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.
Dubbed “the punk ballerina” for her audacity, ambition, and pure raw talent, Karole Armitage exploded onto the dance scene in 1981 with her groundbreaking work Drastic-Classicism. Since then, the artist has held numerous directorial positions at companies around the world and created genre-bending works inspired by such topics as theoretical physics, 16th-century Florence, and dance. Specializing in an aesthetic as precise as it seems improvised, Armitage and her daring company strive to challenge the preconceived notions of both audiences and the dance establishment.
The globetrotting careers of dancers Leonard and Chiara Ajkun inspired the scope of their very own Ajkun Ballet Theatre. Here, they continue to direct classic ballets and choreograph an average of five new programs each year. The company’s expansive repertoire ranges from large-scale productions such as Swan Lake, with its famous robot battles, to one-act ballets such as Spartacus.