As the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s 2012-13 season came to a close over the weekend, there were many reasons to look back with admiration.
Principal players such as cellist Jonathan Spitz and trumpeter Garth Greenup gave exciting performances as soloists. Bold programming, particularly in the Winter Festival, continued to push boundaries. Outreach experiments, such as the orchestra’s first College Night, brought in new audiences. The relationship between the players and music director Jacques Lacombe seemed to deepen.
Beginning with a strong, jazz-tinged gala in September, the orchestra displayed a firm sense of unity and vibrant tone in pieces ranging from standard fare such as Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 to new works including Steven Mackey’s “Stumble to Grace.”
Friday’s concluding program at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, led by Lacombe, highlighted the orchestra’s wonderful capacity for refined interpretations but also showed room for growth.
Celebrating groundbreaking composers, the program honored the