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Musical World

Brooklyn Rider

  • String Quartet


Brooklyn Rider: Johnny Gandelsman, violin; Colin Jacobsen, violin; Nicholas Cords, viola; Eric Jacobsen, cello. The genre defying string quartet Brooklyn Rider deftly employs creative programming and exciting collaborations to illuminate music in fresh ways and invite their audiences into a shared experience. Uniquely capable of addressing a wide and inclusive range of music, they are as willing to explore the world of Haydn and Debussy as they are in the music of our time.

They have performed in venues as varied as Joe's Pub in NYC, the Todai-ji Temple in Nara, Japan, and the San Francisco Jazz Festival. Born out of a desire to use the rich medium of the string quartet as a vehicle for communication across a large cross section of history and geography, Brooklyn Rider is equally devoted to the interpretation of existing quartet literature and to the creation of new works. They have worked with numerous composers such as Derek Bermel, Lisa Bielawa, Ljova, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, Jenny Scheinman, Dimitry Yanov-Yanovsky, and a frequent part of Brooklyn Rider's programming also involves works written or arranged by members of the group.

Exploring new creative possibilities through collaborative programs is also an integral part of their work. Some recent special guests include Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man, Syrian/Armenian visual artist Kevork Mourad, traditional and technology-based Japanese shakuhachi player Kojiro Umezaki, Irish fiddle player Martin Hayes, and singer/songwriter Christina Courtin, whose widely released debut album on the Nonesuch label features several tracks with the quartet. A long-standing relationship between Brooklyn Rider and Persian kamancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor resulted in the critically acclaimed 2008 recording, Silent City, on the World Village/Harmonia Mundi label.