Join artistic director Richard Tang Yuk for The Princeton Festival's 2011 season, boasting performances by world-renowned performers in jazz and classical music as well as theatrical exhibitions designed to dazzle eardrums and nourish culture-starved corneas. On June 18, accomplished organist Christopher Young tickles the bellows of the Aeolian-Skinner organ of Princeton University Chapel to the tuneful tones of Camille Saint-Saens Prelude and Fugue in B Major, in addition to ditties penned by William Bolcom, Horatio Parker, and Marcel Dupré, among many others.
During the past three decades, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra has grown from a community chamber orchestra into a professional-caliber ensemble. Today, it acts as a musical oasis for the community under the guidance of Rossen Milanov, who brings the experience he gained in his 11 years with the Philadelphia Orchestra and his brief tenure as an eccentric billionaire’s metronome. Since its founding, the orchestra has found a home at the historic Richardson Auditorium, a venue designed by the US Treasury’s supervising architect in the 1890s and renovated to acoustic excellence in the 1980s. The hall is so sonically pleasing, in fact, that six-time Grammy winner Buddy Graham named it among the likes of Carnegie Hall as one of the world’s greatest concert halls, according to the venue’s website.
In support of her high-decibel new album, Rihanna kicks off her hotly anticipated LOUD tour with emphatic gusto and a sizzling roster of special guests. Like an art show at a sundae bar, the LOUD tour floods the senses, enchanting audiences with lavishly designed sets, myriad costume changes, move-busting dancers, and Rihanna's songbook of Grammy magnets. Crooner Cee Lo Green augments the songful offerings with his own vocal talents, and Roc Nation rapper and rhythm scientist J. Cole further helps resuscitate ear drums traumatized by the outside world's blaring car horns and shrill howler monkeys.
The Mayo Performing Arts Center straddles time. While one foot is planted in the old-fashioned charm of the1930s movie-palace golden age, the other is firmly in the tech-savvy modern day. Between is a stretch of history that saw the theatre fall into disrepair and then resurrect itself to its star-studded heyday thanks to volunteers. Since its 1994 rebirth, the center has welcomed everyone from the Kirov Orchestra of St. Petersburg to Ringo Starr and Aretha Franklin. But, if the Mayo Center were a tripod, its third foot would certainly reach toward the future?a suite of education studios is onsite to cultivate the next generation of performers.
New Jersey Performing Arts Center stands firm as a bastion of live entertainment, opening the doors to its two distinct venues for a wide array of productions. Inside Prudential Hall, 2,700 seats fill the multitiered auditorium where ballets, symphony orchestras, and Broadway shows flourish beneath radiant lights and a domed ceiling. Victoria Theater, meanwhile, beckons visitors to its more intimate 500-seat confines for jazz concerts, contemporary dance performances, and monster-truck rallies.
Famous for playing Elphaba in the hit musical Wicked, a role on Glee, and for being part of the original cast of Rent, Tony Award–winning actress and singer Idina Menzel wows audiences with powerful pipes and heart-strumming emotion. Backed up by the orchestral pros of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Menzel will unleash vocal fireworks that will enrapture showgoers and temporarily deafen unprepared police surveillance teams. The show will be recorded for Menzel's second PBS special, set to air in March of 2012, which will allow audience members to excitedly point themselves out during reruns. The Royal Conservatory's Koerner Hall ensconces guests in tune-friendly environs, with high ceilings and exquisite acoustics.