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The Knights & Masumi Per Rostad perform L.E.S. Characters

Tuesday, June 27 20237:30pm EDT
Tickets & More Info
Naumburg Orchestral Concerts
(212) 501-7809
Naumburg Bandshell
Terrace Dr. Near, W 72nd St
New York, NY 10019
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The Knights are honored to perform in this 100th anniversary season of the Naumburg Orchestral Concerts at Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell, which has been a New York summer home for us since 2009, fourteen season’s now. With each performance at the Bandshell, we find ourselves wishing it possible to bottle and forever preserve the energy of these concerts, held in the heart of our pulsing city, with the unique mix of planned concertgoers and curious passersby who get drawn in by the music, coming from all ages and backgrounds.

To celebrate with you, we have three premieres by three New York-based composers – Jessie Montgomery, Ljova and myself – in a program featuring music that traces back to the rich wellspring of oral traditions and folk music from different cultures. With Source Code, Jessie Montgomery brings us along on her creative journey to examine the work of prominent African-American artists of the Civil Rights era, then brings us even further back in time to the Black spiritual, the DNA of this stunningly beautiful, hypnotic work. Source Code sits next to Enescu, as arranged by Ljova, and Bartok, three composers whose own deep dives into the folk music of Romania (particularly the Transylvania region) form the root of much of their work. Today marks the world premiere of Ljova’s arrangement of Enescu’s beloved Romanian Rhapsody No. 1. Jessie’s L.E.S Characters, a viola concerto written for Masumi Per Rostad, takes the colorful and artistic atmosphere of the Lower East Side of the 80’s and 90’s, where she and Masumi grew up, as inspiration for a series of vignettes depicting some of the street performance artists and other memorable characters from their childhoods. And at the top of the concert, as a salute to the resilience of the Bandshell, I’ve written a celebratory fanfare. Here’s to another 100 years of great music to be shared with New Yorkers at the Naumburg Bandshell!




Colin Jacobsen, (b. 1978), Bethesda Bliss / Celebratory Fanfare, WORLD PREMIERE WORK, (2023)

Jessie Montgomery, (b. 1981), L.E.S. Characters, (2021), featuring Masumi Per Rostad, viola
NYC Premiere

  1. The Can Man
  2. The Poet
  3. Mosaic Man
  4. Garbage Art
  5. The Can Man (Reprise)

[Commissioned by the Grant Park Music Festival, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, CityMusic Cleveland, Interlochen Center for the Arts, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Naumburg Orchestral Concerts, in partnership with The Knights]


Béla Bartók, (1881-1945), Romanian Folk Dances, (1915-17)

Jessie Montgomery, (b. 1981), Source Code for string orchestra, (2013)

George Enescu, (1881-1955), arr. Ljova, Romanian Rhapsody no. 1 in A major, Op.11, (1901)

WQXR Host: Elliott Forrest