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The Knights’ Summer Season Includes Two Free Outdoor NYC Concerts and Festival Gigs with Dawn Upshaw and Yo-Yo Ma

The boundary-defying orchestral collective The Knights are about to embark on an imaginative summer season that includes two free concerts in New York City parks, visits to leading festivals Ravinia, Tanglewood and Caramoor, and collaborations with Dawn Upshaw and Yo-Yo Ma. They begin their summer presenting a typically eclectic and inviting program of folk-inspired music by Schubert, Dvorák, Ligeti, Pärt and Zhou Long in Central Park (June 23). Marking the Knights’ eighth season participating in the Naumburg Orchestral Concerts series, the summer evening features solo violinists Tessa Lark and The Knights’ own Ariana Kim. On July 5 the group brings a similar program to the Ravinia Festival, along with Berio’s Folk Songs sung by soprano Dawn Upshaw. Later in the month (July 28), The Knights return to NYC to stage another free concert, this time in Bryant Park, in a program themed to Cervantes’s Don Quixote and the Iberian Peninsula, with offerings by de Nebra, de Falla, Geminiani and Gluck. They then take this repertoire to Tanglewood on July 30, with special visuals created by artist Kevork Mourad for de Falla’s Master Peter’s Puppet Show. The Knights round off their season at the idyllic Caramoor Fall Festival (September 27) in Katonah, NY, with superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma. They will perform a colorful program of Sollima, Mendelssohn’s youthful “Italian” Symphony, and Golijov’s Azul, written for Ma in 2006 and described as “fabulous” by the Los Angeles Times. They will play the program twice, offering families the chance to hear it at 1pm before the main concert at 4pm.

Artistic Director Eric Jacobsen looks forward to the summer: “It is so great to continue these musical relationships with our dear friends. Dawn joined The Knights on our recent tour of Germany and Austria, performing Berio’s Folk Songs, and we’re thrilled to bring these works to our home away from home, Ravinia. It will be equally thrilling to share the stage with Yo-Yo Ma at the end of the summer. Yo-Yo has been one of my greatest musical influences and to be able to perform a work written for him by his dear friend Osvaldo Golijov in Caramoor’s beautiful and inspiring surroundings is a dream come true.”

Video: The Knights perform Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune at Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell:

The Knights have just finished a sensational European tour of Germany and Austria with Dawn Upshaw, which included their debut at Vienna’s Musikverein, one of the world’s most famous concert halls. After their first performance at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Badische Neueste Nachrichten praised them for their “new, dazzling ideas … thoughtful programming and compelling music-making.” The group has been chosen as one of the orchestras participating in the inaugural Shift: A Festival of American Orchestras in 2017, presented by Kennedy Center and Washington Performing Arts, alongside ensembles such as the Boulder Philharmonic, North Carolina Symphony and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The performance, which will mark the Knights’ Kennedy Center debut, features new compositions by Lisa Bielawa and Aaron Jay Kernis, a collective composition entitled “…the ground beneath our feet, and works by Brahms and Vivaldi. In addition to the concert, The Knights will participate in the festival’s outreach efforts, working with young musicians and playing in unconventional venues.

High-res potos can be downloaded here.



The Knights’ summer engagements:


June 23
Naumburg Orchestral Concerts
Naumburg Bandshell, Central Park, 7:30pm
New York, NY
With Tessa Lark and Ariana Kim, violins
Schubert: German Dances
Pärt: Tabula Rasa
Ligeti: Concert Romanesc
Zhou Long: Chinese Folk Songs
Dvorák: Czech Suite, op.39, B.93

July 5
Ravinia Festival
Highland Park, IL
With Dawn Upshaw, soprano
Dvorák: Czech Suite
Berio: Folk Songs
Schubert: German Dances
Zhou Long: Chinese Folk Songs
Ligeti: Concert Romanesc

July 28
Bryant Park, 9pm
New York, NY
De Nebra (arr. Moreno): “Seguidillas de Orestes y Dircea”
Gluck: “Danse des spectres et des furies” from Don Juan
Gluck: Fandango
Boccherini: La Musica Notturna delle strade di Madrid
The Knights: Love Sonnet to Pablo Neruda
Geminiani: Concerto Grosso No. 12 in D Minor, “La Folia”
DeFalla (arr. Atkinson): Ritual Fire Dance from El Amor Brujo
Paco De Lucia (arr. C. Jacobsen): Zyryab

July 30
Tanglewood Music Festival
Lenox, MA
Program to include:
de Falla: Master Peter’s Puppet Show (visuals by Kevork Mourad)
Selections by de Falla, Boccherini and Geminiani

Sept 27
Caramoor Fall Festival
Katonah, NY
With Yo-Yo Ma, cello
Family concert; pre-concert talk; full orchestra concert
Sollima: Federico II
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4, op.90 in A, “Italian”
Golijov: Azul

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© 21C Media Group, June 2015

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