Gabriel Kahane & yMusic

Gabriel Kahane & yMusic

Fri, July 7, 2017, 8:00pm


Gabriel Kahane is a Brooklyn songwriter, composer, pianist, and theater artist.  Known for his intriguing collaborations with an array of artists in varied genres–including Chris Thile, Brooklyn Rider, Rob Moose, Sufjan Stevens–Kahane returns to Caramoor with the adventurous indie-classical ensemble yMusic for an eclectic program of thought-provoking music. This concert features the world premiere of Kahane’s new work, co-commissioned by Caramoor.

“Mr. Kahane fused art-song and pop-ballad conventions into something new and entrancing.” – The New York Times

Gabriel Kahane, vocalist, piano, and guitaryMusic
Rob Moose, violin
Nadia Sirota, viola
Gabriel Cabezas, cello
Hideaki Aomori, clarinets
Alex Sopp, flutes
CJ Camerieri, trumpet


To include Caramoor Commission written by Gabriel Kahane

Getting to Caramoor

Taking the train? We’ll give you a lift! Free Metro-North Katonah Shuttle beginning at 6:00pm.


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Gabriel Kahane

Gabriel Kahane, vocals, piano, guitar

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Over the last decade, Gabriel Kahane has quietly established himself as one of the leading exponents of American song, grafting a deep interest in character and narrative to a keen sense of harmony and rhythm. On the heels of his major label debut, The Ambassador, hailed by Rolling Stone as “one of the year’s very best albums”, Kahane now celebrates the release of his fifth LP, The Fiction Issue, an album comprising three chamber works performed by string quartet Brooklyn Rider, with vocal appearances by Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond, and Kahane himself.

Gabriel has collaborated with a diverse array of artists, including Sufjan Stevens, Blake Mills, and Chris Thile, frontman of Punch Brothers, for whom Kahane opened forty concerts in the US last year. In addition to a tour with Brooklyn Rider in support of The Fiction Issue, this season finds Kahane returning to Carnegie Hall for a duo recital with pianist/composer Timo Andres. In March, he makes his European debut with concerts at Kings Place in London, the Paris Philharmonie, and the Finnish National Theater in Helsinki, among others.

Gabriel Kahane has established himself as one of the leading exponents of American song, grafting a deep interest in character and narrative to a keen sense of harmony and rhythm with his latest major label debut, The Ambassador, being hailed by Rolling Stone as “one of the year’s very best albums.”

As a composer increasingly known to mine his songs for material in larger-scale works, Gabriel has been commissioned by, among others, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, with whom he toured in the spring of 2013, performing Gabriel’s Guide to the 48 States, an hour-long cycle on texts from the WPA American Guide Series. He has written three works for the 2016 New York Philharmonic Biennial, to be performed by the Interlochen Academy Orchestra, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and San Francisco Girls Chorus, and violinist Jennifer Koh.

An avid theater artist, Gabriel starred at BAM in the critically-lauded staged version of The Ambassador, directed by Tony-winner John Tiffany. That production was also presented by the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, and by Carolina Performing Arts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where Kahane has been an artist-in-residence since 2014. He is also the composer-lyricist of the musical February House, which was premiered in 2012 at the Public Theater, for whom Gabriel is currently writing a new evening-length musical theater work.

A fellow of both the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo, Gabriel lives in Brooklyn, NY.


Ben Folds & yMusic: yMusic


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Rob Moose, violin and guitar
Nadia Sirota, viola
Gabriel Cabezas, cello
Alex Sopp, flutes
Hideaki Aomori, clarinets
CJ Camerieri, trumpet and horn

Hailed by NPR’s Fred Child as “one of the groups that has really helped to shape the future of classical music,” yMusic is a group of six New York City instrumentalists flourishing in the overlap between the pop and classical worlds. Their virtuosic execution and unique configuration (string trio, flute, clarinet, and trumpet) has attracted the attention of high profile collaborators – from Ben Folds to Dirty Projectors to Jose Gonzalez – and inspired an expanding repertoire of original works by some of today’s foremost composers, including Nico Muhly and Andrew Norman.

Brooklyn-based ensemble yMusic have collaborated with the likes of Ben Folds, Dirty Projectors, The Tallest Man on Earth, Jose Gonzalez, The Staves, Bon Iver, Blake Mills, and composers Nico Muhly and Andrew Norman.

Their 2016-17 season will be their most high-profile to date, featuring yMusic’s Carnegie Hall debut, a groundbreaking new collaborative album with composer Son Lux and producer Thomas (Doveman) Bartlett, and premieres of a half-dozen newly-commissioned works, including a major new piece by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw, and MacArthur grantee Chris Thile’s first instrumental work written without his own performative element.

Other season highlights include European concert dates in collaboration with Anohni (formerly Antony & the Johnsons), the gut-wrenching, transgendered chanteuse, and the development film project in collaboration with choreographer Bill T. Jones, filmmaker Jason Harper, and composer Marcos Balter; part documentary and part concert DVD, the film will trace the events which saw Bill T. Jones coming out of retirement to dance for the first time in public in nine years.

Finally, capping off a little more than a season of touring with famed songwriter Ben Folds, yMusic and Ben are releasing a 10-inch live concert record, featuring collaboratively-written songs, favorite live improvisations, and chamber music. To date, yMusic has released two full-length solo albums, 2014’s Balance Problems and 2011’s Beautiful Mechanical, named Time Out New York’s #1 Classical Record of that year.

In addition to performing their own repertoire, yMusic serves as a ready-made collaborative unit for bands and songwriters, and have lent their distinctive sound to dozens of albums, most recently, Ben Folds’ 2015 release So There. Other recent collaborations include recording and tours with José González, The Tallest Man on Earth, Dirty Projectors, The Staves, Bon Iver, and Blake Mills.

Just about ten years ago, I first met and collaborated with the members of yMusic. Earlier that year, Rob & CJ had conceived of a new kind of ensemble whose defining characteristic might be described as “classical pedigree married to pop/vernacular music fluency.” Our first concert together, in which we premiered my song cycle For the Union Dead, on poems by Robert Lowell, happened also to be yMusic’s first public performance. Needless to say, they have gone on to do incredible things in the music world, commissioning and recording works by new music luminaries like Andrew Norman and Caroline Shaw, as well as collaborating individually and collectively with pop artists ranging from Paul Simon and Sufjan Stevens to Ben Folds and Anohni. I have learned an extraordinary amount about music from the six uniquely gifted individuals who comprise yMusic, and remain in awe of their staggering artistry.

For this concert in the beautiful Spanish Courtyard, we’ve decided to present a kind of retrospective reflecting our decade-long musical relationship, in the form of a “dealer’s choice mutual admiration society.” yMusic is selecting their favorite songs of mine, while I’m choosing my favorite yMusic repertoire. These pieces will be woven together, along with the world premiere of my new work, Bluets, written for yMusic and commissioned by Caramoor, as well an arrangement of Paul Simon’s Train in the Distance, which I wrote for Paul and yMusic. Nadia, Rob, CJ, Alex, Hideaki, Gabe C., and I hope that this will be a memorable evening in celebration of music and friendship.

– Gabriel Kahane