The New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra performs music that matters, whether it was written in the Middle Ages or sometime next year, in the heart of Old Europe or the new conservatories of East Asia.
Since its founding a half century ago, the group has evolved into a professional ensemble of 16 to 26 musicians that tackles some of the biggest assignments possible for chamber orchestras. Its repertoire runs the gamut from Handel’s “Messiah” and Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” to John Adams' "Shaker Loops" or Mohammed Fairouz’ “Named Angels”. Under the direction of conductor Mark Hyczko, the orchestra’s focus has become new music – really new, as in just composed on commission. And every year the NBCO premieres a major work by a Rutgers or East Coast regional composer, often with the artist on hand to hone their new piece to a sharp shine. There have been song cycles based on classic poetry, passionate concertos and rock-inflected power suites. Nothing dull or routine.
The NBCO likes a challenge. It favors brilliant, exciting music that stretches performers and surprises audiences. In recent seasons the ensemble has tackled Sebastian Currier’s “Next Atlantis” for string orchestra and the recorded sounds of post-Katrina New Orleans, Arvo Pärt’s haunting “Fratres” and Astor Piazzola’s rollicking new classic “Four Seasons of Buenos Aires”. In other words, vital and relevant art that connects with the life and times of its audience.
The orchestra is a mobile ensemble as comfortable at a local church as in the historic State Theatre or the intimate Crossroads stage. Throughout the year members break into chamber groups to perform breakout recitals at Rutgers’ Zimmerli Art Museum and Alfa Art Gallery in New Brunswick. The orchestra calls this initiative “Reframing Classical Music” because it seeks a deeper connection to the visual and plastic arts. And the NBCO has had thrilling collaborations in recent seasons with nearby dance troupes and choral groups. More are planned.
As concert musicians we have inherited a tradition, but we are not constrained by it. Modern classical music has few boundaries and many possibilities: multimedia, minimalism, dance, film and theater. Come and see what you think.
THE BOARD OF THE NEW BRUNSWICK CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Mark Hyczko, Music Director
John Semmlow, Ph.D., President of the Board
Robin Connerat, Treasurer
Timothy Korzun, Legal, Sound Engineer
Wayne Anderson, Funding, Resources
Jan Reinhart, Public Relations
Barry Dusault, Information Officer
Elaine Strauss, Media Liaison
Walter Iannacome, Security