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The New York Rock Ensemble

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Biography

The band was formed by three Juilliard students (Michael Kamen, Marty Fulterman —-now known as Mark Snow—- and Dorian Rudnytsky) as well as two rock musicians, Brian Corrigan and Clif Nivison. The New York Rock & Roll Ensemble was a rock band of the late 1960s and early 1970s described as playing “classical baroque rock”.

Group member Dorian Rudnytsky indicated that while students at Juilliard Kamen and Fulterman played in a rock band named “Emil & The Detectives” while he played in a rock band named Invicta with Corrigan and Nivison, all of whom hail from Toms River, New Jersey. A mutual friend and record producer suggested that all five drop their current bands and form a new band. After the new group’s first “gig” at a Juilliard Halloween dance in 1967, they were signed by Atlantic Records where the late Ahmet Ertegün was quoted by one of the members as having said in jest, “You play all the right notes on all the wrong instruments.”

Their debut in discography was in 1968 with a self-named album. The New York Rock & Roll Ensemble broke the tradition by using classical music instruments in rock songs and rock instruments in classical pieces. This fusion, daring at the time, impressed legendary conductor Leonard Bernstein so much that he invited the group to appear at one of his Young People’s Concerts with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra where they performed their signature song “Brandenburg” which was based on the first movement of Bach’s Fifth Brandenburg Concerto.

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