Concert in New Jersey a Soaring Musical Birthday Gift

  • BONJ Performs Strauss in concert in New Jersey Under Baton of Maestro Robert W. Butts
    BONJ Performs Strauss in concert in New Jersey Under Baton of Maestro Robert W. Butts
  • Robert Watt - Marshall Sealey - Deryck Clark - Eric Davis, French Horns Soloists, play Concerto by Heinrich Hubler
    Robert Watt - Marshall Sealey - Deryck Clark - Eric Davis, French Horns Soloists, play Concerto by Heinrich Hubler
  • Playing Strauss concert in New Jersey - Nancy Vanderslice and Marie Trudeau - oboes, Andrew Pecota and Lee Doswell - bassoons, Keith Marson - trombone, Larry Zaidan - tube
    Playing Strauss concert in New Jersey - Nancy Vanderslice and Marie Trudeau - oboes, Andrew Pecota and Lee Doswell - bassoons, Keith Marson - trombone, Larry Zaidan - tube
  • Maestro Butts discusses Wagner and Strauss before the performance.
    Maestro Butts discusses Wagner and Strauss before the performance.
  • Timpanist Al Jorgensen
    Timpanist Al Jorgensen
  • Agnes Kwasniewska, Allen Weakland, Heather Faust
    Agnes Kwasniewska, Allen Weakland, Heather Faust
  • Cassandra Lambros and Alyson Whelan-Rios
    Cassandra Lambros and Alyson Whelan-Rios
  • Evan Ardelle and Sariah Johnson
    Evan Ardelle and Sariah Johnson
  • Marty Gelfond and Janis Kaplan
    Marty Gelfond and Janis Kaplan
  • George Osipian and Roosevelt Porter
    George Osipian and Roosevelt Porter
  • Tina Clara Lee
    Tina Clara Lee
  • Noreen Baer, Jeff Sharoff, Keith Marson - trombones; Susan Smith, Jen Branch - clarinets, Laura Ferraro - flute, Nancy Vanderslice - oboe
    Noreen Baer, Jeff Sharoff, Keith Marson - trombones; Susan Smith, Jen Branch - clarinets, Laura Ferraro - flute, Nancy Vanderslice - oboe
  • Pianist Lynn Czae
    Pianist Lynn Czae
  • Soloists meet the audience in Dolan Hall Lobby
    Soloists meet the audience in Dolan Hall Lobby
  • BONJ with pianist Lynn Czae
    BONJ with pianist Lynn Czae
  • Robert Watt signs his book "The Black Horn"
    Robert Watt signs his book "The Black Horn"
  • In the Dolan Hall Lobby
    In the Dolan Hall Lobby
  • Maestro Butts talks with writer/patron Peter Stevens
    Maestro Butts talks with writer/patron Peter Stevens
  • Hui Wang and France Rovelli
    Hui Wang and France Rovelli
  • Lisa Young being greeted with Happy Birthday
    Lisa Young being greeted with Happy Birthday
  • Maestro Butts with pianist Lynn Czae and soprano Seungehee Cha
    Maestro Butts with pianist Lynn Czae and soprano Seungehee Cha
  • Maestro Butts with Recording Engineers Brian Foran and Phil King
    Maestro Butts with Recording Engineers Brian Foran and Phil King
  • Post-Concert Celebration: Al Jorgensen - Jane Komssi - Doug Anderson - Dianne Feula - Tom Loughman - Carm Loughman - Jo Ann Bates - Judith Tiernan - Anthony Shashaty
    Post-Concert Celebration: Al Jorgensen - Jane Komssi - Doug Anderson - Dianne Feula - Tom Loughman - Carm Loughman - Jo Ann Bates - Judith Tiernan - Anthony Shashaty
  • Post-Concert Celebration: Andrew Pecota - Susan Smith - Laura Ferraro
    Post-Concert Celebration: Andrew Pecota - Susan Smith - Laura Ferraro
  • Post-Concert Celebration: Horn Soloist Eric  Davis - Newest BONJ Board Member J. Scott Sommerer
    Post-Concert Celebration: Horn Soloist Eric Davis - Newest BONJ Board Member J. Scott Sommerer
  • Great Friends Celebrate Concerto Success
    Great Friends Celebrate Concerto Success
  • Lisa Young and Steve Young Join the Party
    Lisa Young and Steve Young Join the Party
  • Post-Concert Celebration with Jude and Miriam Pfister, Ed and Tina Lewis
    Post-Concert Celebration with Jude and Miriam Pfister, Ed and Tina Lewis
  • Post-Concert Celebration with Stanley Alexandrowicz, Robert Watt, Lynn Czae, Janice Stevens
    Post-Concert Celebration with Stanley Alexandrowicz, Robert Watt, Lynn Czae, Janice Stevens
  • Celebrating with Robert Kopacz, Director of Communications and Technology, and Family
    Celebrating with Robert Kopacz, Director of Communications and Technology, and Family
  • Post-Concert Celebration: Peter Howard - Evan Ardelle - Louise Lambros - Cassandra Lambros - Agnes Kwasniewska - Heather Faust - Elizabeth Fujita - Allen Weakland - Marty Gelfond - Valerie Ciaciosi
    Post-Concert Celebration: Peter Howard - Evan Ardelle - Louise Lambros - Cassandra Lambros - Agnes Kwasniewska - Heather Faust - Elizabeth Fujita - Allen Weakland - Marty Gelfond - Valerie Ciaciosi
  • Maestro Butts and The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey
    Maestro Butts and The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey

by Lisa Young, Vice President, The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey

In the summer of 2016 I was having lunch with Bob, our Maestro, to discuss some orchestra matters. I noted that in the upcoming 2016-2017 season he had scheduled the June 2017 concert on what would be a milestone birthday for me. I asked him if he would be willing to play either Siegfried's Idyll by Richard Wagner, or Richard Strauss's Symphonische Fantasie aus die Frau ohne Schatten, both favorite pieces of music of mine. Without hesitation he said he would be pleased to do both.

Not being a musician, the challenges of doing these pieces was far from my mind when I suggested them. Bob, however, is never one to back away from a challenge.

“It was definitely a challenge,” Maestro Butts admitted. “I must say that when I first started studying the score, I felt very intimidated.   But gradually Strauss’s musical language spoke to me and as the musicians brought their talents to their parts, it came together. Conducting the exquisite music of Wagner and Strauss was an unforgettable experience for me.  Despite the difficulties, the musicians in the orchestra also felt excited at the opportunity to explore this expressive music.”

I attended the very first rehearsal. Under Bob's capable direction I listened to these pieces begin to come alive. On the day of the concert both pieces soared, statements by their respective composers about the nature of love. The superb musicians of the orchestra gave a brilliant and nuanced reading to Wagner and Strauss that brought me to tears. It was the greatest birthday gift ever!  As extra icing on my birthday cake, Eric Davis, Marshall Sealy, Deryck Clark and Robert Watt performed Heinrich Hübler's Concerto for Four Horns

“The Strauss Fantasie had a transcendental beauty that was very moving,” said Director of Communications & Technology Robert Kopacz.  “I was surprised a small local orchestra would even attempt music of Wagner and Strauss, but they made it all soar.”

“Wow, did I and my family enjoy the sound of FOUR! French Horns as solo ensemble with the orchestra,” Kopacz continued.  “My whole family was enthralled.”

Pianist Lynn Czae concluded the memorable concert with a magnificent performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23.

This was a birthday celebration I will never forget given by my favorite orchestra in the whole world.

Peter Stevens, former contributing writer to Classical New Jersey Journal, stated after the performance: "Sunday’s concert was another example of how BONJ and its director Robert Butts go farther than anyone else in this area to bring challenging and special works to the public which they otherwise would not encounter.  Aside from a Mozart piano concerto and a piece featuring four french horns played by  world class players of international stature, the audience got to experience Wagner's Sigfried Idyll in a free flowing performance of true feeling that really impressed.  Also featured was a Symphonische Fantasie aus die Frau ohne Shatten by Richard Strauss.   This was a bold move beautifully executed by the orchestra under Maestro Butts. They achieved that soaring and lush Strauss sound with aplomb.  This was an amazingly generous concert.  Any one of the four selections could have served as the centerpiece for any one of four separate concerts."

Strauss & Wagner

Richard Strauss - Symphonische Fantasie aus die Frau ohne Schatten - Richard Wagner - Siegfrield Idyll

June 4, 2017 - Birthday Present to Lisa Young

Heinrich Hubler

Heinrich Hubler - Concerto for Four Horns

Robert Watt - Marshall Sealey - Deryck Clarke - Eric Davis - horns

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