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Carnegie Hall Presents

Ensemble Connect

Monday, April 11, 2022 7:30 PM Weill Recital Hall
Ensemble Connect by Fadi Kheir
The always exciting and ever-daring Ensemble Connect brings superb musicianship and passion to every performance. Each season, these young musicians interpret a vast range of music from the Baroque to new works by leading contemporary composers—including Kaija Saariaho, whose Semafor (co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall) receives its world premiere.


Ensemble Connect
- Amir Farsi, Flute
- Bixby Kennedy, Clarinet (Alum)
- Yasmina Spiegelberg, Clarinet
- Nik Hooks, Bassoon
- Cort Roberts, French Horn
- Joanne Kang, Piano
- Elizabeth Fayette, Violin (Alum)
- Stephanie Zyzak, Violin
- Halam Kim, Viola
- Madeline Fayette, Cello (Alum)
- Evan Premo, Double Bass (Alum)



R. SCHUMANN Märchenerzählungen

KAIJA SAARIAHO Semafor (World Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)

BRAHMS Trio in E-flat Major for Violin, Horn, and Piano, Op. 40

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately 90 minutes, including one 20-minute intermission.

This commission is generously underwritten by Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon in honor of Ara Guzelimian.

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, 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


Marsalis takes seriously his self-appointed role as keeper of the flame fed by the likes of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and John Coltrane. His reverence for tradition is equally apparent in his compositions, which range from works for jazz combo and orchestra to music in classical genres. Composed in 1999 for virtuoso bassoonist Milan Turković, Meeelaan is an engaging potpourri of classical, blues, jazz, and tango idioms, infused with a rhythmic drive reminiscent of Stravinsky.

R. SCHUMANN  Märchenerzählungen, Op. 132

Schumann embodied the spirit of the Romantic era in his affinity for small-scale musical forms and lyrical utterances, his reliance on literary and other extra-musical sources of inspiration, and, above all, the value he placed on emotional freedom and spontaneity. All three factors are in play in the four musical “fairy-tale narrations” that comprise his fantasy-like Märchenerzählungen for clarinet, viola, and piano.


Kaija Saariaho is known for such imaginative and evocatively titled works as the string quartet Nymphéa, the cello concerto Notes on Light, the orchestral song cycle Château de l’âme, and the opera L’amour de loin. Semafor is a reference to the late Finnish abstract artist Ernst Mether-Borgström, who created playful and colorful sculptures by that name that he thought of as traffic signs in our urban jungle.

BRAHMS  Trio in E-flat Major for Violin, Horn, and Piano, Op. 40

The Trio for Violin, Horn, and Piano is one of a string of chamber music masterpieces that Brahms brought to fruition in 1865 after varying periods of gestation. All are characterized by a carefully calibrated balance between introspection and exuberance—the combination of Schubertian lyricism and Beethovenian drama. Laid out in four movements, slow-fast-slow-fast, the E-flat–Major Trio instantly transports the listener into the realm of pastoral idyll.


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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