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Ensemble Connect

Monday, February 19, 2018 7:30 PM Weill Recital Hall
Ensemble Connect by Jennifer Taylor
Called “one of the strongest ensembles in the city” (New York Classical Review), the talented young musicians who make up Ensemble Connect are fellows in a two-year program that prepares them for careers as innovative performers, dedicated teachers, and advocates for music in the 21st century. Schubert’s melodic and ebullient “Trout” Quintet anchors this evening of great chamber music, along with a new work by Gabriel Kahane.


Ensemble Connect
·· Bixby Kennedy, Clarinet
·· Brian Olson, Trumpet
·· Daniel Schwalbach, Trombone
·· Brandon Ilaw, Percussion
·· Mika Sasaki, Piano and Celesta
·· Anna Elashvili, Violin
·· Mari Lee, Violin
·· Maren Rothfritz, Viola
·· Madeline Fayette, Cello
·· Doug Balliett, Double Bass
Gabriel Kahane, Vocals and Piano


MOZART Trio for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano in E-flat Major, K. 498, "Kegelstatt"

GABRIEL KAHANE Bright and Fair (NY Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)

SCHUBERT Piano Quintet in A Major, D. 667, "Trout"

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
Carnegie Hall's 125 Commissions Project

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 Nicola and Beatrice Bulgari, Barbara G. Fleischman, 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.

Lead support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Additional funding is provided by members of Carnegie Hall's Composer Club.

At a Glance

WOLFGANG AMADEAUS MOZART  Trio for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano in E-flat Major, K. 498, “Kegelstatt”

Whether or not Mozart actually wrote this sweet-tempered piano trio between turns at bowling ninepins (hence the German nickname Kegelstatt), the fresh, frolicking character of the music conveys an irresistible spirit of playfulness. His decision to open the work with a slow movement was as unconventional as its instrumentation for clarinet, viola, and piano.  



Bright & Fair is an orchestration of four songs from Gabriel Kahane’s his evening-length work 8980: Book of Travelers for solo piano and voice. Kahane drew his inspiration from his interactions with strangers on a 13-day, 8,980-mile train trip he took immediately following the 2016 US presidential election.


FRANZ SCHUBERT  Piano Quintet in A Major, D. 667, “Trout”

The “Trout” was one of Schubert’s most popular songs in his day, as it is in ours, so it’s not surprising that he “borrowed” its cheerful tune for the masterly set of variations that graces his great A-Major Piano Quintet. The other four movements are equally inspired, from the opening Allegro vivace to the dancelike Finale—both of which also feature material derived from Schubert’s unpretentious song.


Ensemble Connect
Artistry. Education. Advocacy. Entrepreneurship.

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 ...

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 that combine 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.

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