GussmanKovalskyMonmouth Conservatory of Music exec director Vladislav Kovalsky (right) is the special guest, as conductor Roy Gussman and the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra celebrate MCM’s golden anniversary with a Sunday afternoon concert at the Count Basie.

A weekend of symphonic sounds heralds the coming of Spring at the Count Basie Theatre, drawing inspiration from the great masters of word and music — and their roots from the Garden State soil — with a pair of original works by NJ composers.

It all happens here in the area’s undisputed capital for classical music, and it all begins at 8 pm on Saturday, March 21, when conductor Jacques Lacombe and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra welcome internationally lauded pianist Serhiy Salov for a program highlighted by Tchaikovsky’s Sixth (or Pathétique) Symphony, “a heart-wrenching meditation on the transforming power of love and the inexorable workings of fate.” Vocalist Mary Fahl also joins the NJSO for an evening that further features Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody — as well as a first local listen to an original work by Orchestra violinist Darryl Kubian.  Commissioned as part of the New Jersey Roots Project, and inspired by William Shakespeare, O for a Muse of Fire closes out the Roots initiative on a program for which tickets ($23 – $88) are available here.

Salov-3Pianist Serhiy Salov is guest soloist on Saturday night, as Jacques Lacombe and the New Jersey Symphony present a program of works by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and more.

This past November, the venerable Monmouth Civic Chorus celebrated the 50th anniversary of Red Bank-based Monmouth Conservatory Of Music in a program that saluted the legacy of the late Felix Molzer, the Austrian-born educator, composer and arranger (and onetime conductor of the Vienna Boys Choir) who both founded the MCM and served as director of the MCC. It was a concert dedicated to Molzer’s memory and featuring the guest talents of his successor, the internationally renowned pianist Vladislav Kovalsky.

Here in its 67th season, another borough-based musical force —  the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra —  pays tribute to the Conservatory’s golden anniversary, in a concert dedicated to the memory of another pivotal figure in its history: former MCM faculty member (and past MSO conductor) Gilman Collier. Kovalsky, the Russian-born Steinway artist who presides as executive director of the MCM in its present facility on White Street, will join present-day principal conductor Roy D. Gussman and the MSO on the Basie stage for the world premiere of a never-performed original symphony by Collier, who passed away in 2011. Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 is also on the program for the 3 pm presentation, for which tickets ($35, with discounts for seniors, students and children) are available right here.