About Ensemble 212
Ensemble 212 (two-one-two) is making a tremendous impact in New York’s classical music scene. Founded by the dynamic conductor and musical entrepreneur Yoon Jae Lee, this collective of talented musicians is redefining the role of the 21st century chamber orchestra. Four vital programs comprise of Ensemble 212’s mission: the Composer in Residence program, the Young Artist Competition series, educational concerts devoted entirely to new music titled “New Music for Young Audiences”, and “Cultural Convergences”, a new series of performances merging interdisciplinary and multicultural art forms.
Through its Composer in Residence program, Ensemble 212 has been at the forefront of new music performing numerous New York and world premieres of major works by composers Mohammed Fairouz, Huang Ruo, Daniel Felsenfeld Ke-Chia Chen, Texu Kim & Nina C. Young. This season, Ensemble 212 will feature the music of accalaimed Korean-American composer James Ra and distinguished African-American composer Jeffrey Mumford in the 2017-18 Season. The annual Young Artist Competition series showcases outstanding young instrumentalists under the age of 18, providing them opportunities to perform as a soloist with a professional orchestra.
In 2015, Ensemble 212 launched its New Music for Young Audiences series. By presenting elements and techniques used in new music in a fun and inquisitive manner, young audiences can better appreciate and understand today’s composers. Highlights of the Cultural Convergences include collaborations with the Michael Mao Dance company combining Huang Ruo’s music and Yoon Jae Lee’s chamber version of Der Abschied from Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with modern dance. Other innovations Ensemble 212 has introduced to enhance the concert experience is the use of live program notes projected on a large screen. These real-time notes offer audiences insight into having a deeper understanding of the music.
Since its inception, Ensemble 212 has performed nearly sixty concerts featuring an eclectic mix of repertoire from the Baroque era to the 21st century in chamber music, ensemble, and orchestra concerts. Highlights from previous seasons include performances at diverse venues such as Merkin Concert Hall, Miller Theatre, New York City Center, John Zorn’s The Stone, and collaborations with clarinetist David Krakauer, Nicholas Kitchen & Yeesun Kim of the Borromeo String Quartet on Fairouz’s Double Concerto commissioned by Ensemble 212, Daniel Phillips of the Orion String Quartet, and a 2011 memorial concert titled “Remembering 9/11: Memorial, Reflection, Assurance.”
Ensemble 212 has been featured on 105.9 FM WQXR’s Q2 Music program and on BBC News Magazine. In recognition for its contribution to excellence in New York’s diverse cultural scene, the orchestra was acknowledged by 93.9 FM WNYC & WQXR’s Salute The Arts *STAR* Initiative in 2009 and 2013, and was awarded funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs last season.
Ensemble 212’s mission is to propel the careers of young professional musicians as they develop into the finest performing artists of their generation. By bringing outstanding musicians together to perform at the highest level, Ensemble 212 plays a crucial role in creating new opportunities for New York’s emerging instrumentalists, vocalists, and composers.