Saturday, Aug 17, 2024

LW Presents The Knights w/ Kinan Azmeh


The Knights return to Fisher's Island with a program featuring Kinan Azmeh, the Syrian-born clarinetist and composer. Described as the "intensely soulful virtuoso" by the NY Times, Azmeh's music lives at the intersection of jazz, contemporary classical, and Middle Eastern-infected rhythms and modes. Musicians from The Knights will be performing Azmeh's Concertino Grosso, which derives inspiration from the Baroque Concerto Grosso form for violin, clarinet, guitar, percussion, and strings, alongside his hit tune Wedding. The group will also perform Azmeh's Dear Ocean, written for himself, and The Knights' harp and bass dynamic duo of Megan and Shawn Conley. Dear Ocean was commissioned by Ocean Music Action, an organization founded by Megan Conley, which draws attention to ocean sustainability issues through music and art.

The musicians will also workshop and share an insider's view into Undone Landscape, a new piece of electro-acoustic music by guitarist/composer Kyle Sanna. Saint-Saens' poetic Fantasie for violin and harp will anchor the program in the classical tradition. The musicians will also bring a Family Concert experience to the Island, introducing audiences of all ages to their musical instruments and music in an inclusive, fun, and informative atmosphere.

The program will feature the following works:
Kinan Azmeh: Dear Ocean for clarinet, harp, and bass
Kinan Azmeh: Concertino Grosso
Kyle Sanna: Undone Landscape
Kinan Azmeh: "Wedding" from Suite for Improviser and Orchestra

The ensemble for this project includes ten musicians: three violins, viola, cello, bass, harp, percussion, guitar, and solo clarinet.



The Knights are a collective of adventurous musicians dedicated to transforming the orchestral experience and eliminating barriers between audiences and music. Driven by an open-minded spirit of camaraderie and exploration, they inspire listeners with vibrant programs that encompass their roots in the classical tradition and passion for artistic discovery. The orchestra has toured and recorded with renowned soloists including Yo Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, Béla Fleck, and Gil Shaham, and has appeared across the world’s most prestigious stages, including those at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, Ravinia, The Kennedy Center, and the Vienna Musikverein.

The Knights evolved from late night chamber music reading parties with friends at the home of violinist Colin Jacobsen and cellist Eric Jacobsen. The Jacobsen brothers, who are also founding members of the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, serve as artistic directors of The Knights, with Eric Jacobsen as conductor. Since incorporating in 2007, the orchestra has toured consistently across the United States and Europe. The Knights seek to share music with a broad general public regardless of background, and the group designs programs to appeal to both loyal followers and new listeners alike. The Knights perform in traditional concert halls as well as in parks, plazas, and bars, and create unusual and adventurous partnerships across disciplines. Counted among recent highlights are fully staged performances of Bernstein's Candide at both Tanglewood and Ravinia; the release of a recording of the Brahms and Beethoven Violin Concertos with Gil Shaham; and a full 2021 summer season in a reawakened New York City, with performances at Central Parks’ Naumburg Bandshell, Bryant Park, Governors Island, and Green-Wood Cemetery. The orchestra seeks out and prioritizes collaborative partnerships with artists often underrepresented in classical music. Recent seasons have included performances with Brooklyn based Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra, with African musicians as part of William Kentridge’s The Head and the Load, and with a diverse group of contemporary composers and performers including Vijay Iyer, Kinan Azmeh, Angélica Negrón, and Jessie Montgomery, among others.