Press Room

WQXR presents The Knights’ second residency, April 3 & 4

After successfully presenting The Knights as its inaugural ensemble-in-residence last fall, WQXR – the nation’s most-listened-to classical music station – is inviting them back for a second residency on April 3 and 4. This time, the heart of the residency is an exciting interactive experience with listeners.
On Wednesday, April 4, The Knights will perform a concert that will include John Adams’s Christian Zeal and Activity, using sounds submitted by listeners. Christian Zeal and Activity, the hymn-like central movement of Adams’s longer work American Standard (1973), instructs its conductor to incorporate within it “sonic found objects.” Fittingly, the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer’s own recording of the work featured a segment of a call-in radio show.
Beginning today, WQXR and The Knights invite listeners – whether educated composers, young garage band buffs, or amateurs – to submit audio samples to their Found Sound Project competition on Indaba Music, the online music creation site, by March 16. Additionally, Indaba will invite its community of more than 650,000 musicians to participate. The Knights selection panel – which includes WQXR Vice President Graham Parker and Knights musicians – will select one winning entry for inclusion in the work’s April 4 performance. If possible, an interview with the winner will accompany the concert broadcast. Further information can be found at
The concert on April 4 will be performed at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WQXR, the station’s intimate and acoustically superior live event space, and will be broadcast live on 105.9 FM and
“We are delighted to welcome The Knights back to WQXR, and are particularly thrilled that they’ve chosen to anchor their imaginative crowd-sourcing contest in the WQXR residency,” said Graham Parker, Vice President of WQXR. “This interactive, collaborative approach to performing John Adams’s Christian Zeal and Activity perfectly matches WQXR’s commitment to partnering and presenting classical music in distinct and innovative ways.”
The program also presents repertoire from The Knights’ US tour (which takes the orchestra to nine cities throughout the South, Midwest, and Northeast from April 5-20) and their new album (The Knights: A Second of Silence, scheduled for release on April 3): Copland’s classic Pulitzer Prize-winning ballet suite, Appalachian Spring (1944); selections from Peruvian composer Gabriela Lena Frank’s Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout, arranged for string orchestra (2003); and Debussy’s orchestral arrangement of Satie’s Gymnopédie (1897).
In addition to the live performance, the WQXR residency will offer ensemble members the chance to “storm the castle” to introduce, on air, their own favorite works and recordings.  The group will also be rehearsing in the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space on April 3 and 4 prior to their concert there. The Knights will post video updates to WQXR’s web site both before and after the residency period, and will also feature an “episode” page with an article about the ensemble-in-residence, along with videos and music.
About WQXR
WQXR 105.9 FM is New York City’s only all-classical music station, immersing listeners in the city’s rich musical life. WQXR presents new and landmark classical recordings – as well as live concerts – from the Metropolitan Opera; the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; and the New York Philharmonic, among other city venues. WQXR broadcasts essential shows such as the Metropolitan Opera Radio Saturday Matinee Broadcasts; the New York Philharmonic This Week on Thursday evenings; the McGraw-Hill Young Artists Showcase on Wednesday evenings; and Symphony Hall each weeknight. For listeners in search of the new, WQXR also operates Q2 Music: an online music station dedicated to contemporary classical composers, cross-genre adventures, and performances from New York City’s edgier venues. provides essential playlist info for online listening, as well as original content, host blogs, NYC culture news, videos, and a free App.
About The Knights
The Knights are a New York-based orchestra founded by two brothers: cellist-conductor Eric and violinist-composer Colin Jacobsen. While they were music students in the late 1990s, Eric and Colin began regular informal chamber music readings at their home, inviting friends with a shared enthusiasm for the discovery and performance of new and historical music. These gatherings turned into public recitals, and the ensemble “The Knights of the Many-Sided Table” was formed. As the number of performances increased and the group grew, the original collaborative spirit of chamber music remained. The name – now simply “The Knights” – has symbolized the orchestra’s quest: always searching out something bold and true to the music.
Members of The Knights are composers, arrangers, singer-songwriters, and improvisers who bring a range of cultural influences to the group – from new music and early-music performance practice to jazz and klezmer, to pop and indie-rock. The orchestra has collaborated with such artists as sopranos Dawn Upshaw and Susan Narucki; violinist Gil Shaham; singer-songwriter (and Knights violinist) Christina Courtin; Iranian new virtuoso Siamak Jahangiri; fiddler Mark O’Connor; and Syrian clarinetist/composer Kinan Azmeh. The Knights have served as the resident chamber orchestra of the MATA Festival for young composers, premiering music by Christopher Tignor and Yotam Haber. The group has also worked closely with composers Lisa Bielawa, Ljova, and Osvaldo Golijov. The Knights have recorded two albums for Sony Classical: New Worlds (Ives, Copland, Dvořák, Golijov, and Gabriela Lena Frank) and Experience: Live from New York with cellist Jan Vogler (Shostakovich, Hendrix, and Ljova). The group also partnered with violinist Lara St. John for an album of the Mozart violin concertos for Ancalagon Records.
About Indaba Music
Indaba Music pioneered the online music collaboration space, enabling anyone with internet access to connect with musicians from around the world to create, edit, and mix studio-quality music online. Indaba Music then expanded to provide musicians with opportunities from iTunes distribution and other sales tools to remix contests, original song contests, and commercial music licensing. Indaba Music’s community has over 650,000 members from 205 countries and territories.
For further information, please contact:
Jennifer Houlihan, WNYC/WQXR: [email protected], (646) 829-4497
Glenn Petry, 21C Media Group: [email protected], (212) 625-2038

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