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Madison Theatre at Molloy College Presents… Ittai Shapira and The Knights

The trailblazing group of young musicians, The Knights, one of the most exciting and versatile orchestras performing today, takes to the stage at the Madison Theatre at Molloy College on Friday, April 20, at 8 p.m. The concert will showcase internationally-acclaimed violinist Ittai Shapira, as well as works by two composers who have shaped the American sound in classical music, Aaron Copland and Charles Ives.

Picture of Ittai Shapira The evening will include Shapira's new composition -- commissioned by Molloy College and inspired by the Hemingway classic The Old Man and the Sea, which is celebrating its 70 anniversary. The Old Man and the Sea was published in 1952, and earned Hemingway the Pulitzer Prize in 1953; he was then awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. Shapira was struck by the unique hue of the ocean in this area, and by the unmistakable influence of Cuba, a mere 90 miles away. Both offered him an insight into the special appeal this region had for Hemingway, who wrote The Old Man and the Sea while in Cuba, and who had homes both there and in Key West.

The Knights are a fellowship of adventurous musicians who creatively engage audiences. Armed with a "talent for punctuating classics with surprises," according to The New York Times, the ensemble strives to bring a new perspective to familiar works. Based in New York City, The Knights have performed in a wide spectrum of venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Le Poisson Rouge, Central Park, Ravinia, and Dublin's National Gallery. Cellist Eric Jacobsen and violinist Colin Jacobsen, co-founders and brothers, are dedicated to imaginative programming and projects which invite audiences into a shared experience. The Knights' new album, A Second of Silence, was released on iTunes in early March with a broad release to all retailers set for April 3.

In his dual role as violinist-composer, Ittai Shapira is a rarity in the 21st century, but follows a long line of musicians who, in writing and performing their own works, have relished both forms of creativity.  As dedicatee of 14 Concertos, Shapira's 18th CD release will feature two of his own concertos on the Champs Hill Label April 1st, 2012. Having made his Carnegie Hall Debut with the Orchestra of St. Luke's in 2003, Ittai Shapira regularly performs with prestigious artists across the globe.

The Performance

The Unanswered Question (1906)

Charles Ives
1874-1954

The Old Man and the Sea
for Violin and Orchestra

(WORLD PREMIERE) (2011)

  • I. The Fisherman
  • II. The Sea
  • III. The Hero

Ittai Shapira
b. 1973

Intermission

Appalachian Spring Suite (1944)

Aaron Copland
1900-1990

Tickets for the The Knights concert event are $25 and $35 and can be purchased by phone (516-678-5000, ext. 7715) or online at madisontheatreny.org.