My wife and I attended the performance of pianist Lang Lang with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on Sunday, October 19, conducted by Neeme Järvi. The program was Weber’s Overture to Euryanthe and Chopin’s Concerto No. 1 in E minor for Piano and Orchestra and Concerto No. 2 in F minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op 21.
Before beginning this paper, I feel some background and perspective are in order. In my entire 45 plus (and we’ll leave it at that) years, I have never been to a Symphony Concert. I have never been to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. I have had no interest in the past to attend a Symphony Concert because, quite frankly, I thought it would be boring. My musical tastes are more towards NewsRadio88 and the contemporary; however, I viewed this as being an opportunity to try something new. My wife attended with me and her feelings were generally the same. Our initial thoughts could not have been more wrong.
The overall concert experience from a logistics perspective far exceeded my expectations. Ordering tickets was simple via the internet. Access to NJ PAC from Northern New Jersey was quick and easy. Parking was directly across the street from NJ PAC and with the pre-paid voucher was no hassle. The local area in Newark seemed to be clean, safe and aesthetically pleasing. And on a Sunday the 20 mile trip took approximately 30 minutes door to door.
The venue was another part of the experience which exceeded expectations. As mentioned above, the local area is clean, safe and “nice”. The PAC is a beautiful brick and glass building with lovely landscaped grounds. When one steps inside, it’s almost like a continuation of being outside. The interior is designed with floor to ceiling glass through each level with the stairwells being on the inside core of the building. Each level has a small...