’s Berlind Theatre through May 29. (Photo by T. Charles Erickson)
Dysfunctional families have always provided material for great literature and theater. From the ancient Greeks—Odysseus and the battling family of Olympian gods, the Trojan War, the families of Agamemnon and Oedipus—though the great tragedies may have played out in the global, public sphere, the issues always had their roots in family conflict. more
On Friday, May 20 at 8 p.m., The Arts Council of Princeton presents Tom Tallitsch in a CD Release concert for his newest work entitled “Gratitude,” an energetic journey of original compositions and arrangements of well-known classic rock songs in an acoustic quartet setting. Paul Robeson Center for the Arts is located at 102 Witherspoon Street, Princeton. Admission is $12 general audience and $10 for ACP members, students, and seniors. Tickets are available at the door 30 minutes before show time on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, visit artscouncilofprinceton.org or call (609) 924-8777.
THE SKY IS THE LIMIT: On May 10, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra’s (PSO) BRAVO! education program presented “The Sky is the Limit!,” a concert designed to get the imaginations of over 2,000 area school children soaring with works ranging from Ottorini Respighi’s “The Hen,” Nikolaï Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee,” Daniel Dorff’s “Blast Off!,” and Gustav Holst’s “Mars.” These works, plus an unofficial world record, a surprise narration from a school teacher, and an unexpected composer’s visit combined for a fun field trip for the orchestra.
On Tuesday, May 10, at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1:15 p.m. at Richardson Auditorium, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra’s (PSO) BRAVO! education program presented “The Sky is the Limit!”, a concert designed to get the imaginations of over 2,000 area school children soaring with works ranging from Ottorini Respighi’s The Hen, Nikolaï Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee, Daniel Dorff’s Blast Off! and Gustav Holst’s Mars. Music Director Rossen Milanov conducted as he guided the students through the upper stratosphere and beyond. more
The Princeton Festival, a multi-genre performing arts festival that runs from June 4 to June 26, features an opera by Benjamin Britten, a musical by Stephen Sondheim, two different kinds of jazz concerts, an organ recital, two Baroque orchestra concerts (1 with chorus), a contemporary ballet dance performance, and an oratorio accompanying a silent film. more
The Second Annual Nassau Film Festival returns to Princeton’s Garden Theatre (160 Nassau Street) on Sunday, May 15, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This event is free of charge and open to the public.
Lew Goldstein, who co-founded the festival with Dan Bauer, got the idea to start the festival after noticing a gap in the Princeton film scene. “I felt there was a void for individuals who focused on short documentaries and short films. These are all remarkable films that deserve to be seen,” he says. more
INTERVIEWS WITH CLOWNS: Senior Nathalie Ellis-Einhorn in rehearsal for “I.M. LOST!” the one-person, interactive play she wrote and will perform on May 5 and 6 at 8 p.m. and May 7 at 2 and 8 p.m. at the Marie Edward Matthews ’53 Acting Studio at 185 Nassau Street. “I.M. LOST!” is an interactive solo show based on interviews with different types of people who clown: birthday clowns, hospital clowns, actor clowns, clown teachers, even an astrophysics professor who enjoys going to clown classes. (Photo by Nadia Diamond) more
Photo Credit: Willy Somma
On Sunday, May 15 at 4 p.m., the Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) presents its Passion and Affection concert performed in honor of Arnold H. Snider, III and featuring Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Hiraeth, a multi-media work co-commissioned by the PSO with the North Carolina Symphony. more
Each year, the Stuart B. Mindlin Memorial Concerts at Princeton University have brought together the University Orchestra with other ensembles and guest soloists. This year, conductor Michael Pratt and the orchestra chose to go it alone, presenting two major symphonic works which not only showed off the ensemble’s collective sound, but also gave many of the student musicians the chance to play elegant solos. more
McCarter Theatre Center is pleased to announce its full schedule of 2016-17 dance, music, and signature presented series. An eclectic mix of the world’s greatest musicians, dance companies, and performing artists are on tap, including several returning favorites and McCarter debuts. more
MUSIC AND POETRY OF PENELOPE: Playwright Ellen McLaughlin’s poetry inspired Sarah Kirkland Snider to create her song cycle “Penelope,” which will be performed by PSO musicians and conducted by John Devlin on Tuesday, May 17 at Princeton Public Library. It also relates to the performance of Ms. Snider’s PSO co-commissioned work “Hiraeth,” which will be performed by the PSO on Sunday, May 15. (Photo Credit: Jamie Clifford)
On Wednesday, May 4 at 7 pm, in partnership with the Princeton Public Library, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) presents Soundtracks: Music and Poetry of Penelope in the library’s Community Room. Homer’s Penelope is a central figure in the poetry of The Odyssey. Composer Sarah Kirkland Snider and playwright Ellen McLaughlin, via video, discuss the iconic figure and the influence of her story upon their works in a presentation led by PSO Assistant Conductor John Devlin. more