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 as well as 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, and appeared in venues including 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” (New Yorker).
Recent highlights include a thrilling performance as part of the opening season of the new Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, where their performance was hailed as one of the venue’s best (Hamburg Abendetter). The Knights also appeared as the first American orchestra-in-residence at the Festival du Paques in Aix-en-Provence, performing multiple concerts throughout the city, including programs with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and violinist Renaud Capucon. 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 and 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 them 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, they 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 Knights co-founder Colin Jacobsen.
The Knights have made two recordings for Warner Classics: the ground beneath our feet, which showcases their first original group composition, and Azul, a celestial-themed collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma. Their discography also features Gabriel Kahane’s song cycle Crane Palimpsest, with the composer on vocals, and Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto, recorded with Gil Shaham for his Grammy-nominated album 1930s Violin Concertos, Vol. 2.
The Knights evolved out of friendly late-night chamber music sessions at the home of violinist Colin Jacobsen and cellist Eric Jacobsen. Since the orchestra’s incorporation in 2007, the brothers have served as its artistic directors, with Eric Jacobsen as conductor. The Knights’ roster boasts remarkably diverse talents, including composers, arrangers, singer-songwriters, and improvisers, who bring a range of cultural influences to the group, from jazz and klezmer to pop and indie rock music. The unique camaraderie within the group retains the intimacy and spontaneity of chamber music in performance.
The Orlando Philharmonic seeks to be the wellspring of music in Central Florida–nourishing the soul of the community with music that speaks to, and sometimes for, each person. Accordingly, the hallmark of the orchestra is versatility. It strives for artistic excellence and thrives on diversity in genre, in programming, in collaboration, in audiences, and in the musicians themselves. Each season embarks on another musical adventure, where orchestra and audiences together are challenged by grand masterworks, intrigued by imaginative opera, inspired in enthusiastic youth programs, stretched by demanding chamber works, illuminated by fresh composition, and energized by engaging pops.
2016-2017 will mark Eric Jacobsen's 2nd year as Music Director of the Orlando Philharmonic. The season will include a production of Leonard Bernstein's Candide, and performances with guest artists such as Kamancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor and world-renowned pianist Emanuel Ax.
The Greater Bridgeport Symphony process actually began in the 1930s, during the Great Depression when music pulsated from a State Street building next to City Hall, where Frank Foti conducted the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Symphony Orchestra, formed for unemployed musicians who previously played at local theatres. Currently GBS presents five subscription concerts per season, but this is only the most visible sign of their presence in the Greater Bridgeport community. An essential part of their mission is education. In the spring of 2016, GBS visited Bridge Academy and Central High School in Bridgeport, and Notre Dame High School in Fairfield. Eric Jacobsen and Concertmaster Debbie Wong performed for the students, and engaged them in conversation about the relevancy of symphonic music in their lives.
The 2016-2017 season marks Eric Jacobsen's 3rd year as Music Director of the Greater Bridgeport Symphony. Season highlights will include a celebration of what would be Leonard Bernstein's 99th birthday.
On his time with Brooklyn Rider, Eric Jacobsen comments:
“Brooklyn Rider has been one of the greatest relationships of my life. Within its parameters, I matured as a musician, colleague, and human. After 10 years and 1000 performances, I still love and look up to my brother Colin and my musical brothers Nick and Johnny. Though leaving the quartet is one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever grappled with, it’s made easier knowing that Michael Nicolas will take over. I remember being wowed by him years ago when we were freshmen together at Juilliard, and my respect for him has only grown.
I have always tried to create micro-worlds that could thrive: Brooklyn Rider is, I hope, its own fertile ecosystem of creation and joy and stylistic innovation. I know that if this standard of dedication is what I want to expend, I need to focus my gaze and commit fully to being a Music/Artistic Director and Conductor. I look forward to continuing my deep friendships and musical relationships with Nick and Johnny. And even if he does continue to steal my socks, I will always play music with my brother."