The Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is planning an all-new outdoor Princeton Festival June 10-25, with a cohesive campus plan, community cooperation and artist participation.
A cadre of opera singers are poised to inhabit the comic characters of Derrick Wang’s “Scalia/Ginsburg” and W.A. Mozart’s “The Impresario,” as well as Benjamin Britten’s full-length opera “Albert Herring.”
Concerts featuring top performers such as Storm Large, the Signum Quartet, and Baroque ensemble The Sebastians ensure multiple evenings of first-rate, live music covering a variety of genres of yesterday and today, according to information provided by PSO.
After months of behind-the-scenes planning following the PSO’s merger with the Princeton Festival in the summer of 2021, Edward T. Cone Music Director Rossen Milanov provided a glimpse of the combined organization’s visionary plans for the festival.
“Building on the Princeton Festival’s unique 17-year history, we are embarking on a new vision of a summer festival filled with wonderful performances in a unique summer setting. We are welcoming our audiences with a wide spectrum of exciting events ranging from orchestral and chamber music performances, fully staged operas, popular entertainment, jazz, and baroque music to events designed to be enjoyed by the whole family. I have always dreamed of PSO having a summer presence, and look forward to connecting in a new and exciting way with our diverse community,” Milanov said in the statement.
The Princeton Festival is moving outdoors with a state-of-the art, clear-span tent to be built on the grounds of Morven Museum & Garden at 55 Stockton St., Princeton.
The performance structure is vast enough to encompass on-stage action and an orchestra pit, dressing rooms and other backstage areas, plus convertible seating plans, according to the statement.
Lectures and receptions will take place in the museum’s Stockton Education Center, and the gardens and lawn areas will be available for picnicking and other outdoor activities.
Morven Museum & Garden Executive Director Jill Barry is looking forward to seeing the grounds of Morven transformed in support of the arts.
“Throughout the pandemic, we learned music and Morven are natural partners. The festival will elevate summer concerts to new heights. With so many different performances in the historic setting, it will be an unparalleled experience for music lovers,” she said in the statement.
It Takes a Community
Reimagining the 17-year-old Princeton Festival on such a scale takes careful planning and cooperation, according to the statement. Working behind the scenes with community leaders are Executive Director Marc Uys and Festival Director Gregory J. Geehern.
“We continue to meet with community leaders and influencers to explain our vision for the 2022 Princeton Festival. We have received so much positive feedback from everyone. It confirms all we are seeking to accomplish on behalf of the town of Princeton and those who appreciate the live performing arts,” Uys said in the statement.
The PSO acknowledges that the 2022 Princeton Festival will be uniquely different from years past thanks to Princeton Mayor Mark Freda’s encouragement and assistance from the municipality of Princeton, the cooperation of Morven Museum & Garden, and the support of the PSO Board of Trustees and its Festival Advisory Board, according to the statement.
“This is truly exciting,” Freda said in the statement, “seeing how the Princeton Festival, through the PSO, has been adapted into an outdoor event for 2022. Audiences will be able to take advantage of this multi-day series of events on the grounds of the Morven Museum & Garden and experience Princeton. This is a great opportunity for fans of the Princeton Festival, fans of the PSO and for our business community.”
Preparations for the Princeton Festival are ongoing. Geehern said in the statement, “We are looking to the business community to help us make the festival a success through sponsorships and program ads, and are hopeful that local residents show their support by attending the festival come June.”
Taking the Stage
As music director, Milanov oversees the Princeton Festival’s programming, a development resulting from the festival’s merger with the PSO. He is responsible for engaging Storm Large, who is opening the festival with the PSO; the Signum Quartet, who will be presenting a two-evening cycle of Franz Schubert’s late string quartets; and the New York City-based Baroque group The Sebastians.
Milanov has also secured artists of the opera stage.
There are plans for pops concerts with the PSO and club-like evenings with jazz performance and cabaret nights, complete with VIP lounge.
Additional information and a schedule of events will be released in early spring to coincide with tickets going on sale. Check the PSO’s Princeton Festival website for more details at princetonsymphony.org/festival.
PSO is monitoring and adhering to the New Jersey Department of Health’s COVID-19 requirements. Concert attendees will receive information regarding safety procedures, entry, seating directions, etc. in advance of their selected live performance(s).
PSO is also committed to ensuring all programming is accessible for everyone, working with venues to provide needed services. Contact ADA Coordinator Kitanya Khateri for questions about available services at email@example.com or 609 497-0020. Some services require at least two weeks’ notice to arrange.
Programs, artists, dates and times are subject to change.