Regional Orchestra of the Week: The Knights Orchestra, NY!
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by BWW Features
BroadwayWorld is thrilled to announce its newest series - the Featured Symphony Orchestra of the Week!
Today's Featured Orchestra is The Knights Orchestra based in New York!
Praised for their "polished performances and imaginative programming" (New York Times), The Knights began the 2012-13 season with a return to the Ravinia Festival, where the orchestra joined classical music superstars Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, and soprano Dawn Upshaw in three concerts that concluded the prestigious festival. Other season highlights for The Knights include the release of an all-Beethoven disc for Sony Classical, and a US tour with pipa virtuoso Wu Man in February. In May, The Knights travel to Berlin to team up again with American composer Lisa Bielawa for "Tempelhof Broadcast," leading hundreds of musicians in a large-scale spatial/acoustic work to be performed on the tarmac of the former Tempelhof Airport (now Tempelhofer Park), site of the Berlin Airlift in 1948. In December 2012, Artistic Directors Colin Jacobsen and Eric Jacobsen were selected from among the nation's top visual, performing, media, and literary artists to receive a prestigious United States Artists Fellowship, which carries an unrestricTed Grant of $50,000.
??Recent season highlights include appearances at Ravinia, Central Park and the 92nd Street Y, a tour of Germany, and their first U.S. tour. The Knights also launched the Ensemble-in-Residence program at New York Public Radio's WQXR. We Are The Knights, a documentary film produced by WNET/Thirteen, made its broadcast debut in September 2011 and was rebroadcast nationwide throughout the year. In April 2012, the ensemble released A Second in Silence on Ancalagon, a "smartly programmed" (NPR) album. The Knights can also be heard on the soundtrack for Francis Ford Coppola's film Twixt.
??For their inspired programming, innovative formats and "crusading musical mission," The Knights are at the forefront of "the future of classical music in America" (Los Angeles Times). The roster of The Knights boasts an unprecedented diversity of talents. Included are 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 musicians are graduates of Juilliard, Curtis, and other leading music schools, and members have performed as soloists with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago and San Francisco symphony orchestras, as well as the Israel Philharmonic and Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart orchestra.
Equally successful as chamber and orchestral musicians, they participate in the world's most prestigious music festivals, including Marlboro, Tanglewood, Verbier, Lucerne and Salzburg, and perform with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, Toronto Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble.
??The Knights evolved from late night chamber music reading parties with friends at the home of violinist Colin Jacobsen and cellist Eric Jacobsen. These gatherings turned into public recitals and the ensemble "The Knights of the Many-Sided Table" was formed. As the number of performances increased and the group grew, the original collaborative spirit of chamber music remained. The name - now simply "The Knights" - symbolized the orchestra's quest to always search out something bold and true to the music.
The Jacobsen brothers, who are also founding members of Brooklyn Rider, serve as artistic directors of The Knights, with Eric Jacobsen as conductor. The unique camaraderie within the orchestra retains the intimacy and spontaneity of chamber music in performance.
Click here for a list of upcoming events presented by the Knights.
To learn more about The Knights Orchestra, click here.
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Info and photos courtesy of The Knights Orchestra