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The Knights

Brooklyn, NY            

The Knights are a Grammy-nominated collection of adventurous musicians, dedicated to transforming the orchestral experience and eliminating barriers between audiences and music. Having performed and recorded with such renowned soloists as Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, Béla Fleck, and Gil Shaham, and appeared in venues including Vienna’s Musikverein and New York’s Carnegie Hall, recent highlights include a performance as part of the opening season of the new Hamburg Elbphilharmonie and an appearance as the first American orchestra-in-residence at the Festival du Paques in Aix-en-Provence, performing multiple concerts throughout the city, including programs with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and violinist Renaud Capucon.

 In 2019, The Knights collaborated with a diverse range of contemporary composers and artists, including Vijay Iyer, Caleb Burhans, Andrea Clearfield, Angelica Negrone, Lisa Bielawa, Donnacha Dennehy, and Kinan Azmeh, to present new music and premieres to audiences throughout the nation. For their opening performances of the 2019-20 season, the orchestra joined forces with Balletcollective, to create an intersection of dance, music, and visual art, featuring world premieres of works by Paul Moravec and Judd Greenstein.

The Knights recently presented a fully-staged version of Leonard Bernsteins’s Candide in honor of his 100th birthday at both the Tanglewood Music Festival and the Ravinia Festival, and premiered The Head and the Load with international artists William Kentridge at London’s Tate Modern and New York’s Park Avenue Armory. The Knights evolved out of friendly late-night chamber music sessions at the home of violinist Colin Jacobsen and cellist Eric Jacobsen. Since the orchestra’s incorporation in 2007, the brothers have served as its artistic directors. 

The Knights are proud to be known as “one of Brooklyn’s sterling cultural products…known far beyond the borough for their relaxed virtuosity and expansive repertory” (The New Yorker). 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. Through the palatable joy and friendship in their music-making, each musician strives to include new and familiar audiences to experience this important artform.

Gabriel Kahane – Crane Palimpsest (excerpt)

Recorded live in Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood on July 19, 2016. Guitar and vocals by Gabe Kahane. Lyrics by Gabe Kahane and Hart Crane.

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Aaron J. Kernis – Remembering the Sea (excerpt)

Recorded live by The Knights at Jazz at Lincoln Center as part of the NY Phil Biennial on June 9, 2016. Featuring the San Francisco Girls Chorus, with text by Kai Hoffman-Krull.

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Igor Stravinsky – Concerto in E-Flat, “Dumbarton Oaks,” Mvt. I – Tempo giusto

Recorded live by The Knights at the Dumbarton Oaks estate on October 7-8, 2013. Produced by Jesse Lewis and released on “the ground beneath our feet,” Warner Classics, 2015.

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