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Through experiential, integrated programming such as the PSO’s fall 2013 Migration Series Project, the 35th Anniversary Season celebrating the creativity of women, and the 2019 Mango Suite Project featuring the collaborative work of composer Derek Bermel with author Sandra Cisneros, the PSO connects performances with themes and ideas that reinforce music’s essential role in the cultural and civic life of Princeton.
Edward T. Cone Music Director Rossen Milanov continues to take the orchestra to new artistic heights. Under Maestro Milanov’s direction, the PSO is praised for offering audiences “characteristically bold” performances; “the orchestra’s impassioned interpretations are one of its key strengths, and so is the programming itself” (The Star-Ledger). Mr. Milanov firmly believes in the PSO’s mission to deliver new classical music to its audiences; “he has worked to enhance the musical experience for what he called his ‘highly intelligent, sophisticated audience here’ by weaving additional learning opportunities into the group’s concerts” (The New York Times). His concert programs frequently feature the works of living composers who are introduced to the community through residencies and pre-concert talks.
The orchestra is widely recognized as one of the region’s finest music organizations. As a cultural centerpiece of the Princeton community, the PSO regularly partners with the Princeton University Art Museum, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Princeton Public Library, the Arts Council of Princeton, and the Princeton Garden Theatre in addition to dozens of Central New Jersey schools. The PSO has initiated additional partnerships with Westminster Conservatory, the community music school of Westminster College of the Arts of Rider University, with the Princeton Festival in 2016 and American Repertory Ballet in 2017, McCarter Theatre Center in 2018, and the Youth Orchestra of Central Jersey in 2020.
In July of 2021, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and the Princeton Festival announced their merger into a single, robust performing arts organization. The Festival is now an artistic program of the PSO alongside the orchestra’s classical, pops, and chamber music offerings and PSO BRAVO! education programs. Together the PSO and its summer flagship festival will ensure the future of top-rate, live musical performances and related events in Princeton, while fostering innovative online programming. Both organizations share a vision of Princeton as a cultural destination of national importance and are committed to accessibility with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of operations.
The PSO is proud to be a four-time National Endowment for the Arts grantee and a multiple-year recipient of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts’ highest honors: a Citation of Excellence and designation as a Major Arts Institution. In June 2011, the orchestra was nationally recognized with a prestigious ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) Award for Adventurous Programming.
The PSO is a member of the League of American Orchestras, a professional organization dedicated to helping orchestras meet the challenges of the 21st century.