Contemporary String Quartet Brooklyn Rider Comes to Center for the Arts

Posted: October 12, 2010 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: October 11, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Veterans of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project, the talented, innovative young musicians known as Brooklyn Rider have garnered the attention of critics and audiences alike with their brilliant exploration of traditional classical works by such composers as Beethoven, Bach, Debussy and Haydn, and the music of contemporary composers like Philip Glass, Derek Bermel and Osvaldo Golijov.

Brooklyn Rider will appear at Mason’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall for the first time on Saturday, Oct. 16, at 8 p.m.

Featuring Colin Jacobsen, the group’s resident composer, and Johnny Gandelsman on violin; Nicholas Cords on viola; and Eric Jacobsen on cello, Brooklyn Rider was borne out of a desire to use the rich medium of the string quartet as a vehicle for communication across history and geography.

The ensemble is devoted to the interpretations of existing classical and contemporary quartet literature, as well as the creation of new works, some of which are written or arranged by members of the group.

Recent collaborations have included a Chinese pipa virtuoso, a visual artist, a traditional and technology-based Japanese shakuhachi player, a Persian kemancheh player and an Irish fiddler, as well as singer/songwriters.

Bringing its music to new audiences and venues is an essential part of Brooklyn Rider’s creative mission, which has found the ensemble performing in venues as varied as Joe’s Pub in New York City, Japan’s Todai-ji Temple and the San Francisco Jazz Festival. Brooklyn Rider was also the sole classical ensemble to perform at the 2010  South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Tex.

In between touring, the group has released three albums. In 2008 the group produced “Passport” on Gandelman’s In a Circle Records and “Silent City,” a World Village/Harmonia Mundi collaboration with Kayhan Kahor.

In 2010, Brooklyn Rider released “Dominant Curve,” a thematic album in which the quartet presents Debussy’s most celebrated work, “String Quartet in G Minor” as well as works by contemporary composers who have embraced Debussy’s style and techniques. The album reached No. 15 on Billboard’s classical chart, was featured on NPR and has received outstanding reviews from outlets as varied as classical music critics to the online indie music magazine Pitchfork.

A discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier. Pre-performance discussions are sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts.

Tickets are $40, $32 and $20. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit

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