Mar 17, 2015 View All News

NJPAC Announces 2015-16 Bank of America Classical Music Series

Joshua Bell

A unique season of exhilarating performances showcasing world renowned orchestras and virtuoso soloists

Featuring a Roster of Internationally Beloved Artists, including:

  • Valery Gergiev conducts the London Symphony with pianist Yefim Bronfman
  • Pinchas Zukerman conducts and performs with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Daniele Gatti conducts the Orchestre National de France with violinist Julian Rachlin
  • Joshua Bell conducts and performs with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields
  • Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the San Francisco Symphony with pianist Inon Barnatan
  • and a recital by the virtuoso pianist Lang Lang


NEWARK, NJ (January 29, 2015) – New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), the premier presenter of classical music in the State of New Jersey since its inaugural season in 1997, today announced its 2015-16 Bank of America Classical Music Series, a unique season of exhilarating performances including a pair of  Europe’s most distinguished orchestras – the London Symphony under the baton of Valery Gergiev joined by pianist Yefim Bronfman and  the Paris’ Orchestre National de France conducted by Daniele Gatti with violinist Julian Rachlin. 


Two of the classical world’s most eminent violinists will assume the role of both conductor and soloist with esteemed European orchestras – Joshua Bell returns to Prudential Hall to perform the Tchaikovsky concerto and conduct the Academy of St Martin in the Fields; and Pinchas Zukerman leads the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and performs the Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5. 


Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony also perform with pianist Inon Barnatan playing Copland’s Piano Concerto.  And, the virtuoso pianist Lang Lang returns to NJPAC after four seasons to perform an exclusive New Jersey recital in Prudential Hall.


“NJPAC’s 2015-16 season of classical concerts is a stellar one.  Throughout the season, audiences are taken on a journey from the rhythmic strength of Stravinsky to the melodic phrasing of Copland, and everything in between.” said David Rodriguez, NJPAC’s Executive Vice President and Executive Producer.  “NJPAC has assembled one of the strongest classical seasons since its opening.”


Pinchas Zukerman, the esteemed Violinist and Conductor who will be performing at NJPAC on January 8, 2016, said, “I am delighted to be returning to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.  I look forward to playing Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 and the Elgar Serenade for Strings, and to conducting the Brahms’ First Symphony in New Jersey.  Prudential Hall is a gorgeous hall with great acoustics.”


 “The Classical Series gives New Jersey residents and visitors a chance to experience performances from some of the world’s most recognized artists,” said Bob Doherty, New Jersey President, Bank of America.  “Bringing together an international roster of talent into one setting has a positive impact on our cultural community and helps strengthen the local economy.”


On Saturday, September 26, 2015 at 8pm in Prudential Hall, Lang Lang performs in recital, his first concert at NJPAC in four seasons.  A native of China, yet a citizen of the world, this electrifying pianist is a favorite of NJPAC audiences.  The program will be announced at a later date.


On Saturday, October 24, 2015 at 8pm in Prudential Hall, is the London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev and featured guest soloist, the Grammy Award-winning pianist Yefim Bronfman.  A pair of works by Bartók, the dazzling Piano Concerto No. 3 and the suite from The Miraculous Mandarin, are matched with Stravinsky’s complete Firebird (1919), rounding out an intriguing offering of early 20th-century masterpieces.  Bronfman’s 2014 performance of Bartók’s Third Piano Concerto with the New York Philharmonic was called “brilliantly charismatic” by The New York Times.

The Royal Philharmonic, with Pinchas Zukerman both on the podium and as violin soloist, comes to Prudential Hall on Friday, January 8, 2016 at 8pm.   Maestro Zukerman, the renowned violinist, conductor, and pedagogue, who is the orchestra’s principal conductor, is front and center for Elgar’s beloved Serenade for Strings and Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5, a work he has perfected in performance since his teens.  Concluding the program is Brahms’ sublime First Symphony, popularly recorded and performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.


On Friday, January 29, 2016 at 8pm in Prudential Hall, another champion violinist –Julian Rachlin – joins the Orchestre National de France and conductor Daniele Gatti to perform the Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1.  Rachlin has been hailed by The Los Angeles Times as “the real thing, a virtuoso with heart and a champion’s bearing.”  The magical program will also include Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, and Tchaikovsky’s breathtaking Symphony No. 5.  France’s national orchestra has been a critics’ darling since Gatti, who also is the new chief conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, became music director in 2008. 


Joshua Bell was heard last season at NJPAC with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto and Ravel’s Tzigane.  On Saturday, March 19, 2016 at 8pm in Prudential Hall, he is accompanied by the orchestra he serves as music director – London’s Academy of St Martin in the Fields – and leads symphonies by Prokofiev, No. 1, “Classical,” and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8, as well as Gyorgy Ligeti’s Concert Romance.  As a bonus, the program features Joshua Bell playing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto.


The San Francisco Symphony, under the baton of its music director, Michael Tilson Thomas, returns to Prudential Hall on Friday, April 15, 2016 at 8pm, with what promises to be an exuberant celebration of Copland and Schumann.  Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan joins the orchestra as guest soloist, in a program featuring Copland’s Piano Concerto (1926), as well as the Orchestral Variations (1957), and Inscape (1967).  The bill also includes Schumann’s Symphony No. 2, glowingly illustrative of the Romantic repertoire.  Inon Barnatan, described as “a true poet of the keyboard” by London’s Evening Standard, is known widely for his compelling and insightful musicianship.  In December 2014, his debut with the NJSO – performing Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 – was praised as “unflaggingly elegant” by The Star-Ledger.


Bank of America Classical Overtures

One hour prior to each classical concert, ticketholders are invited to participate in a free Overtures event to learn what to listen for during the following performance.  These interactive pre-concert presentations  are hosted by Maestro George Marriner Maull, Maestro of the New Jersey-based Discovery Orchestra’s educational Discovery Concerts, featured on PBS stations across the country.

Subscription Packages

Subscription packages for the six concert series range in price from $296 - $644 and may be purchased by calling 1-888-MY-NJPAC (1-888-696-7522) or online at  The NJPAC box office is located at One Center Street in downtown Newark. 


The Bank of America Classical Series is presented, in part, through the generosity of the Smart Family Foundation/David S. Stone, Esq., Stone & Magnanini. 


The Bank of America Classical Series is one component of the 2015-16 season.  The full season will be announced later this Spring and will include NJPAC’s blend of classical, dance, jazz, cabaret, rock/pop, comedy, holiday events and family offerings.  Single tickets go on sale on May 15, 2015.



The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States and is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey – where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day.  As New Jersey’s Town Square, NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the State’s and the world’s best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city.  Through its extensive Arts Education program, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts.  NJPAC has attracted more than eight million visitors (including more than one million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.  Visit or call 888.GO.NJPAC for more information.

NJPAC’s 2015-16 Bank of America Classical Series Calendar of Events (as of January 26, 2015)

All concerts take place in NJPAC’s Prudential Hall. Please note programs, dates and artists are subject to change.  All ticket sales are non-refundable.  For program notes and changes, please visit


Saturday, September 26, 2015, 8pm

Lang Lang

Program to be announced


Saturday, October 25, 2015, 8pm

London Symphony Orchestra

Valery Gergiev, conductor

Yefim Bronfman, piano


Bartók: Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin

Bartók:  Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26

Stravinsky:  The Firebird (complete from 1919)


Friday, January 8, 2016, 8pm

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Pinchas Zukerman, conductor and violin


Elgar:  Serenade for Strings

Mozart:  Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major, K. 219

Brahms:  Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68



Friday, January 29, 2016, 8pm

Orchestre National de France

Daniele Gatti, conductor

Julian Rachlin, violin


Debussy:  Prélude à l’apres-midi d’un faune

Shostakovich:  Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Major, Op. 99

Tchaikovsky:  Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64


Saturday, March 19, 2016, 8pm

Joshua Bell, conductor and violin

Academy of St Martin in the Fields


Prokofiev:  Symphony No. 1, Op. 25 (“Classical Symphony”)

Tchaikovsky:  Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35

Ligeti:  Concert Romance

Beethoven:  Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93


Friday, April 15, 2016, 8pm

San Francisco Symphony

Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor

Inon Barnatan, piano


Copland:  Orchestral Variations (1957)

Copland:  Inscape (1967)

Copland: Piano Concerto (1926)

Schumann: Symphony No.2 in C Major, Op. 61