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Colin Jacobsen and Eric Jacobsen, Artistic Directors,
Eric Jacobsen, conductor :
Henry Purcell, (1659-95), Fantasia Upon One Note, (1680)
John Adams, (1947-), Common Tones in Simple Time, (1979)
Judd Greenstein, (1979-), New Work for Flute and Orchestra, (World Premiere co-commissioned by Naumburg & The Knights)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, (1756-1791), Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550, (1788)
I. Molto allegro
III. Menuetto. Allegretto – Trio
IV. Finale. Allegro assai
**The performance of The Knights has been made possible by a generous grant from the MacDonald Peterson Foundation.**
WQXR HOST: Terrance McKnight
The Knights are a collective of adventurous musicians, dedicated to transforming the orchestral experience and eliminating barriers between audiences and music. Driven by an open-minded spirit of camaraderie and exploration, they inspire listeners with vibrant programs that encompass their roots in the classical tradition and passion for artistic discovery. The orchestra has toured and recorded with renowned soloists including Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, Béla Fleck, and Gil Shaham, and have performed at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, and the Vienna Musikverein.
Growing from a series of informal chamber music parties in friends’ living rooms, The Knights are led by Artistic Directors and brothers, Colin and Eric Jacobsen. The Knights are committed to creating unusual and adventurous partnerships across disciplines; they perform in traditional concert halls as well as parks, plazas, and bars, all in an effort to reach listeners of all backgrounds and invite them into their music-making. Since incorporating in 2007, the orchestra has toured consistently across the United States and Europe.
In 2015, The Knights launched a partnership with BRIC with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. As part of that initiative, The Knights performed with master violinist Gil Shaham on a North American tour, and on Shaham’s Grammy-nominated recording of Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto. This partnership has been continued, as The Knights’ launch their first Brooklyn Home Season in 2016-17, in residence at BRIC. Each residency includes evening performances, family concerts, and engagement programs for local audiences, families, and public school students. The residencies allow The Knights to incubate their artistry and explorations at home, expanding connections within communities through music, before representing the best of Brooklyn around the globe. October saw the orchestra’s Opening Weekend, with a musical program featuring Master Peter’s Puppet Show, a multimedia concert with visual artist Kevork Mourad. December’s concerts celebrated a Brooklyn Schubertiade, showcasing local artists in an intimate salon evening of art, poetry, and music, where Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon read the world premiere of a new poem, set to music by The Knights. February’s program highlights the world premiere of a new work by Andy Akiho, winner of the 2015 Rome Prize; and April showcases mainstays of classical canon alongside new Brooklyn composers, including works by Haydn, Mozart, and Gabriel Kahane.
In addition, Spring 2017 will see the release of The Knights’ new album featuring Yo-Yo Ma on works by Osvaldo Golijov, Dvorak, and Sufjan Stevens. In March, the orchestra will debut at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where the orchestra will help launch the inaugural SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras, co-presented by Washington Performing Arts and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Directly following the Kennedy Center appearance, The Knights travel to Europe for a residency in Aix-en- Provence, France, and performances throughout Germany including a concert at Hamburg’s brand-new.
Eric Jacobsen, Artistic Director
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. Jacobsen is the founder and Artistic Director The Knights and a founding member of the genre-defying string quartet Brooklyn Rider. As conductor of The Knights, Jacobsen has led the “consistently inventive, infectiously engaged indie ensemble” (New York Times) at New York venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to Central Park, and at renowned international halls such as the Vienna Musikverein and Cologne Philharmonie. In the 2015-16 season, Jacobsen celebrates his inaugural season as Music Director of the Orlando Philharmonic and his second season as both Music Director of the Greater Bridgeport Symphony and Artistic Partner with the Northwest Sinfonietta. Also in demand as a guest conductor, Jacobsen has recently led the Camerata Bern, the Detroit Symphony, the Alabama Symphony, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, Deutsche Philharmonie Merck, and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble.
Colin Jacobsen, Artistic Director
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 Yo-Yo Ma’s venerated Silk Road Project and an Avery Fisher Career Grant-winning violinist. Jacobsen’s work as a composer developed as a natural outgrowth of his chamber and orchestral collaborations. Jointly inspired by encounters with leading exponents of non-western traditions and by his own classical heritage, his most recent compositions for Brooklyn Rider include “Three Miniatures” – “vivacious, deftly drawn sketches” (New York Times) – which were written for the reopening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Islamic art galleries. Jacobsen collaborated with Iran’s Siamak Aghaei to write a Persian folk-inflected composition, “Ascending Bird,” which he performed as 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.See Also: We Are The Knights – a Channel 13 Special on them.