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RED BANK: SYMPHONY ‘FINALE’ AT BASIE

Conductor Xian Zhang discusses the New Jersey Symphony’s season-finale concerts, which include at stop in Red Bank Saturday night.

It was an eclectic slate of programming, one in which sought-after international soloists and the works of the old masters shared the stage with modern Broadway babies and romantic favorites from the contemporary pop playlist.

For its season finale at Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra kicks out the jams in classically classical fashion Saturday under the baton of celebrated conductor Xian Zhang.

But as redbankgreen regulars know, the concert won’t be the last opportunity for locals to hear a symphony this summer.

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RED BANK: A VALENTINE IN MUSIC AND DANCE

Singer-dancers Joan Hess and Kirby Ward (above) are special guest Valentines of the New Jersey Symphony this Friday night at the Basie, and star conductor Xian Zhang (below) leads the orchestra back to Red Bank on February 25.   

When it secured the services of the internationally celebrated Xian Zhang as principal conductor last year, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra upped the ante on its bid to earn a place among the New York region’s premier musical organizations.

Now, the orchestra returns to its coastal New Jersey venue of choice — Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre — with a February slate that stands as a virtual valentine to its own versatility, whether waltzing across the works of the old masters or doing a Tin Pan Alley tapdance through the Great American Songbook.

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