Press Room

21C Artists to Watch news: Edwin Outwater and The Knights

Conductor Edwin Outwater couples the music of leading contemporary composer Nico Muhly with orchestral repertory mainstays when he guest conducts the symphony orchestras of Alabama and Phoenix this May. Meanwhile dynamic New York orchestra The Knights helps premiere a grand-scale new spatial symphony from Lisa Bielawa at Berlin’s former Tempelhof Airport in May, before returning to New York to resume its unofficial residency at the Naumburg Orchestral Concerts in Central Park, and to perform Bach cantatas with the Clarion Music Society at Brooklyn’s Bargemusic.
Edwin Outwater leads Alabama and Phoenix Symphonies in Nico Muhly and more
Edwin Outwater’s flair for pairing repertory staples with cutting-edge new music is a regular feature of his tenure at the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, where he is now in his sixth season as music director. This May it will also enhance his guest conducting engagements with the symphony orchestras of Alabama and Phoenix. Both upcoming programs showcase the music of Nico Muhly, “the ebullient star of New York’s young-composer scene” (New Yorker). With the Alabama Symphony on May 10 and 11, Outwater juxtaposes Muhly’s From Here On Out (2007) with two gems of the Classical era: Haydn’s “Military” Symphony and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20, in which Naumburg Competition-winner Anton Nel will be the soloist. Next, on May 16, Outwater leads the Phoenix Symphony in Muhly’s Wish You Were Here (2007), followed by Prokofiev’s heroic Fifth Symphony and Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto with pianist William Wolfram.
Outwater presented the two Muhly works on his 2011 album, From Here On Out, recorded with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony on the Analekta label. As Pitchfork reported, “Muhly has a marvelously attuned ear for color, and both From Here On Out and Wish You Were Here, which riffs on the textures and sounds of a gamelan ensemble, shimmer and murmur with a thousand shades.” NPR applauded Outwater’s achievement in “guid[ing] dexterous performances by musicians who play the music like they own it,” and WQXR described the results as “purely spontaneous, leaving the listener on the edge of their seat waiting for each next note with bated breath.”
For more information, visit
The Knights premiere Bielawa’s epic Tempelhof Broadcast in Berlin, and more
Members of adventurous young orchestra The Knights will play a leading part in the world premiere of Tempelhof Broadcast (2013), a monumental 60-minute work, that will take place on the tarmac of Berlin’s historic Tempelhof Airport (May 10–12). In the hands of American composer Lisa Bielawa, winner of the 2009 Rome Prize, the former airfields will serve as vast musical canvases on which The Knights – supported by two German ensembles (Work in Progress Berlin and Ensemble Mosaik) and a host of other professional, amateur, and student musicians – will execute her spatialized symphony. As the New York Times concluded two years ago, when reviewing The Knights’ premier performance of Templehof Étude, the first chapter of Bielawa’s new work, this “prospect is promising.”
The Knights’ preview of Bielawa’s vast new work took place at a Naumburg Orchestral Concert in New York’s Central Park; as the New York Times remarked at the time, it was “heartening to see a young, energetic group like the Knights become, in effect, the resident orchestra for the free summer concerts.” Once again the orchestra will anchor the series under Eric Jacobsen’s direction, launching the 2013 season with a program of Boccherini, Mozart, Philip Glass, and Stockhausen (in an arrangement by recent Pulitzer Prize recipient Caroline Shaw) on June 25. Then the ensemble returns to the Naumberg Bandshell on July 30 to give the first performance of its own group composition, Chaconne, and to perform works by J.S. and C.P.E. Bach, Stravinsky, and Britten, with Knights soloists Michael P. Atkinson, Johnny Gandelsman, and Adam Hollander alongside Nicholas Phan, whose voice has been described as “a lyric instrument of exceptional quality” (Opera News).
Also at home in New York, members of the orchestra look forward to teaming up for the first time with the Clarion Music Society, the period ensemble the New Yorker calls “legendary.” They will join forces to present Bach’s transcendent cantatas BWV 12 and 70, alongside Arvo Pärt’s Magnificat and selections from György Kurtág’s Jelek, játékok és üzenetek at Brooklyn’s atmospheric Bargemusic on June 15 and 16.
In another of its numerous and diverse collaborations, The Knights recently joined Wu Man, today’s leading exponent of the Chinese pipa, at New York’s Asia Society. According to a glowing review in the New York Times, their performance was “a refreshing reminder of how much music gains when it is performed by friends who delight as much in their art as in one another’s company,” and “Eric Jacobsen’s direction created a meticulously balanced sound.
For more information, visit
Edwin Outwater and The Knights: upcoming engagements
May 5: Edwin Outwater
Victoria, BC 
Uvic Centre Farquhar Auditorium 
Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 3
Mozart: Horn Concerto No. 2
Handel: Water Music selections 
Schubert: Symphony No. 3 
Victoria Symphony Orchestra 

May 10 & 11: Edwin Outwater
Birmingham, AL 
Jemison Concert Hall
Nico Muhly: From Here on Out
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466
Alabama Symphony Orchestra

May 10-12: The Knights
Berlin, Germany 
Tempelhofer Park 
Tempelhof Broadcast  
Haydn: Symphony No. 100
with Lise Bielawa, Composer
May 15: The Knights
New York, NY
City Winery
Annual Benefit 
Works by Mozart, Glass, and Jacobsen
May 16, 18 & 19: Edwin Outwater
Phoenix, AZ 
Phoenix Symphony Hall
Nico Muhly: Wish You Were Here
Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 2
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5
Phoenix Symphony Orchestra

May 31; Jun 1: Edwin Outwater
Kitchener, ON 
Centre in The Square
Vivier (arr. S. Good): Pulau Duwata
Beethoven : Piano Concerto No. 2
Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony
June 15 & 16: The Knights
Brooklyn, NY
Bach: Cantata BWV 12
Part: Magnificat
Kurtag: Selections from Signs, Games and Messages
Bach: Cantata BWV 185

June 25: The Knights
New York, NY 
Naumburg Bandshell, Central Park
Boccherini: Symphony in D Minor, “House of the Devil”
Glass (arr. The Knights): Suite from Orphée (Premiere)
Karlheinz Stockhausen: Tierkreis
Mozart: Symphony No. 41 in C Major K. 551, “Jupiter”
© 21C Media Group, April 2013


Return to Press Room