Symphony in Trenton

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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.

1107 Taylorsville Rd
Washington Crossing,
PA
US

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.

91 University Place
Princeton,
NJ
US

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.

575 Ewing St
Princeton,
NJ
US

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.

1 Harbour Boulevard
Camden,
NJ
US

The Penn Museum hosts its fourth annual P.M. @ Penn Museum Summer Nights concert series, presented in the Museum's verdant outdoor Stoner Courtyard on the University of Pennsylvania’s idyllic campus. Just inside, guests can immerse themselves in the Museum's newest exhibition, "Black Bodies in Propaganda: The Art of the War Poster," before moving on to explore a world of art and artifacts, many obtained from archaeological and anthropological expeditions conducted by the Museum since its founding in 1887. Wandering its galleries, guests explore rare objects from the near and distant past, including those found in the Egypt (Sphinx) Gallery, home to a monumental granite sphinx circa 1200 BCE. Elsewhere, visitors marvel at intricate bronze and ivory carvings from West Africa's Kingdom of Benin, created between the 17th and 20th centuries, and intricately carved Maya stone stelae from pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. Changing exhibitions showcase travelling collections or draw from the Museum's vast collection of objects from every inhabited corner of the globe.

3260 South St.
Philadelphia,
PA
US

The cello-shaped Verizon Hall serenades eyes with mahogany accents under the 150-foot barrel-vaulted glass ceiling of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. With seats for 2,500 audience members, the hall immerses both spectators and musicians in the clarity generated by its premium acoustics, which absorb vibrations from the subway tunnel below with 225 rubber isolation pads and allow for precise tuning with retractable curtains and sound-reflecting panels. Seasoned jazz artist Branford Marsalis confirmed Verizon Hall's sound acumen when he told NPR it is "the best concert hall on the East Coast."

Broad & Spruce St.
Philadelphia,
PA
US