The Knights are an orchestral collective, flexible in size and repertory, dedicated to transforming the concert experience. Engaging listeners and defying boundaries with programs that showcase the players’ roots in the classical tradition and passion for artistic discovery, The Knights have “become one of Brooklyn’s sterling cultural products, … known far beyond the borough for their relaxed virtuosity and expansive repertory” (New Yorker).
In 2016-17, The Knights continue to build connections and revitalize orchestral music within their vibrant Brooklyn community. Having established a special partnership with the borough’s BRIC Arts and Media House last season, they return to the venue for another year-long residency, with eight concerts spread throughout the season featuring repertoire ranging from De Falla’s Master Peter’s Puppet Show to world premieres and local composer showcases. The season also brings a Warner Classics album featuring longtime collaborator and superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma; an EP release of Gabriel Kahane’s song cycle about the Brooklyn Bridge, Crane Palimpsest, with the composer himself on vocals; tours of France and Germany; a residency at the inaugural SHIFT Festival in Washington, DC; a performance with mezzo Joyce DiDonato at Sing Sing Correctional Facility; and the New York premiere of Sarah Kirkland Snider’s song cycle Unremembered, which The Knights also look forward to performing at Tennessee’s Big Ears Music Festival.
Last season, the collective launched its BRIC partnership as part of a series of New York City residencies undertaken with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. As part of that initiative, The Knights performed with Gil Shaham on a North American tour, and on the master violinist’s recording of Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto. Other recent highlights include The Knights’ debut at Carnegie Hall in the New York premiere of the Steven Stucky/Jeremy Denk opera The Classical Style; a U.S. tour with banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck; a European tour with soprano Dawn Upshaw, including the group’s debut at Vienna’s Musikverein; residencies at Dartmouth, Penn State and Washington D.C.’s Dumbarton Oaks; frequent festival appearances at Ravinia, Caramoor, and Tanglewood; and eight years of free summer performances at Central Park’s Naumburg Orchestral Concerts and Bryant Park. In recent years The Knights have collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Lise de la Salle, the Mark Morris Dance Group, Joshua Redman, Silk Road virtuoso Siamak Aghaei, and pipa virtuoso Wu Man. Recordings include 2015’s “instinctive and appealing” (The Times, UK) the ground beneath our feet on Warner Classics, featuring the ensemble’s first original group composition; an all-Beethoven disc on Sony Classical (their third project with the label); and 2012’s “smartly programmed” (NPR) A Second of Silence for Ancalagon.
The Knights evolved from late-night chamber music reading parties with friends at the home of violinist Colin Jacobsen and cellist Eric Jacobsen. The Jacobsen brothers, who also founded the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, serve as artistic directors of The Knights, with Eric Jacobsen as conductor. In December 2012, the Jacobsens were selected from among the nation’s top visual, performing, media, and literary artists to receive a prestigious United States Artists Fellowship.
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.
Northwest Sinfonietta is a vital part of the Pacific Northwest cultural scene and widely recognized for its extraordinary performances, innovative programming, and unique collaborations. Since its founding, NWS has held a unique position as the region’s only professional chamber orchestra, and is the only Washington orchestra to regularly perform in multiple cities of residence: Seattle, Tacoma, and Puyallup.
In 2012 and 2013, NWS was only the third American orchestra to tour and perform in Cuba since the 1959 revolution, prompting Governor Christine Gregoire to proclaim Northwest Sinfonietta as “Washington State’s international cultural ambassador.” In 2014, it became the fifth professional chamber orchestra in the world to adopt an innovative Artistic Partner leadership model and began transitioning from the single-music director model. The 2016-2017 season will be Eric Jacobsen's 3rd year as Artistic Partner with the Northwest Sinfonietta.
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 15 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."