Ensemble ACJW is an inspirational collective of outstanding young professional musicians
from The Academy that has earned accolades from critics and audiences alike for the quality
of its performances, as well as its fresh and open-minded approach to performance and
programming. In a variety of venues, its members have played a wide range of music-from
works written centuries ago to those completed days before-with verve and total commitment
to their art.
The group performs its own series at Carnegie Hall and regularly appears at The Juilliard
School's Paul Hall and other venues throughout New York City, including a series at (Le)
Poisson Rouge nightclub in Greenwich Village. As part of a partnership with Skidmore
College that began in 2007, Ensemble ACJW gives master classes for university students and
performs for the Saratoga Springs community both in concert halls and in informal settings
All Ensemble ACJW members are alumni or current fellows of The Academy, a two-year
fellowship program created in 2007 by Carnegie Hall's Executive and Artistic Director Clive
Gillinson and The Juilliard School's President Joseph W. Polisi to support the finest young
professional musicians develop their careers as top-quality performers, innovative
programmers, and dedicated teachers who are fully engaged with the communities in which
they live and work.
Fellows of the two-year Academy program-chosen not only for their musicianship, but also
for their leadership qualities and commitment to music education-come from some of the best
music schools in the country, including The Colburn School, Eastman School of Music, The
Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, Rice University, University of Southern
California, and Yale School of Music.
In addition to performance opportunities at the highest level, a robust program of
professional development is an essential part of The Academy. Fellows partner with New York
City public schools to share their artistry with-and become central resources for-music
classrooms in the five boroughs. Fellows also take part in community work through
the Weill Music Institute's Musical Connections program, in which they perform at
multiple non-traditional music venues across New York City, including healthcare settings,
correctional facilities, and senior service organizations.
Exemplary performers, dedicated teachers, and advocates for music throughout the
community, the fellows of The Academy that make up Ensemble ACJW are redefining what it
means to be a musician in the 21st century. Visit acjw.org to learn more.
Robert Spano is one of the brightest and most imaginative conductors of his generation. As
music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, he has elevated the ensemble to new
levels of international prominence. As music director of the val and School, he oversees
the programming of more than 300 events and educational programs for 630 students,
including Aspen's American Academy of Conducting.
Under Maestro Spano's guidance, the ASO and audiences explore a creative programming mix,
recordings, and visual enhancements, and the Atlanta School of Composers reflects Spano's
commitment to American contemporary music. He has led ASO performances at Carnegie Hall,
Lincoln Center, and at the Ravinia, Ojai, and Savannah music festivals. He has made guest
appearances with the major orchestras of New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston,
Cleveland, Chicago, and Philadelphia, as well as the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, BBC
Symphony Orchestra, and Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He has conducted for
Welsh National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera (2005 and
2009 Ring cycles), and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
With an extensive discography of 21 recordings for Telarc, Deutsche Grammophon, and ASO
Media, Mr. Spano has garnered six Grammy Awards. Dedicated to pedagogy and
multidisciplinary studies, he completed a three-year residency at Emory University, is on
faculty at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, and has received honorary doctorates from
Bowling Green State University, Curtis Institute of Music, Emory University, and Oberlin.
In May 2009, Mr. Spano was awarded Columbia University's Ditson Conductor's Award for the
advancement of American music.