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Carnegie Hall Presents

Ensemble Connect

Tuesday, December 7, 2021 7:30 PM Weill Recital Hall
Virtuosity and versatility make Ensemble Connect concerts unforgettable musical events. These gifted young musicians are enthusiastic advocates for music that spans the Baroque to the present day. Ensemble Connect always shines a light on composers who deserve wider attention—like African British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, whose beautiful Nonet is featured on this program. 

Part of: Connections: Ensemble Connect and Decoda


Ensemble Connect
- Amir Farsi, Flute
- Stuart Breczinski, Oboe (Alum)
- Yasmina Spiegelberg, Clarinet
- Nanci Belmont, Bassoon (Alum)
- Cort Roberts, French Horn
- Joanne Kang, Piano
- Rubén Rengel, Violin
- Stephanie Zyzak, Violin
- Halam Kim, Viola
- Laura Andrade, Cello
- Ha Young Jung, Bass (Alum)


TRAD. "Deep River" (arr. Gabriel Chakarji; World Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)

CHERYL FRANCES-HOAD "The Forgiveness Machine"

RAMEAU Gavotte and Six Doubles (arr. Ryohei Nakagawa)

BEETHOVEN Serenade in D Major, Op. 25

COLERIDGE-TAYLOR Nonet in F Minor, Op. 2

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately 75 minutes with no intermission.

Listen to Selected Works

Ensemble Connect performs Coleridge-Taylor’s Nonet

Ensemble Connect performs the Allegro energico from Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Nonet in F Minor, Op. 2.

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.

Lead funding has been provided by Marina Kellen French and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, Max H. Gluck Foundation, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Hearst Foundations, The Kovner Foundation, Phyllis and Charles Rosenthal, The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations, Beatrice Santo Domingo, and Hope and Robert F. Smith.

Global Ambassadors: Michael ByungJu Kim and Kyung Ah Park, Hope and Robert F. Smith, and Maggie and Richard Tsai.

Additional support has been provided by the Alphadyne Foundation, Arnow Family Fund, the Mercedes T. Bass Charitable Corporation, Ronald E. Blaylock and Petra Pope, Estate of Lorraine Buch/Lorraine Buch Living Trust, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, E.H.A. Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Anthony B. Evnin and the A.E. Charitable Foundation, Barbara G. Fleischman, Clive and Anya Gillinson, Marc Haas Foundation, Stella and Robert Jones, Martha and Robert Lipp, Leslie and Tom Maheras, Andrew J. Martin-Weber, Lauren and Ezra Merkin, Beth and Joshua Nash, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Susan and Elihu Rose Foundation, Melanie and Jean E. Salata, The Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund, Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon, Joyce and George Wein Foundation, Inc., Linda Wachner, David S. Winter, and Judy Francis Zankel.

NYC Department of Education and New York State of Opportunity Council on the Arts

Public support is provided by the New York City Department of Education. 

Ensemble Connect is also supported, in part, by endowment grants from The Kovner Foundation and the Estate of Eleanor Doblin Unger.

At a Glance


Popularized by Harry T. Burleigh in his 1916 collection Jubilee Songs of the USA, this beloved spiritual has since been performed by everyone from the Fisk Jubilee Singers to Denyce Graves. It has also been arranged for chamber ensemble by a variety of composers, including Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Venezuelan pianist Gabriel Chakarji.


CHERYL FRANCES-HOAD  The Forgiveness Machine

For the past two decades, Frances-Hoad has built an extensive and varied catalogue that ranges from chamber music and art songs to large-scale operas, orchestral, and choral works. Much of her music is inspired by extramusical stimuli, which can be as prosaic as a kitchen sponge, or—in the case of the piano trio titled The Forgiveness Machine—as deeply personal as the death of a loved one.


RAMEAU  Gavotte and Six Doubles

The greatest figure in early 18th-century French music, Rameau was equally renowned as a composer and theorist. In this arrangement for woodwind quintet by bassoonist Ryohei Nakagawa, one of Rameau’s stately harpsichord gavottes is followed by six doubles, or variations, that feature each of the instruments in turn.


BEETHOVEN  Serenade in D Major, Op. 25

In the early Classical period, “serenade” generally connoted a multi-movement orchestral work. By the late 1700s, however, serenades and divertimenti for small chamber ensembles were common, filling the public’s demand for lighter works. An early review of Op. 25 suggests that the composer hit the mark: “Beethoven’s name itself recommends this very beautiful serenade, which is not hard to play and consists of seven major movements of a very agreeable romantic character.”


COLERIDGE-TAYLOR  Nonet in F Minor, Op. 2

Coleridge-Taylor is one of few Black composers of classical music whose remarkable talents were recognized in his time, earning the respect and support of such titans of British music as Charles Villiers Stanford, George Grove, and Edward Elgar. The Nonet is one of several chamber works Coleridge-Taylor wrote under Stanford’s tutelage at the Royal College in the early 1890s. Its Brahmsian flavor shows the same deep affinity for the German Romantic as many contemporaneous composers at the time. 


Ensemble Connect
Artistry. Education. Advocacy. Entrepreneurship.

Ensemble Connect 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 extraordinary young professional classical musicians residing in the US ...

Ensemble Connect 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 extraordinary young professional classical musicians residing in the US that prepares them for careers that combine musical excellence with teaching, community engagement, advocacy, entrepreneurship, and leadership. It offers top-quality performance opportunities, intensive professional development, and partnerships throughout the fellowship with New York City public schools.

Ensemble Connect fellows—chosen not only for their musicianship, but also for their leadership qualities and commitment to music education—have 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 venues. The group performs its own series at Carnegie Hall and has regularly appeared at The Juilliard School’s Paul Hall and other venues across New York City. 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 both in concert halls and informal settings around town. Committed to providing the fellows with exceptional opportunities to work with contemporary music, composers, and artists, Carnegie Hall has commissioned 30 composers on behalf of Ensemble Connect since 2007. These composers and the fellows have worked closely during the creative process to present a total of 34 world-premiere performances of works, some of which have been featured in Ensemble Connect’s Up Close concert series.

Along with performance opportunities at premier venues in New York City and beyond, Ensemble Connect fellows partner with instrumental music teachers in New York City public schools to share artistry with—and become central resources for—music classrooms in the five boroughs. Ensemble Connect fellows also take part in community work, performing at many unconventional music venues, including correctional facilities, homeless shelters, senior community centers, and organizations that serve special-needs populations. Throughout the fellowship, 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 give them the tools to shape purposeful, personally rewarding career paths that give back to their communities. Areas of emphasis include artistic excellence, on- and off-stage engagement strategies, advocacy, professional skills, and preparation for their in-school work.

Moving on to the next stage of their careers, Ensemble Connect’s 135 alums are now making an impact on the national and international musical landscape in a variety of artistic and educational arenas. Continuing the strong bonds formed through the program, in 2011 alums formed the chamber music collective Decoda, which has been named an affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall.

Exemplary performers, dedicated teachers, and passionate advocates of 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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