Performance Tuesday, February 14, 2012 | 7:30 PM

Ensemble ACJW

Featuring musicians of The Academy—a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education

Weill Recital Hall
Hear the “fun, fearless, and effing great” (Time Out New York) young musicians of Ensemble ACJW bring to life Stravinsky’s jazz-inflected, wacky (but topical) tale of a soldier who sells his soul to the devil for a book that predicts the uncertain economic future—information the soldier uses to become rich. Joining the Stravinsky is a new work by Sleeping Giant, a collective of emerging New York–based composers “rapidly gaining notice for their daring innovations, stylistic range, and acute attention to instrumental nuance” (WQXR).


  • Ensemble ACJW
  • Gabriel Ebert, Narrator


  • STRAVINSKY Histoire du soldat


  • Ensemble ACJW

    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, they 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. As part of a partnership with Skidmore College that began in 2007, Ensemble ACJW gives master classes to university students and performs for the Saratoga Springs community both in concert halls and in informal settings around town.

    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 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 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 Curtis Institute of Music, Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School, Mannes College The New School for Music, New England Conservatory, 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. In their second year, the fellows take part in community work through the Weill Music Institute's Musical Connections program, in which they perform at multiple nontraditional music venues across New York City. In past years, they participated in community-based group projects, including a collaboration with residents of a Bronx family apartment complex, a pen-pal program that paired young students with professional musicians, and a performance of George Crumb's Voice of the Whale in the American Museum of Natural History's Millstein Hall of Ocean Life.

    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 to learn more.

    Sleeping Giant

    A collective of six emerging Brooklyn-based composers, Sleeping Giant presents music that prizes vitality over a rigid aesthetic. The group has staged concerts at (Le) Poisson Rouge and Brooklyn's Littlefield. Upcoming projects include a collaboration with the Deviant Septet and the annual Sleeping Giant Summer Show at The Stone.

    Christopher Cerrone is a composer of dramatic, orchestral, chamber, and electronic music. He is a founding member and co-artistic director of Red Light New Music. Cerrone's music has been heard across the US and Europe, with performances and commissions from New York City Opera, New York Youth Symphony, Carnegie Hall, Bang on a Can Summer Festival, American Composers Orchestra's SONiC Festival, violinist Hahn-Bin, Deviant Septet, loadbang, American Lyric Theater, Virginia Arts Festival, and Yale Institute for Music Theatre. He recently received the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a 2011 Jerome Fund for New Music commission, a residency at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria, 2010 and 2011 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer awards, as well as two Composer Assistance Program Grants (2009 and 2010) and a Composer Assistance Program Recording Grant (2010) from the American Music Center. Cerrone is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at Yale University, where he also taught music composition and electronic music. His works are published by Outburst-Inburst Musics and Project Schott New York.

    Jacob Cooper's bold compositions and multimedia works have garnered recognition throughout North America and Europe, with performances by the JACK Quartet, Calder Quartet, and Minnesota Orchestra. His work has been performed on the Wordless Music concert series at the Miller Theatre, MATA Festival, International Festival of Arts and Ideas, and Choregie Festival in Slovenia. Cooper was awarded a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composers Award, and a Composer Assistance Program Grant from the American Music Center. His work was shortlisted for the inaugural YouTube and Guggenheim Museum Biennial; most recently, he was announced as winner of the 2011 Carlsbad Music Festival competition. Timberbrit, his opera about a fictional reunion between Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered and in The Believer's annual music issue. Also dedicated to teaching and scholarship, Cooper serves on the music faculty at Amherst College and is a doctoral candidate at the Yale School of Music.

    Composer Robert Honstein was born in Syracuse, educated in Texas and Connecticut, and now lives in Brooklyn. His music has been performed throughout North America by the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, New York Youth Symphony, Hunter Symphony, Yale Philharmonia, Bard College Conservatory Orchestra, Tosca String Quartet, and University of Texas New Music Ensemble. He is a co-founder of Fast Forward Austin, an annual contemporary music and arts festival in Texas. Upcoming projects include a commission from the Sebastian Chamber Players and countertenor Ryland Angel, as well as a new work for percussion commissioned by an international consortium of percussion ensembles. Honstein has received many grants and awards for his work, including a 2011 Aaron Copland Award, multiple ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composers awards, and a MetLife Creative Connections grant through Meet the Composer. He has held residencies with the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, I-Park, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, and Bang on a Can Summer Institute.

    Andrew Norman is a composer of chamber and orchestral music. Born in the Midwest and raised in central California, he studied the piano and viola before attending the University of Southern California and Yale University. A lifelong enthusiast for all things architectural, Norman writes music that is often inspired by forms and textures he encounters in the visual world; his music draws on an eclectic mix of instrumental sounds and notational practices. His orchestral works have been commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and Heidelberg Philharmonic Orchestra. Norman has been a fellow at the American academies in Rome and Berlin, and has held residencies with the Des Moines Symphony, Young Concert Artists, and Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Future projects include commissions from the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation, Calder Quartet, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and pianist Jeremy Denk. Norman currently lives and works in Brooklyn, and his compositions are published by Schott Music.

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  • Gabriel Ebert

    Gabriel Ebert grew up in the mountains of Colorado with a glint in his eye and a skip in his step. He attended a high school for the arts in Denver and moved to New York to continue his training at The Juilliard School. During his incredible time in Group 38 of the school's Drama Division, he was awarded the Robin Williams Scholarship and the John Houseman Award for his work with classical texts. Since graduating in 2009, Ebert has worked twice on Broadway: once as an understudy in John Logan's Red, and another time as a performer in Noël Coward's Brief Encounter. He has worked off-Broadway and regionally, as well, and is looking forward to returning to Lincoln Center next month in Amy Herzog's 4000 Miles, which will be presented at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater.

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Stravinsky Histoire du soldat, "The Soldier's March"
Members of the Cleveland Orchestra
Deutsche Grammophon

At a Glance

Commissioned by Carnegie Hall and Ensemble ACJW to write a companion piece to Histoire du soldat, members of the Sleeping Giant collective compiled their individual responses to Stravinsky’s seminal work. The joint composition reveals each composer’s unique style, as well as individual interpretations and memories triggered by the piece.

A miniature theater piece intended to be “read, played, and danced,” Histoire du soldat, with its jazzy inflections and short, self-contained musical numbers, pointed the way toward Stravinsky’s streamlined neoclassical style of the 1920s and ’30s. At the same time, C. F. Ramuz’s libretto—featuring a hapless soldier who sells his soul (in the form of his violin) to the devil—harks back to the Russian folk tales that had inspired many of the composer’s earlier works. Unusually, there is no singing in the piece: The instrumental numbers provide both a musical framework and accompaniment for the spoken narration and dialogue.
Program Notes

ACJW Collaborates with Emanuel Ax
Goldman Sachs Gives 48x37
Lead Support of The Academy is provided by Goldman Sachs Gives.

Major funding for The Academy—a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education—has been provided by Susan and Edward C. Forst and Goldman Sachs Gives, The Diller–von Furstenberg Family Foundation, the Maxwell H. Gluck Foundation, The Irving Harris Foundation, The Kovner Foundation, Martha and Bob Lipp, Judith and Burton Resnick, and the Susan and Elihu Rose Foundation.

Additional support has been provided by The Arnow Family Fund, Mr. and Mrs. Nicola Bulgari, The Edwin Caplin Foundation, the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, Mrs. Nancy A. Marks, Mr. and Mrs. Lester S. Morse Jr., the Edward John Noble Foundation, The Joe Plumeri Foundation, and Suki Sandler.

Additional funding provided by Breguet, in partnership with Henry and Elizabeth Segerstrom.

The Academy is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State.

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