Part of: Chamber Sessions III
Colin Jacobsen and Eric Jacobsen, Artistic Directors
Kinan Azmeh, Clarinet
CAROLINE SHAW Entr'acte
DONNACHA DENNEHY Canons and Overtones (US Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
KINAN AZMEH Concertino Grosso (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
VIVALDI Sinfonia in B Minor, RV 169, "Al Santo Sepolcro"
THOMAS ADÈS Chamber Symphony, Op. 2
KINAN AZMEH “Wedding” from Suite for Improvisor and Orchestra
MICHAEL P. ATKINSON Ligeti Split (after György Ligeti's Hungarian Rock)
HAGGART / BAUDUC “The Big Noise from Winnetka” (arr. Shawn Conley)
Support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by members of Carnegie Hall’s Composer Club.
As The Washington Post observes, violinist and composer Colin Jacobsen is “one of the most interesting figures on the classical music scene.” A founding member of two game-changing, audience-expanding ensembles—the string quartet Brooklyn Rider and orchestra The Knights—he is also a touring member of Silkroad, founded by Yo-Yo Ma, and an Avery Fisher Career Grant–winning violinist. His work as a composer developed as a natural outgrowth of his chamber and orchestral collaborations. Jointly inspired by encounters with leading exponents of musical traditions from around the world as well as by his own classical training, his most recent compositions for Brooklyn Rider include Three Miniatures—“vivacious, deftly drawn sketches” (The New York Times)—which were written for the reopening of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Islamic art galleries. He collaborated with Iran’s Siamak Aghaei to write a Persian folk music–inspired composition, Ascending Bird, that he performed as a soloist with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House in a concert that was streamed live by millions of viewers worldwide. His work for dance and theater includes Chalk and Soot, a collaboration with Dance Heginbotham, and music for Compagnia de’ Colombari’s theatrical production of Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself.
Hailed by The New York Times as “an interpretive dynamo,” conductor and cellist Eric Jacobsen has built a reputation for engaging audiences with innovative and collaborative projects. He is the founder and artistic director of The Knights, and a former member of the genre-defying string quartet Brooklyn Rider. As conductor of The Knights, he has led the “consistently inventive, infectiously engaged indie ensemble” (The New York Times) at New York venues that range from Carnegie Hall to Central Park, and at renowned international halls such as the Vienna’s Musikverein, Cologne’s Philharmonie, and Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie.
The Knights are a Grammy-nominated collection of adventurous musicians, dedicated to transforming the orchestral experience and eliminating barriers between audiences and music. Drawing on their classical roots and passion for artistic discovery, The Knights bring a spirit of curiosity and camaraderie to create adventurous programs, and innovative collaborations that take them into parks, plazas, and bars in addition to the world’s greatest concert halls. Having performed and recorded with such renowned soloists as Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, Béla Fleck, and Gil Shaham, in addition to appearances in venues that include Vienna’s Musikverein and New York’s Carnegie Hall, The Knights are proud to be “one of Brooklyn’s sterling cultural products … known far beyond the borough for their relaxed virtuosity and expansive repertory” (The New Yorker).
Recent highlights include a thrilling performance as part of the opening season of Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie. The Knights also appeared as the first American orchestra in residence at the Festival de Pâques in Aix-en-Provence, performing multiple concerts throughout the city, including programs with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and violinist Renaud Capuçon. In addition, The Knights recently presented a fully-staged version of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide as part of his 100th birthday celebration at the Tanglewood Music Festival in Massachusetts, and premiered The Head & The Load with international artist William Kentridge at London’s Tate Modern and New York’s Park Avenue Armory.
The Knights’ commitment to new music is unsurpassed. The past few seasons have seen the ensemble give world premiere performances of works by Kinan Azmeh and Judd Greenstein, the East Coast premiere of Vijay Iyer’s violin concerto Trouble, and the New York premiere of Sarah Kirkland Snider’s song cycle Unremembered, besides previewing excerpts from Chimera, a drag opera by Angélica Negrón. At the 2016 NY Phil Biennial, The Knights joined the San Francisco Girls Chorus and Brooklyn Youth Chorus for a program of world premieres by Rome Prize winner Lisa Bielawa, Pulitzer Prize winner Aaron Jay Kernis, and The Knights’s co-founder Colin Jacobsen.