stewart-goodyearPianist Stewart Goodyear helps usher in a new season of New Jersey Symphony concerts at the Count Basie Saturday evening. 

Continuing a decades-long and beautiful relationship with the Count Basie Theatre, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra returns to Red Bank Saturday night for the first in a new season of concerts — and to sound the keynote in the company of a performer who’s been branded a “phenomenon” by music critics and fans alike.

Scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. (following a 7 p.m. “classical conversation” about the evening’s program), it’s a salute to “three fathers of nationalistic music” that’s highlighted by pianist Stewart Goodyear.

He’ll also partner with the NJSO on Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto, a breakthrough work by the Norwegian composer best known for “Morning Mood” and “In the Hall of the Mountain King.”

The bill further features the rousing Symphony No. 2 by Finland’s Jean Sibelius, and a relatively rare hearing of “Aotearoa Overture” by New Zealander Douglas Lilburn.

Gemma New conducts the orchestra in the performance, for which tickets ($23 – $78) can be reserved right here.