Ensemble Connect Embarks on Second Year of Two-Year Fellowship Program

Ensemble Connect Embarks on Second Year of Two-Year Fellowship ProgramEnsemble Connect, comprised of some of the finest young professional classical musicians in the United States, continues its two-year fellowship program this season with concerts at Carnegie Hall and The Juilliard School, as well as residencies and performances at The Pocantico Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund; Skidmore College; and in schools and community venues throughout New York City. Highlights of the Ensemble's 2017-2018 season include the premiere performances of bright and fair, a new work by Gabriel Kahane, commissioned by Carnegie Hall for its 125 Commissions Project, featuring Mr. Kahane as guest vocalist in Weill Recital Hall on February 19. This fall, Ensemble Connect travels to The Pocantico Center in Tarrytown, New York to collaborate with composer Andy Akiho on a new work, also commissioned by Carnegie Hall, to premiere in 2018.

Ensemble Connect, which celebrated its 10th anniversary during the 2016-2017 season, is an inspirational collective of young musicians created in 2007 by Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. The program prepares the exceptionally talented young musicians for careers that combine musical excellence with teaching, community engagement, advocacy, leadership, and entrepreneurship. It offers them top-quality performance opportunities, year-long partnerships with New York City public schools, and rigorous professional development.

As performers on the concert stage and in their work in schools and communities, musicians of Ensemble Connect have earned accolades from critics and audiences alike for the quality of their concerts, their fresh and open-minded approach to programming, and their ability to actively engage any audience. Exemplary performers, dedicated teachers, and advocates for music throughout the community, these forward-looking musicians are redefining what it means to be a musician in the 21st century.

In addition to their performances this season, current members and alumni of Ensemble Connect will continue their residencies at 20 New York City public schools this fall, with each musician working alongside a partner music teacher, all bringing their expert musicianship as well as a professional performer's perspective to band, keyboard, and string programs in music classrooms in all five city boroughs. Each member of Ensemble Connect will develop and play in interactive ensemble concerts, bringing high-quality performances to their school audience as well to their fellow colleagues' schools. The two-year partnership culminates in a performance by students from each partner school at The Juilliard School in May.

Over the past 10 years, Carnegie Hall has maintained close relationships with the program's 101 alumni. As the reputation of Ensemble Connect has grown, demand for work by its alumni has developed as well. In 2011, Decoda - an ensemble exclusively made up of Ensemble Connect alumni - was formed and later named an affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall. Additionally, alumni perform with current fellows in Ensemble Connect, lead professional development sessions, serve as advisors for current fellows, and perform as part of the Weill Music Institute's Musical Connections program to bring live music to people living in challenging circumstances throughout New York City. Ensemble Connect's alumni currently participate in more than 100 performing ensembles in the US and around the world, including the New York Philharmonic, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Orchestra of St. Luke's, St. Lawrence String Quartet, The Knights, Canadian Brass, Ensemble intercontemporain, International Contemporary Ensemble, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and more. Alumni have gone on to perform, teach, and engage with communities in 53 countries around the world. To find out more about the impact of Ensemble Connect worldwide and to learn about alumni projects, follow this link.

Ensemble Connect 2016-2018 Fellows & Partnerships

ReBecca Anderson, violin
Oliver Barrett, trombone
Lizzie Burns, bass
Lee Dionne, piano
Madeline Fayette, cello
Rosie Gallagher, flute
Andrew Gonzalez, viola
Brandon Ilaw, percussion
Bixby Kennedy, clarinet
Yoonah Kim, clarinet
Nicolee Kuester, horn
Mari Lee, violin
Adelya Nartadjieva, violin
Brian Olson, trumpet
Maren Rothfritz, viola
Mika Sasaki, piano
Rémy Taghavi, bassoon
JuLia Yang, cello Brooklyn High School of the Arts
George J. Ryan Middle School
Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music
P.S. 107
Maspeth High School
Grover Cleveland High School
PS 226 Alfred De B. Mason
Port Richmond High School
MS 224 Manhattan East School for Arts and Academics
MS 167 Robert F. Wagner
High School for Public Service: Heroes of Tomorrow
PS Q016 The Nancy DeBenedittis School
Fort Hamilton High School
Rachel Carson IS 237 Magnet School for the Arts
City College Academy of the Arts
IS 025 Adrien Block
PS 63 Old South
Edward R. Murrow High School
Ensemble Connect, 2017-2018 Concert Season

Performances: During the 2017-2018 season, Ensemble Connect will perform more than 10 concerts at a number of venues, including Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall; The Juilliard School's Paul Hall; The Pocantico Center; Our Saviour's Atonement Lutheran Church in Washington Heights as part of Carnegie Hall's free Neighborhood Concert Series; and at Skidmore College's Arthur Zankel Music Center, Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall.

2017-2018 season highlights include:

  • Tuesday, November 14 at The Juilliard School's Paul Hall - Ensemble Connect continues its second season with a free concert at The Juilliard School, featuring Brahms's Trio in E-flat Major for Violin, Horn, and Piano, Op. 40, and Dvo?ák's String Quintet in G Major, Op. 77. The program, in addition to Stephen Hartke's The Horse with the Lavender Eye, will also be performed on Sunday, November 12 at Our Saviour's Atonement Lutheran Church.
  • Thursday, January 4 at The Juilliard School's Paul Hall - Ensemble Connect performs a free program at The Juilliard School that includes Ligeti's Ten Pieces for Wind Quintet (1968), R. Strauss's Metamorphosen: A Study for 23 Strings (arr. Rudolf Leopold), and Beethoven's Piano Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 70, No. 2.
  • Monday, February 19 at Weill Recital Hall - Ensemble Connect gives the New York premiere of Gabriel Kahane's bright and fair - commissioned by Carnegie Hall for its 125 Commissions Project - and featuring Mr. Kahane as guest vocalist. The program also includes Mozart's Trio for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano in E-flat Major, K. 498, "Kegelstatt" and Schubert's Piano Quintet in A Major, D. 667, "Trout." This program is also performed on Friday, February 16 at Arthur Zankel Music Center, Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall at Skidmore College.
  • Thursday, April 19 at Weill Recital Hall - Ensemble Connect performs a program that includes Mozart's Divertimento in E-flat Major, K. 563 and Schoenberg's Pierrot lunaire, Op. 21, featuring soprano Mellissa Hughes as guest vocalist.

2016-2017 Residencies & Special Projects

The Pocantico Center: From September 25-28, the eighteen fellows of Ensemble Connect will hold a residency at The Pocantico Center - a venue located 20 miles north of Manhattan in Tarrytown, New York, managed by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund as part of its agreement with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, serving as a community resource offering public access through a visitation program, lectures, and cultural events, as well as support to artists and arts organizations in the greater New York City area. During their residency, the fellows will collaborate with composer Andy Akiho on a new work commissioned by Carnegie Hall to be performed as a run through by Ensemble Connect at The Pocantico Center in early June 2018 and premiered in New York City later the same month. The fellows will also meet with coaches to collaborate on the design of Interactive Performances to be presented in Ensemble Connect's partner schools this season.

Skidmore College: For the 11th consecutive season, Ensemble Connect returns to Saratoga Springs, New York for two five-day residencies at Skidmore College, October 17-21 and February 13-17. While on campus, the fellows will work with music department faculty and students, offering master classes, lessons, and class demonstrations. The fellows will also play side by side with the students of the Skidmore College Orchestra and read student composers' new works. Ensemble Connect will perform in the Arthur Zankel Music Center, presenting concerts that include a world premiere of a Carnegie Hall-commissioned piece by Gabriel Kahane in February. In addition, the fellows offer collaborative demonstrations and informal performances beyond the music department in classes and the library, as well as in schools and other community venues in Saratoga Springs.

Musical Connections: Ensemble Connect will continue to work with diverse audiences, engaging in community-based musical work in non-traditional venues across New York City through Musical Connections-a program of Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute. Through this program, the fellows will bring live music to people in challenging circumstances at correctional facilities, healthcare settings, and senior-service organizations throughout New York City.

Alumni Activities
Carnegie Hall maintains close relationships with the program's 101 alumni. As the reputation of Ensemble Connect has grown, demand for work by its alumni has developed as well. In 2011, Decoda-an ensemble exclusively made up of Ensemble Connect alumni-was formed. The group was subsequently named as an affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall. Program alums have also co-founded music ensembles, festivals, and non-profit organizations such as Third Coast Percussion, Genghis Barbie, New Docta International Music Festival, Scrag Mountain Music, Notes with a Purpose, and Musicambia. They are members of world-renowned orchestras and ensembles, such as the New York Philharmonic, St. Lawrence String Quartet, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Orchestra of St. Luke's, The Knights, and Canadian Brass. Many alumni also hold faculty and guest artist teaching positions at US universities and colleges.

Additionally, alumni perform with current fellows in Ensemble Connect, lead professional development sessions, serve as advisors for current fellows, and perform as part of the Weill Music Institute's Family Day and Musical Connections programs.

Ensemble Connect
Having celebrated its 10th anniversary during the 2016-2017 season, Ensemble Connect-formerly known as Ensemble ACJW-is made up of some of the finest young professional classical musicians in the United States who are taking part in a two-year fellowship program created in 2007 by Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. The program prepares fellows for careers that combine musical excellence with teaching, community engagement, advocacy, entrepreneurship, and leadership by offering them top-quality performance opportunities, intensive professional development, and the opportunity to partner throughout the fellowship with a New York City public school. As performers on the concert stage and in their work in schools and communities, musicians of Ensemble Connect have earned accolades from critics and audiences alike for the quality of their concerts, their fresh and open-minded approach to programming, and their ability to actively engage any audience. Exemplary performers, dedicated teachers, and advocates for music throughout the community, the forward-looking musicians of Ensemble Connect are redefining what it means to be a musician in the 21st century. To discover more about the program, visit ensembleconnect.org.
****** A program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education.

Major funding has been provided by The Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation, Susan and Edward C. Forst and Goldman Sachs Gives, the Max H. Gluck Foundation, the Irving Harris Foundation, The Kovner Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Lester S. Morse Jr., Phyllis and Charles Rosenthal, The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations, The Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund, and Ernst & Young LLP.

Additional support has been provided by Nicola and Beatrice Bulgari, Barbara G. Fleischman, Leslie and Tom Maheras, Susan and Elihu Rose Foundation, Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon, and Trust for Mutual Understanding.

Public support is provided by the New York City Department of Education, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Ensemble Connect is also supported, in part, by an endowment grant from The Kovner Foundation.

Lead support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Additional funding is provided by members of Carnegie Hall's Composer Club.

Ticket Information for Carnegie Hall
Tickets, priced at $25 and $35, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.

For more information on discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts.

Ticket Information for The Juilliard School's Paul Hall
Ensemble Connect concerts at Juilliard's Paul Hall are free and available online only at events.juilliard.edu.

Ticket Information for Skidmore College's Arthur Zankel Music Center
Tickets: $8 adults, $5 seniors, Free for students and children
For more information, please visit skidmore.edu/zankel or call the college's Department of Music at 518-580-5320.



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