The Newton Symphony Orchestra:
45 Years of Grand Music
The NSO is a world-class orchestra that attracts music lovers from throughout New England. The orchestra's appearances at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall have garnered rave reviews from critics and music-lovers. Some of these concerts, which have been under the auspices of the Chinese Arts Exchange, have showcased internationally famous or prizewinning Chinese soloists. In 2001, the NSO made their New York debut along with Chorus Pro Musica, in a concert of Chinese and Western music at Lincoln Center featuring the Yellow River Cantata. The NSO, again joined by Chorus Pro Musica, opened their 2002–2003 season with a repeat sold-out performance of this critically acclaimed program at Carnegie Hall.
The NSO has championed new music, including commissions and world premieres of works by noted American composers, such as Gunther Schuller, Charles Fussell, and Ethan Wickman. Fussell's Wilde was one of three compositions awarded the 1991 Pulitzer Prize in Music. The NSO commissioned and performed Sinfonia da Requiem: For the Victims of the Holocaust, by Uruguayan composer León Biriotti, which was designated by The Improper Bostonian as the third best Classical Music Performance of that year in Boston. And in October 2008, the NSO gave the East Coast premiere of Ethan Wickman's Solitary Deserts of Infinite Space.
For ten years, under the baton of our previous Music Director, Jeffrey Rink, one of the most popular concerts of each NSO season was our performance of a concert opera. Past performances of Tosca, Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, and Rigoletto have received fabulous reviews.
The Newton Symphony Orchestra has attracted a stellar collection of international and local soloists. In 2003, the preeminent Spanish guitarist, Sir Angel Romero, mesmerized the audience with his virtuoso performance. In 2002, the audience had the pleasure of hearing the legendary Hungarian violinist Denes Zsigmondy. In 2000, the NSO audience was introduced to the marimba as a beautiful solo instrument by Nanae Mimura, who at the time was studying locally, but was already an international star on her instrument. In 2004, the 15 year-old cellist, Sebastian Baverstam, played the Schumann Cello Concerto with the NSO just months before his performance of the same work with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. NSO opera performances attract the best rising stars in the field, such as Adina Aaron and Benjamin Warschawski from the New York City Opera, and Barbara Kilduff and Leah Wool of the Metropolitan Opera. Recent instrumental soloists have included violinist Bin Huang, winner of the Paganini Competition, and virtuoso pianist Michael Lewin, a Newton resident who maintains a reknowned studio at the Boston Conservatory of Music.
The orchestra is composed of approximately 70 musicians, the majority of whom are volunteers playing for pleasure and experience. They come from all walks of life and reside all over the greater Boston area. Some of them have been students in local colleges and conservatories, and have gone on to professional careers.