Perspectives: Sir Simon Rattle
Ensemble Connect is a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education.
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, Mr. and Mrs. Lester S. Morse Jr., Phyllis and Charles Rosenthal, The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations, The Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund, and Ernst & Young LLP.
Additional support has been provided by Mr. and Mrs. Nicola Bulgari, Leslie and Tom Maheras, Susan and Elihu Rose Foundation, Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon, and Trust for Mutual Understanding.
Public support is provided by the New York City Department of Education, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Ensemble Connect is also supported, in part, by an endowment grant from The Kovner Foundation.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary during the 2016-2017 season, Ensemble Connect--formerly
known as Ensemble ACJW--was created in 2007 by Carnegie Hall's Executive and Artistic
Director Clive Gillinson and The Juilliard School's President Joseph W. Polisi. Ensemble
Connect is a two-year fellowship program for the finest young professional classical
musicians in the United States that prepares them for careers combining musical excellence
with teaching, community engagement, advocacy, entrepreneurship, and leadership. It offers
them top-quality performance opportunities, intensive professional development, and the
opportunity to partner throughout the fellowship with a New York City public school.
Ensemble Connect fellows--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, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, Peabody Institute, Stony Brook University, University of Southern California, and Yale School of Music.
Ensemble Connect 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, Galapagos Art Space and National Sawdust in Brooklyn, and SubCulture in NoHo. As part of a partnership with Skidmore College that began in 2007, Ensemble Connect 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 Connect 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 Connect 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 Connect 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.
Moving on to the next stage of their careers, Ensemble Connect's 101 alumni are now making an impact on the national and international musical landscape in a wide variety of artistic and educational arenas. Continuing the strong bonds formed through the program, in 2011 the alumni formed the chamber music collective Decoda, which has been named an affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall.
Exemplary performers, dedicated teachers, and advocates for music throughout the community, the forward-looking musicians of Ensemble Connect are redefining what it means to be a musician in the 21st century. Visit ensembleconnect.org to learn more.
Sir Simon Rattle was born in Liverpool, England, and studied at the Royal Academy of
Music. From 1980 to 1998, he was principal conductor and artistic adviser of the City of
Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and was appointed music director in 1990. In 2002, he took up
his current position of artistic director and chief conductor of the Berliner
Philharmoniker, where he will remain until 2018. He will become music director of the
London Symphony Orchestra commencing with the 2017-2018 season.
Mr. Rattle made more than 70 recordings for the EMI record label, among others, and has received numerous international awards. His most recent releases (Beethoven and Sibelius symphonies, Bach passions, and Schumann symphonies) have been for Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings, the orchestra's new in-house label that was established in early 2014.
As well as fulfilling a taxing concert schedule in Berlin, Mr. Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker regularly tour throughout Europe, North America, and Asia. The partnership has also broken new ground with the education program Zukunft@BPhil, earning the Comenius Prize (2004), Schiller Special Prize from the city of Mannheim (2005), Golden Camera (2007), and Urania Medal (2007). He and the Berliner Philharmoniker were also appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors in the same year-the first time this honor has been conferred on an artistic ensemble.
In 2013, Mr. Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker took up residency at the Baden-Baden Easter Festival, performing Die Zauberflöte, among other works. He also conducted Wagner's complete Ring cycle with the Berliner Philharmoniker for the Aix-en-Provence Festival and Salzburg Easter Festival, and most recently at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Vienna State Opera. Other recent productions include Pelléas et Mélisande and Dialogues des Carmélites for the Royal Opera House; L'étoile, Aus einem Totenhaus, and Káťa Kabanová for the Berlin State Opera; and Pelléas et Mélisande at the Metropolitan Opera.
Mr. Rattle has longstanding relationships with leading orchestras in London, Europe, and the United States. In the US, he initially worked closely with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and more recently began working with The Philadelphia Orchestra. He regularly conducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, with which he has recorded the complete Beethoven symphonies and piano concertos (with Alfred Brendel), and is also a principal artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and founding patron of the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.
Simon Rattle was knighted in 1994, and in the New Year's Honours of 2014, he received the Order of Merit from Her Majesty the Queen.
Mark Padmore was born in London and grew up in Canterbury. After beginning his musical
studies on the clarinet, he was awarded a choral scholarship to King's College, Cambridge,
and graduated with an honors degree in music. He has established an international career,
most notably through his appearances in Bach Passions--especially his acclaimed
performances as the Evangelist in both the St. Matthew and St. John
Passions with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle, staged by Peter
In the opera house, Mr. Padmore has worked with directors Peter Brook, Katie Mitchell, Mark Morris, and Deborah Warner. Recent work includes the leading roles in Harrison Birtwistle's The Corridor and The Cure at the Aldeburgh Festival and Linbury Studio Theatre, Covent Garden; Handel's Jephtha for the Welsh and English national operas; Captain Vere in Britten's Billy Budd; and the Evangelist in a staging of the St. Matthew Passion for Glyndebourne Festival Opera.
In concert, Mr. Padmore has performed with the world's leading orchestras, including the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Mr. Padmore has given recitals worldwide, performing the three Schubert song cycles in London, Liverpool, Paris, Tokyo, Vienna, and New York City, as well as at the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg. His recital partners have included Jonathan Biss, Imogen Cooper, Julius Drake, Till Fellner, Simon Lepper, Roger Vignoles, and Andrew West. Composers who have written for Mr. Padmore include Sally Beamish, Harrison Birtwistle, Jonathan Dove, Thomas Larcher, Nico Muhly, Alec Roth, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Huw Watkins, Ryan Wigglesworth, and Hans Zender.
Mr. Padmore's extensive discography includes Beethoven's Missa solemnis and Haydn's Die Schöpfung with Bernard Haitink and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra on BR-Klassik; and lieder by Beethoven, Haydn, and Mozart with Kristian Bezuidenhout for Harmonia Mundi. Other Harmonia Mundi recordings include As Steals the Morn, a collection of Handel arias with The English Concert (BBC Music Magazine Vocal Award); and Schubert cycles with Paul Lewis (Winterreise, Gramophone Vocal Award).
Mr. Padmore was voted 2016 Vocalist of the Year by Musical America and was awarded an honorary doctorate by University of Kent in 2014. He is artistic director of the St. Endellion Summer Music Festival in Cornwall.