Orchestra performance celebrates life of late cellist

| 29 Sep 2011 | 02:38

CONVENT STATION - The New Philharmonic of New Jersey will celebrate the life of music critic and community leader Jerry Ben-Asher with a concert on Sunday, March 15, at the College of Saint Elizabeth’s Dolan Performance Hall. Featuring noted cellist Carter Brey, the orchestra will perform the works of Brahms, Bruch and Dvorak. Under the leadership of Music Director/Conductor Leon Hyman, the orchestra has become known for the maestro’s conversations with the audience before each concert selection. Brey was appointed principal cellist of the New York Philharmonic in 1996 and has performed as a soloist with that orchestra in every season since 1997. He rose to international attention more than 25 years ago as a prize winner in the Rostropovich International Cello Competition and has since been recognized with many honors including being the first musician to win the prestigious Arts Council of America’s Performing Arts Prize. He will perform the popular “Cello Concerto in B minor, opus 104” by Antonin Dvorak. For more than 35 years, Ben-Asher was the music critic for the New Jersey Jewish News. A resident of Short Hills until his death in May 2008, Ben-Asher led many organizations devoted to cultural and Jewish interests, including the Livingston Music Group which he founded in the 1950s. He was also a founding member of the Suburban Community Music Center and the Newark Community School for the Arts, as well as serving for many years on the board of trustees of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. A leader in the Jewish Community, Ben-Asher was a former president of the Jewish Education Association of MetroWest and a founder of JCC MetroWest, where he chaired their art committee and served on the board for more than four decades. A gifted baritone, he sang with the renowned Masterwork Chorus. The New Philharmonic of New Jersey has started a fund to support the principal horn chair of the orchestra in his name because he also played the French horn. “Jerry Ben-Asher was a remarkable man whose accomplishments should be an inspiration to us all,” said Linda Smith, Executive Director of the New Philharmonic. “His legacy deserves to be honored and celebrated.” The March 15 concert begins at 3 p.m. with a lecture preceding the program at 2 p.m. New Philharmonic concerts are held in the new Dolan Performance Hall located in the Annunciation Center on the campus of the College of Saint Elizabeth located a couple of miles east of Route 287 on Route 124 (Madison Avenue). For directions and more information, visit the orchestra Web site at www.npnm.org. Tickets range from $25 to $45 and are available by calling the box office at 973-408-3978.