Artistry. Education. Advocacy. Entrepreneurship.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary during the 2016-2017 season, Ensemble Connect-formerly
known as Ensemble ACJW-was created in 2007 by Carnegie Hall's Executive and Artistic
Director Clive Gillinson and The Juilliard School's President Joseph W. Polisi. Ensemble
Connect is a two-year fellowship program for the finest young professional classical
musicians in the United States that prepares them for careers combining musical excellence
with teaching, community engagement, advocacy, entrepreneurship, and leadership. It offers
them top-quality performance opportunities, intensive professional development, and the
opportunity to partner throughout the fellowship with a New York City public school.
Ensemble Connect fellows-chosen for their musicianship, but also for their leadership
qualities and commitment to music education-come from some of the best music schools in the
country, including the Curtis Institute of Music, Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard
School, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, Peabody Institute, Stony Brook
University, University of Southern California, and Yale School of Music.
Ensemble Connect has earned accolades from critics and audiences alike for the quality of
its performances as well as its fresh and open-minded approach, performing a wide range of
music-from centuries past to works written days before an event-in a variety of performance
venues. The group performs its own series at Carnegie Hall and has regularly appeared at
The Juilliard School's Paul Hall and other venues throughout New York City, including (Le)
Poisson Rouge nightclub in Greenwich Village, Galapagos Art Space and National Sawdust in
Brooklyn, and SubCulture in NoHo. As part of a partnership with Skidmore College that began
in 2007, Ensemble Connect gives master classes for university students and performs for the
Saratoga Springs community in both concert halls and in informal settings around
Along with performance opportunities at premier venues in New York City and beyond,
Ensemble Connect fellows each partner with a New York City public school to share their
artistry with-and become central resources for-music classrooms in the five boroughs.
Ensemble Connect fellows also take part in community work through the Weill Music
Institute's Musical Connections program, in which they perform at multiple non-traditional
music venues across New York City, including healthcare settings, correctional facilities,
and senior-service organizations. Throughout the two-year program, Ensemble Connect fellows
participate in rigorous, ongoing professional development to ensure that they gain the
necessary skills to be successful in all areas of the program and to become leaders in
their field. Areas of emphasis include artistic excellence, engagement strategies on and
off the stage, advocacy, professional skills, and preparation for their in-school
Moving on to the next stage of their careers, Ensemble Connect's 101 alumni are now making
an impact on the national and international musical landscape in a wide variety of artistic
and educational arenas. Continuing the strong bonds formed through the program, in 2011 the
alumni formed the chamber music collective Decoda, which has been named an affiliate
ensemble of Carnegie Hall.
Exemplary performers, dedicated teachers, and advocates for music throughout the community,
the forward-looking musicians of Ensemble Connect are redefining what it means to be a
musician in the 21st century. Visit ensembleconnect.org to learn more.