Performance Saturday, May 10, 2014 | 8 PM

Ensemble ACJW

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

Zankel Hall
“One of the sharpest new music conductors around” (The Times, London), Susanna Mälkki has the distinct inclination to treat classical repertoire as contemporary, breathing new life into everything she conducts with her exhilarating interpretations. The conducting phenom brings her versatility and energetic vigor to a performance with Ensemble ACJW, an outstanding group of young professional musicians who have a fresh approach to programming that is redefining what it means to be a musician in the 21st century.

The contemporary works on this program are part of My Time, My Music.


  • Ensemble ACJW
    Susanna Mälkki, Conductor
  • Topi Lehtipuu, Tenor


  • SCHOENBERG Chamber Symphony No. 1
  • GEORGE BENJAMIN Three Inventions (NY Premiere)
  • JOHN ADAMS Chamber Symphony


  • Ensemble ACJW

    Created in 2007 by Carnegie Hall's Executive and Artistic Director Clive Gillinson and The Juilliard School's President Joseph W. Polisi, Ensemble ACJW is an inspirational collective of young professional musicians who are fellows in a two-year program that supports them in building careers as top-quality performers, innovative programmers, and dedicated teachers who fully engage with the communities in which they live and work.

    Ensemble ACJW fellows-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.

    Ensemble ACJW has earned accolades from critics and audiences alike for the quality of its performances as well as its fresh and open-minded approach, performing a wide range of music-from centuries past to works written days before an event-in a variety of performance venues. The group performs its own series at Carnegie Hall and has regularly appeared at The Juilliard School's Paul Hall and other venues throughout New York City, including (Le) Poisson Rouge nightclub in Greenwich Village, Subculture in NoHo, and Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn. 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 in both concert halls and in informal settings around town.

    Along with performance opportunities at premier venues in New York City and beyond, Ensemble ACJW fellows each partner with a New York City public school to share their artistry with-and become central resources for-music classrooms in the five boroughs. Ensemble ACJW 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. Throughout the two-year program, Ensemble ACJW fellows participate in rigorous, ongoing professional development to ensure that they gain the necessary skills to be successful in all areas of the program and to become leaders in their field. Areas of emphasis include artistic excellence, engagement strategies on and off the stage, advocacy, professional skills, and preparation for their in-school work.

    Exemplary performers, dedicated teachers, and advocates for music throughout the community, the forward-looking musicians of Ensemble ACJW are redefining what it means to be a musician in the 21st century.
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    Susanna Mälkki

    A sought-after artist on the international conducting circuit, Susanna Mälkki's versatility and broad repertoire have taken her to symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras, contemporary music ensembles, and opera houses throughout the world. The 2013-2014 season marks her first season as principal guest conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra, and she was previously the music director of the Ensemble intercontemporain and artistic director of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra.

    This season, Ms. Mälkki returns to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, and Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra; as well as to the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, and Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg. She debuts with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, and at the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Future plans include concerts with The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic.

    Ms. Mälkki's recent highlights have included performances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (at the Holland Festival), Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, Berliner Philharmoniker, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra (at the BBC Proms in 2012), Los Angeles Philharmonic, and San Francisco Symphony.

    A renowned opera conductor, Ms. Mälkki made her debut at Teatro alla Scala in April 2011-the first woman to conduct there in the company's history-and returned in January 2014. In spring 2010, she conducted the world premiere of a ballet by Bruno Mantovani at Opéra national de Paris, where she will conduct Janáček's The Makropulos Case this season. Other forthcoming opera commitments include a return to Finnish National Opera, as well as debuts at the Hamburgische Staatsoper and the Metropolitan Opera.

    A former student at the Sibelius Academy, Ms. Mälkki studied with Jorma Panula and Leif Segerstam. Prior to her conducting studies, she had a successful career as a cellist; from 1995 to 1998, she was one of the principals of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in Sweden. In June 2010, she was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in London; she is also a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. In 2011, Ms. Mälkki was awarded the Pro Finlandia Medal of the Order of the Lion of Finland, one of Finland's highest honors.

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  • Topi Lehtipuu

    Born in Australia to Finnish parents, Topi Lehtipuu studied at the Sibelius Academy and made his debuts at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Vantaa Opera, and Savonlinna Opera Festival before taking residence in Paris. Artistic director of the Turku Music Festival since 2010, he has gained international reputation for his interpretation of both contemporary and early music, including the major Mozart tenor roles.

    Mr. Lehtipuu often sings under the batons of Ivor Bolton, Emmanuelle Haïm, René Jacobs, Vladimir Jurowski, Riccardo Muti, Christophe Rousset, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Jean-Christophe Spinosi. He has also been working with directors Christopher Alden, John Cox, Claus Guth, Dominique Hervieu, Nicholas Hytner, Yannis Kokkos, Christof Loy, José Montalvo, Laurent Pelly, and Peter Sellars.

    Mr. Lehtipuu has appeared all over Europe at the main venues of Berlin, Brussels, Helsinki, London, Paris, Salzburg, Madrid, Vienna, and others. Alongside several concerts and recordings, future projects include the passions of St. Matthew and St. John with the Berliner Philharmoniker with Sir Simon Rattle and Peter Sellars in New York and Lucerne, Don Giovanni at La Monnaie in Brussels, and Giovanni Paisiello's Il barbiere di Siviglia in Vienna. Recordings include the 2012 Grammy-nominated The Rake's Progress, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Così fan tutte, Gluck's Ezio, and Vivaldi's Catone in Utica and Arie per tenore, among others.

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John Adams's Chamber Symphony ("Roadrunner")
London Sinfonietta
Rhino Entertainment

At a Glance

Susanna Mälkki joins Ensemble ACJW to present an evening of contemporary chamber orchestra works that range from the iconic to the new. Arnold Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony No. 1 was a seminal work in his career. Combining dissonant harmonies with constantly varied thematic development, the work is both the pinnacle of Schoenberg's early Romantic style and the harbinger of the composer's later break with tonality. Ensemble ACJW is joined by Finnish tenor Topi Lehtipuu to take on Jukka Tiensuu's Mora, written in 2012 for solo tenor and Baroque orchestra. A harpsichordist himself, Tiensuu's Modernist musical language maintains a constant dialogue with the past. George Benjamin's Three Inventions receive their New York premiere this evening. Though these three pieces contrast in character, they are united in their use of layered, atmospheric colors and shifting counterpoint. Closing the concert is John Adams's Chamber Symphony, a virtuosic romp that draws upon two unique inspirations: the acrobatic polyphony of Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony and the frenetic activity of cartoon music.
Program Notes
The Fast Forward series of concerts is sponsored by Ernst & Young LLP.
Lead funding for Ensemble ACJW is provided by the Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund.

Major funding has been provided by The Diller–von Furstenberg Family Foundation, Susan and Edward C. Forst and Goldman Sachs Gives, the Max H. Gluck Foundation, The Irving Harris Foundation, The Kovner Foundation, and Mr. and Mrs. Lester S. Morse Jr.

Additional support has been provided by Mr. and Mrs. Nicola Bulgari, The Edwin Caplin Foundation, Leslie and Tom Maheras, Phyllis and Charles Rosenthal, and Park Hyatt hotels.

Public support is provided, in part, by the New York City Department of Education.
This performance is part of Fast Forward.

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