April 17, 2014

Warner Classics signs cutting-edge New York orchestra The Knights

The Brooklyn-based collective's label debut, 'the ground beneath our feet', to be released early 2015.

Warner Classics is proud to announce the signing of Brooklyn-based orchestra The Knights in an exclusive recording contract, with their label debut, the ground beneath our feet, to be released early 2015.

Flexible in size and repertory, this young collective is the most intrepid ensemble to emerge from New York in recent years, playing Bach and Haydn with the same energy and razor-sharp attention to detail they summon in exciting new music composed for the group.

A cursory glance at their 2014-15 schedule confirms just how versatile The Knights are: a Carnegie Hall debut in the New York premiere of Jeremy Denk and Steven Stucky’s opera The Classical Style; curation of the Caramoor Fall Festival as well as three concerts with saxophonist Joshua Redman and violinist Gil Shaham; shows with Bryce Dessner from Brooklyn rock band The National; East Coast US performances with banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck followed by a European tour with soprano Dawn Upshaw. Other recent projects include the orchestra’s first appearance at Tanglewood and collaborations with two of the greatest musicians of our time, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Itzhak Perlman.

Founded by two brothers, composer-violinist Colin Jacobsen and conductor-cellist Eric Jacobsen (who also form half of the genre-defying string quartet Brooklyn Rider), The Knights evolved from late-night chamber music reading parties among friends into a professional ensemble on a mission to “surprise audiences by constantly seeking new approaches to music-making”, “to play old music like it was written yesterday and inhabit new music in a way that’s familiar and natural.”

It’s this camaraderie and spirit of shared adventure that led The New York Times to ask: “Is there another orchestra that seems to be having as much fun when it plays as The Knights do?”

The orchestra’s Warner Classics debut was recorded live at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C., the namesake of Stravinsky's masterwork, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of that chamber concerto. It’s the first stop on a journey through the concerto grosso genre from Bach to Steve Reich, along with the premiere recording of the Concerto for Santur, Violin and Orchestra by Silk Road Ensemble’s Siamak Aghaei  and  The Knights’ own Colin Jacobsen, both of whom feature as soloists. In a rare feat, the orchestra has also collectively composed the album’s title track, …the ground beneath our feet, rounding off a truly inspired programme.

The Knights’ Warner Classics debut album the ground beneath our feet will be released on 26th January 2015 (US) and 27th April 2015 internationally.