Thursday, April 9, 2020

An important update from the NJSO President & CEO

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

Dear NJSO Family:

It pains me to share the news that, due to the ongoing and projected impacts of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, we have made the difficult, yet prudent, decision to cancel the remaining performances of the 2019–20 season, which was scheduled to run through June 7. When a season begins with so much promise and excitement, as ours did last fall with Holst’s The Planets and NASA visuals, you can’t imagine it could be closing out this way; but these are uncertain times, and we believe our decision is the only one we could make.

The impact of COVID-19 has been a game changer for the NJSO, like many other arts organizations across the country. This season alone, the NJSO is facing a deficit of $3.4 million, due in a large part to the loss of ticket sales to our concerts. While we may see some relief from the government, the future is still uncertain for our beloved orchestra. If you are able, I earnestly encourage you to donate the remainder of your tickets. A fast and easy way to donate your tickets is to simply fill out this request form. Additional support through a donation to our annual fund is also very helpful. Any action you take to support the NJSO is greatly appreciated.

Despite the challenges we are facing, the NJSO is still dedicated to serving our community in new and impactful ways. In this time of social distancing, we are all feeling the absence of live music gatherings, but music can still be a powerful presence in our lives. Our musicians have been sharing performances from their homes that you can watch from the comfort of your own home. Follow the NJSO on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube for all the latest NJSO Couch Concerts—as well as special features from our musicians about both music and their lives.

Please watch a special message from Xian and me.

Thanks to the vision and leadership of NJSO Youth Orchestras Artistic Director José Luis Domínguez and the dedication of our NJSO musicians and staff, virtual small-group rehearsals and coaching sessions were launched for the NJSO Youth Orchestras last month. From an NJSO Youth Orchestras parent: “The kids were so happy (you wouldn’t believe) having their NJSO fix last week. I was nearby and heard the whole thing, and it warmed my heart. Tell the teachers how much we appreciate them.”

A great joy for all of us (myself included) has been #OrchestraYou, where audience members and NJSO musicians unite for a special combined performance by amateurs and professionals. I’m pleased to announce that, through the wonder of technology, we invite all who play an orchestral instrument to take part in a very special virtual #OrchestraYou, featuring music by Beethoven. Find all the details here; I hope you will join me in creating amazing music.

Your health and safety are at the heart of the NJSO’s concerns right now. NJSO concerts, education and community activities and donor events will only resume once we are confident that the pandemic threat has passed. We have been diligent in following updates and guidance provided by the CDC, New Jersey Department of Health and officials in making the most informed decisions possible.

Our Patron Services team has been dedicated to bringing you the best in customer service during this challenging time. I want to assure you that the ticket value spent with the NJSO for postponed performances is absolutely safe in your account, and we are offering multiple ticket options to address your needs. Again, a fast and easy way to make your requests is to simply fill out this request form, and please consider donating your remaining tickets.

We are still reviewing options to reschedule performances with our venue partners, and we appreciate your patience as we identify possible dates and times. The NJSO website has a dedicated page for updates and announcements during this pandemic, so please bookmark it for further updates. You will also find contact information for our various departments to submit your questions.

Again, I regret the end of the 2019–20 season, but I look forward to staying in touch with you until we can again be together. In the meantime, stay safe and be well!


Gabriel van Aalst
President & CEO
The Ruth C. and A. Michael Lipper NJSO President & CEO Chair

Please consider the role your NJSO plays in your community and support us with a gift of any amount to help at this critical time. All new and increased gifts will count towards our 2020 Spring Challenge from NJSO Trustee Elin Mueller.