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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)March 1, 2004

(Mahwah) – The Hawthorne Symphony Orchestra, featuring piano guest soloist Jack Gibbons, will present their unique combination of opera and instrumental music at Ramapo College’s Sharp Theater, Sunday, March 21 at 3 p.m.

We’re looking for opportunities to play a wider spectrum of music,” says John Minkoff, the orchestra’s music director and conductor. Under the maestro’s baton, the orchestra will open the program with Rimsky Korsakov’s suite from the opera Le Coq d’Or, followed by Richard Wagner’s scenes one through four from the second act of Tannhauser.

Jack Gibbons, who will perform solo piano improvisations on music by Gershwin, has been hailed by the London Times as an awe-inspiring and prodigiously talented musician.” The BBC considers him, the Gershwin pianist of our time.” Gibbons has performed at internationally-acclaimed concert venues including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Queen Elizabeth and Royal Albert Halls, and has shared the stage with such artists as Tony Bennett, James Galway, Ben Kingsley and John Pizzarelli. Gibbons will be joined by the Hawthorne Symphony Orchestra for his rendition of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

Now a senior staff scientist in the ITT Aerospace Communications Division, Minkoff, the symphony’s conductor, studied conducting and composition with faculty of the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. He continued his studies at Columbia University, while getting a Ph.D. in electrical engineering. Minkoff has served as associate conductor of the North Jersey Symphony Orchestra where he conducted orchestral works and operas. He was also a guest conductor with the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera where he led opera performances with Metropolitan Opera singers and orchestral works and ballet with the Irene Fokine Ballet Company.

Tickets for the Hawthorne Symphony Orchestra are $21 for adults, $18 for seniors and Ramapo affiliates, and $12 for youth. The Sharp Theater is located in the Angelica and Russ Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts on the Ramapo College campus. For more information call 201.684.7844.

This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.


Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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