Ensemble Connect Musicians Embark On Second Year Of Prestigious Fellowship Program

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Ensemble Connect 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 2019-2020 season include premiere performances of new works by TJ Cole and George Lewis (commissioned by Carnegie Hall); Ensemble Connect Up Close - the second Weill Music Room concert series curated by the fellows; a new collaboration with Orli Shaham's Bach Yard; and a performance with mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato as part of Carnegie Hall's All Together: A Global Ode to Joy during the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth. The ensemble also returns to Paris for a week-long residency in May, participating in workshops, performing concerts, and giving interactive performances at local Paris schools. The season concludes with Ensemble Connect's biannual partner school festival performance at Manhattan School of Music's Neidorff-Karpati Hall in May.

This fall Ensemble Connect was invited back for a second residency at The Pocantico Center from September 23-26 in Tarrytown, NY. During the four-day residency the fellows worked with composer George Lewis who will be writing a piece for the entire ensemble, commissioned by Carnegie Hall, to be premiered at The Pocantico Center on June 2 (rain date June 3). The ensemble's first residency at The Pocantico Center in 2017 had the musicians collaborating with composer Andy Akiho on Cobalt Canvas (commissioned by Carnegie Hall), which culminated in performances at The Pocantico Center and the Rite of Summer Music Festival in June 2018, and also a music video.

Ensemble Connect presents a second season of its Ensemble Connect Up Close series in the Weill Music Room in Carnegie Hall's Resnick Education Wing this spring. Two performances, curated by the fellows, explore different approaches to presenting classical music by experimenting with concert formats, audience engagement, and multimedia to activate the performance space in exciting new ways. The first concert in early spring has the fellows explore the play between music and dance, while the second concert showcases the relationship between listening and improvisation. Each ticket for these performances comes with a voucher for a free drink. Dates for the 2020 concert series are to be announced.

In a new collaboration with pianist Orli Shaham this season, Ensemble Connect presents a series of interactive concerts as part of Orli Shaham's Bach Yard, for children in pre-Kindergarten and early elementary school. Bach Yard combines live ensemble performances with storytelling, and a host of hands-on activities that introduce children to musical concepts, instruments, and the experience of concert-going. Concerts will be held at Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center and Princeton University in spring 2020.

As part of Carnegie Hall's All Together: A Global Ode to Joy celebration of Beethoven's 250th birthday this season, Ensemble Connect works with mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato and participants from Weill Music Institute's (WMI) broad range of education and social impact programs on All Together: Songs for Joy on Sunday, April 5 at 7:00 p.m. in Zankel Hall. Music educators, teaching artists, young musicians, and students in Carnegie Hall's WMI programs will write original songs inspired by poet laureate Tracy K. Smith's reimagination of Freidrich Schiller's poem "Ode to Joy."

In addition to their performances this season, Ensemble Connect will continue their residencies at 20 New York City public schools, with each musician working alongside a partner instrumental music teacher, bringing their expert musicianship as well as a professional performer's perspective to band, keyboard, and string classrooms in all five boroughs. The two-year partnership culminates in a performance by students from each partner school at Manhattan School of Music's Neidorff-Karpati Hall in May 2020.

Ensemble Connect presents 80 interactive performances in schools this season. Fellows develop these programs to explore a music piece or concept and incorporate listening activities and audience participation. Ensemble Connect will also partner with community venues in New York City bringing 16 interactive performances to correctional facilities, senior-care centers, homeless shelters, and organizations working with special-needs populations.

Over the course of two years, Ensemble Connect fellows participate in professional development sessions aimed at ensuring they have the skills they need to succeed in all areas of the program and to shape purposeful, personally rewarding career paths that redefine the role of the 21st-century musician. Fellows meet weekly to learn from experts in the fields of performance, music education, arts management, and others to gain new skills and experiment with new approaches to music performance and education while building a strong community within the ensemble. One of the culminating projects will be for fellows to design entrepreneurship projects with the hope that those projects will come to fruition after the fellows leave Ensemble Connect. Previous entrepreneurship projects have resulted in the building of nonprofit music organizations, music festivals, and music ensembles by Ensemble Connect's almost 120 alumni.

Ensemble Connect, which is now in its 13th season, is a two-year fellowship program for extraordinary young professional classical musicians in the United States that prepares them for careers that combine musical excellence with teaching, community engagement, advocacy, entrepreneurship, and leadership. It offers top-quality performance opportunities, intensive professional development, and the opportunity to partner throughout the fellowship with a New York City public school. Ensemble Connect is currently accepting applications for the 2020 fellowship program. For more information, visit the application page here.


Ensemble Connect 2019-2020 Fellows & Partnerships

Wilden Dannenberg, horn J.H.S. 216 George J. Ryan, Queens Ari Evan, cello P.S. 52 Sheepshead Bay School, Brooklyn Christopher Goodpasture, piano P.S. 100 Glen Morris School, Queens Gergana Haralampieva, violin City College Academy of the Arts, Manhattan Sae Hashimoto, percussion Wadleigh Secondary School for The Performing & Visual Arts, Manhattan Arlen Hlusko, cello P.S. 532 New Bridges Elementary, Brooklyn Brian Hong, violin Celia Cruz Bronx High School for Music, Bronx Ha Young Jung, double bass Maspeth High School, Queens Jennifer Liu, violin P.S. 16 The Nancy DeBenedittis School, Queens Noémi Sallai, clarinet P.S. 234, Queens Caeli Smith, viola P.S.I.S. 226 Alfred de B. Mason, Brooklyn Leo Sussman, flute P.S. 200 The Benson School, Brooklyn Suliman Tekalli, violin Edward R. Murrow High School, Brooklyn Meagan Turner, viola I.S. 61 William A. Morris, Staten Island Tamara Winston, oboe P.S. 17 Henry David Thoreau, Queens Yen-Chen Wu, bassoon P.S. 21 Edward Hart, Queens

Performances: During the 2019-2020 season, Ensemble Connect performs more than 16 concerts at a number of venues, including Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall and Weill Music Room; The Juilliard School's Paul Hall; The Pocantico Center; Our Saviour's Atonement Lutheran Church in Washington Heights, the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum in the Bronx, and the Ridgewood Branch Library in Queens as part of the free Carnegie Hall Citywide concert series; Merkin Concert Hall at the Kaufman Music Center; Princeton University's Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall; and at Skidmore College's Arthur Zankel Music Center, Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall.

2019-2020 concert highlights include:

  • Tuesday, October 22 at Weill Recital Hall - The fellows of Ensemble Connect kick off their second year with a performance at Carnegie Hall, featuring Tania León's De Memorias, Jennifer Higdon's Zaka, and Brahms's Piano Quartet No. 2 in A Major, Op. 26. This program is also performed on Friday, October 18 at Arthur Zankel Music Center, Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall at Skidmore College.
  • Tuesday, November 5 at The Juilliard School's Paul Hall - The fellows of Ensemble Connect continue their second year with a concert at The Juilliard School, featuring Poulenc's Trio for Oboe, Bassoon, and Piano, Mozart's Quintet for Horn and Strings in E-flat Major, K. 407, and Amy Beach's Piano Quintet in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 67. The program will also be performed in a free concert on Sunday, November 10 at Our Saviour's Atonement Lutheran Church as part of Carnegie Hall Citywide.
  • Tuesday, December 3 at Weill Recital Hall - Ensemble Connect gives its second Carnegie Hall concert of the season with a program that includes Shulamit Ran's Bach Shards and Lyre of Orpheus, J.S. Bach's Contrapunctus X from The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080, and Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time.
  • Tuesday, January 7 at The Juilliard School's Paul Hall - Ensemble Connect gives a concert at The Juilliard School that includes Mozart's Trio for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano in E-flat Major, K. 498, "Kegelstatt", Martinů's Quartet for Clarinet, Horn, Cello, and Side/Snare Drum, H. 139, and Britten's String Quartet No. 2 in C Major, Op. 36.
  • Monday, February 17 at Weill Recital Hall - Ensemble Connect performs the New York premiere of a new work by TJ Cole - commissioned by Carnegie Hall - along with Mozart's Piano Trio in G Major, K. 496 and Franck's Piano Quartet in F Minor. This program is also performed on Friday, February 14 at Arthur Zankel Music Center, Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall at Skidmore College.
  • Saturday, March 14 at Princeton University - Ensemble Connect collaborates with pianist Orli Shaham for Orli Shaham's Bach Yard: Welcome the Winds at Princeton University's Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall.
  • Monday, April 6 at Weill Recital Hall - Ensemble Connect performs a program that includes Jörg Widmann's Oktett and Schubert's Octet in F Major, D. 803. Jörg Widmann is Carnegie Hall's Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair during the 2019-2020 season.
  • Sunday, April 26 at Merkin Hall - Ensemble Connect collaborates with pianist Orli Shaham for Orli Shaham's Bach Yard: Spring Strings at the Kaufman Music Center.
  • June 2 at The Pocantico Center - Ensemble Connect premieres a new work by George Lewis, commissioned by Carnegie Hall and composed for the entire ensemble. (Rain date June 3)


Residencies & Special Projects

The Pocantico Center: From September 23-26, the 16 fellows of Ensemble Connect held a residency at The Pocantico Center - a venue located 20 miles north of Manhattan in Tarrytown, NY, 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 this residency, the fellows collaborated with composer George Lewis on activities leading towards the creation of a new work commissioned by Carnegie Hall to be performed by all the fellows of Ensemble Connect at The Pocantico Center on June 2 (rain date: June 3). The fellows also took part in community building activities as well as work on group projects for the year.

Skidmore College: For the 13th consecutive year, Ensemble Connect returns to Saratoga Springs, New York for two five-day residencies at Skidmore College, October 15-19 and February 11-15. During these residencies, the fellows engage with Skidmore College students - as well as the broader Saratoga Springs community - offering master classes, lessons, class demonstrations, and interactive performances, culminating in a performance in Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall. During the first residency in October composer Tania Leon will join the Ensemble, working with the Ensemble Connect musicians on her piece De Memorias and visiting a Skidmore College composition class. Composer TJ Cole will attend the second residency in February working on her new piece to be premiered by Ensemble Connect.

All Together: A Global Ode to Joy: Ensemble Connect works with mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato and participants from Weill Music Institute's (WMI) broad range of education and social impact programs on All Together: Songs for Joy on Sunday, April 5 at 7:00 p.m. in Zankel Hall as part of Carnegie Hall's All Together: A Global Ode to Joy. Music educators, teaching artists, young musicians, and students in Carnegie Hall's WMI programs will write original songs inspired by poet laureate Tracy K. Smith's reimagination of Friedrich Schiller's poem "Ode to Joy." A selection of songs will be workshopped and arranged for Ms. DiDonato, Ensemble Connect, and a lineup of guest singers for the final showcase in April. In a rare opportunity for major musical institutions from around the world to unite in a single project, All Together: A Global Ode to Joy calls for nine acclaimed orchestras on five continents to give a performance reimagining Beethoven's Ninth Symphony as a 21st century call for unity, justice, and empowerment. Click here to find out more about All Together: A Global Ode to Joy.

Paris Residency: Ensemble Connect returns to Paris, France for a week-long residency from May 9-14 made possible in cooperation with The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations. The residency includes workshops, concerts and interactive performances with local schools. For more information about the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations, please visit edrfoundations.org.


Alumni Activities
Throughout the 13 years since Ensemble Connect was established, Carnegie Hall has maintained close relationships with the program's alumni. As the reputation of this group has grown, demand for work by the almost 120 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. Carnegie Hall presented Decoda for the first time in concert for two performances in Weill Recital Hall during the 2018-2019 season, and will again feature the ensemble in two concerts in 2019-2020. In addition, alumni are at the forefront of initiatives that use their art form to impact a variety of audiences around the world; examples include Notes with a Purpose in Las Vegas, Musicambia in New York, New Docta International Music Festival in Argentina, Scrag Mountain Music in Vermont, and Reveler in California. Many alumni also hold faculty and guest artist teaching positions at US universities and colleges. To find out more about the impact of Ensemble Connect worldwide and to learn about alumni projects, follow this link.


Ensemble Connect
Ensemble Connect is made up of extraordinary professional classical musicians residing in the US who take 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 top-quality performance opportunities, intensive professional development, and partnerships throughout the fellowship with New York City public schools.

On the concert stage and in schools and communities, Ensemble Connect has earned accolades from critics and audiences alike for the quality of the concerts, the fresh and open-minded approach to programming, and the ability to actively engage any audience.

Exemplary performers, dedicated teachers, and passionate advocates of 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 www.ensembleconnect.org.
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Ensemble Connect is a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education.

Lead funding has been provided by Marina Kellen French and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, Max H. Gluck Foundation, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Irving Harris Foundation, Hearst Foundations, The Kovner Foundation, Phyllis and Charles Rosenthal, The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations, Beatrice Santo Domingo, and Hope and Robert F. Smith.

Global Ambassadors: Hope and Robert F. Smith, and Maggie and Richard Tsai.

Additional support has been provided by the Arnow Family Fund, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, E.H.A. Foundation, Barbara G. Fleischman, Leslie and Tom Maheras, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, 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 support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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

Tickets 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.

Ensemble Connect concerts at Juilliard's Paul Hall are 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.

Ticket Information for Kaufman Music Center's Merkin Concert Hall
Tickets: $25 per person or $40 for a two-concert subscription, available online at www.kaufmanmusiccenter.org, by calling 212-501-3330, or by visiting the Merkin Concert Hall box office located at 129 West 67th Street.

Ticket Information for Princeton University's Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall
Tickets: $5 kids and students, $10 adults, available online at www.princetonuniversityconcerts.org or by calling 609-258-2800.



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