The Knights

portrait of the knights taken by shervin lainez
Photo credit: Shervin Lainez

Nolan Park

1:00PM & 3:00PM

Saturday, Jun 19, 2021


Rite of Summer does not require tickets or reservations. Social distancing and face masks are required for this performance.


Antonio Vivaldi: Il Gardellino, Flute Concerto in D (10′) – flute, strings

Heitor Villa-Lobos: Song of the Black Swan (3′) – harp, vocals

Joaquin Rodrigo, arr. Bridget Kibbey and The Knights: De los álamos vengo, madre (3′) – full ensemble

João Gilberto arr. C. Jacobsen: Undiu (4′) – flute/voice, clarinet, harp, strings

Jessie Montgomery: Source Code (8′) – strings

Maurice Ravel: Introduction and Allegro (10′) – full ensemble

Paco De Lucía arr. C. Jacobsen: Zyryab (7′) – flute, clarinet, harp, strings

Lili Boulanger: Nocturne (3′) – flute, harp

Tommy Potts arr. C. Jacobsen: The Butterfly (6′) – full ensemble

American Traditional arr. Jacobsen: Little Birdie (3′) – flute/vocals, clarinet, harp, strings


Colin Jacobsen, violin and Knights Artistic Director
Alex Fortes, violin
Celia Hatton, viola
Jane Cords O’Hara, cello
Alex Sopp, flute and vocals
Nuno Antunes, clarinet
Bridget Kibbey, harp
Additional Musicians from The Knights TBA

On Wings of Song

Members of New York-based orchestra The Knights share music that takes flight, written for flute, clarinet, strings and harp. In the past year, the twin pandemics of coronavirus and systemic racism have forced us to confront some of nature and humanity’s destructive power, but it has also been an opportunity to slow down and notice natural beauty in many different forms, particularly in the guise of birds and other winged creatures. They are often found hovering right outside our windows and certainly in the open air setting on Governors Island! Music across cultures has often been inspired by either literal birdsong or the spiritual experience of uplift through sound and birds often symbolically represent guides to freedom. The Knights’ Rite of Summer program features songs and dances from a diverse group of composers and musical genres, much of which either directly or indirectly takes its cue from birds, butterflies and other natural emblems of flight and the yearning for freedom.

the knights logo

About The Knights

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 performed at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, 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, who serve as the group’s artistic directors.

The Knights are proud to be known as “one of Brooklyn’s sterling cultural products…known far beyond the borough for their relaxed virtuosity and expansive repertory” (The New Yorker). Their roster boasts musicians of remarkably diverse talents, including composers, arrangers, singer-songwriters, and improvisers, who bring a range of cultural influences to the group, from jazz and klezmer to pop and indie rock music. The unique camaraderie within the group retains the intimacy and spontaneity of chamber music in performance. Through the palatable joy and friendship in their music-making, each musician strives to include new and familiar audiences to experience this important art form.

Counted among the highlights from recent seasons are: a fully-staged version of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide in honor of his 100th birthday at both the Tanglewood Music Festival and the Ravinia Festival; the premiere of The Head and the Load with international artist William Kentridge at London’s Tate Modern and New York’s Park Avenue Armory; the recording of Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto on master violinist Gil Shaham’s Grammy-nominated 2016 release, 1930s Violin Concertos, Vol. 2; and a performance in the NY PHIL BIENNIAL along with the San Francisco Girls Chorus (led by composer Lisa Bielawa) and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, which featured world premieres by Rome Prize-winner Bielawa, Pulitzer Prize-winner Aaron Jay Kernis, and Knights violinist and co-founder Colin Jacobsen. The ensemble made its Carnegie Hall debut in the New York premiere of the Steven Stucky/Jeremy Denk opera The Classical Style, and has toured the U.S. with banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck and Europe with soprano Dawn Upshaw. Other recordings include the critically acclaimed Azul, released in 2016; 2015’s “instinctive and appealing” (The Times, UK) the ground beneath our feet on Warner Classics; an all-Beethoven disc on Sony Classical; and 2012’s “smartly programmed” (NPR) A Second of Silence for Ancalagon.

colin jacobsen with a violin
Photo credit: Erin Baiano

About Colin Jacobsen

Violinist and composer COLIN JACOBSEN is “one of the most interesting figures on the classical music scene” (The Washington Post). An eclectic composer who draws on a range of influences, he was named one of the top 100 composers under 40 by NPR listeners. He is also active as an Avery Fisher Career Grant-winning soloist and has toured with the Silk Road Ensemble since its inception in 2000. For his work as a founding member of two game-changing, audience-expanding ensembles – the string quartet Brooklyn Rider and orchestra The Knights – Jacobsen was selected from among the nation’s top visual, performing, media, and literary artists to receive a prestigious and substantial United States Artists Fellowship.  As a featured soloist and composer with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, he performed at the Sydney Opera House in a memorable concert streamed by millions of viewers worldwide. His compositions and arrangements for dance and theater include The Principles of Uncertainty, a collaboration between writer/illustrator Maira Kalman and Dance Heginbotham; and More Or Less I Am, a theatrical production of Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself by Compagnia de’ Colombari.

About Bridget Kibbey

bridget kibbey portrait with harp
Photo Credit: Ronald Smith

Called the “Yo-Yo Ma of the harp,” by Vogue Senior Editor Corey Seymour, BRIDGET KIBBEY is in demand for her innovative, virtuosic performances that expand the expressive range of the harp. Collaborating with some of today’s top artists, she crosses genres to emphasize the harp’s role through centuries and cultures of music. The New York Times has remarked that “…she made it seem as though her instrument had been waiting all its life to explode with the gorgeous colors and energetic figures she was getting from it.” Kibbey has received a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and a Salon de Virtuosi SONY Recording Grant. She is the winner of the Premiere Prix at the Journées de les Harpes Competition in Arles, France, the Concert Artists Guild competition, and the Juilliard School’s Peter Mennin Prize for Artistic Excellence and Leadership. She is a graduate of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two), and is featured annually with the CMSLC. With the harp as her muse, Bridget Kibbey is sought after for her keen curatorial ideas through music. She currently tours several projects of her own conception ranging from French Masterworks of the Belle Époque, to the riches of baroque counterpoint, to popular and familiar folk music from South America to Sephardia which resulted from some of history’s greatest cross-cultural pollination stories. She has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in festivals across the globe, including Schloss Elmau, Pelotas Festival, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, International Festival d’Avesnois, Aspen Music Festival, Bravo! Vail Music Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Spoleto Festival, Big Ears Knoxville, Chamber Music Northwest, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Bay Chamber Concerts, Savannah Music Festival, and Music@Menlo, among others.

Note: In the event of poor weather conditions, all concerts will be re-scheduled for the following day, Sunday at 1 and 3PM. Please check our website for this updated information. 


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