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String Quartet ‘Brooklyn Rider’

The string quartet that plays the world. Brooklyn Rider.

Brooklyn Rider

Brooklyn Rider (Sarah Small)

Say string quartet and you’ll think classical. Say classical and you may think old.  Over.  But in the right hands, everything old is new again, and then some.

Take two violins, a viola, a cello.  Add the world.  Persian, Silk Road,  Bartok, Beethoven, Roma, klezmer, Minnesota, Brooklyn, Philip Glass – and you’ve got Brooklyn Rider.  The spell-casting, trail-blazing string quartet out of Brooklyn and all over.

This hour, On Point:  they’re with us live.  Brooklyn Rider and their latest album – “A Walking Fire.”

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

The four members of Brooklyn Rider, the Brooklyn-based string quartet. Their new album, out this week, is “A Walking Fire.”

Nicholas Cords, violist.

Johnny Gandelsman, violinist.

Colin Jacobsen, violinist.

Eric Jacobsen, cellist.

Show Highlights

Live Performance for On Point

Brooklyn Rider performed live for On Point:

From Tom’s Reading List

Time Out Hong Kong: Brooklyn Rider Return! — “Ever engaging, charismatic, boundary-pushing and perspective-shifting, avant garde string quartet Brooklyn Rider are one of the most exciting names in classical music. Ahead of their return to Hong Kong – their third trip in just over 18 months – for concerts in the Premiere Performances Recital Series and PLAY! Series, we chat with the foursome, Eric Jacobsen, Colin Jacobsen, Johnny Gandelsman and Nicholas Cord, about their growing affinity to Hong Kong and their just- released new album, A Walking Fire.”

NPR Music: Kickstarting Classical Musicans, One Pledge at a Time — “After setting out to raise $30,000 to fund their latest album, Seven Steps (an excellent program that was featured in our “First Listen” series), the string quartet Brooklyn Rider attracted more than $50,000 from fans. And an open-source, non-profit project called Musopen, which is dedicated to creating copyright-free recordings, scores and other materials for the music of great masters like Beethoven, Brahms and Tchaikovsky earned more than $68,000 in funding, well outpacing the original goal of just $11,000.”

Wall Street Journal: Unlocking the Old Chamber — “Make it new!” was the battle cry with which the poet Ezra Pound pushed for a modernism that remained true to the great art of the past. It’s also the motto of Brooklyn Rider, a string quartet comprising violinists Johnny Gandelsman and Colin Jacobsen, violist Nicholas Cords and Mr. Jacobsen’s brother, Eric, on cello. The group advocates a new kind of “porous” chamber music that is open to influences from other art forms.

Video

Brooklyn Rider’s performance for NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert:

Playlist

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  • Lawrence DeJong

    Is BR aware of Lajko Felix? (a hungarian or Romanian 
    artist and his string ensemble?
    Doe BR have a concert appearance scheduled in the Boston area?
    In the past number of years there has been a rich and fertile cross polination of different styles of music around the world….a very exciting fusion and BR is very much part of this wonderful music in process. 
    Larry D…Ashland, MA

  • justin goding

    We attended one of their programs at College of the Holy Cross two years ago and it was wonderful experience. Keep up the good work.

  • Alexander Stone

    Wow, I’m a Carpenter in Vermont with very little appreciation for classical music, but I think that just changed.  Thanks for the inspiration.

  • JosephPratt

    Tom,
    You ask: is this the new classical music? Classical music has often taken inspiration from folk melodies and cultures. Think of Bartok, think of De Falla taking inspiration from Andalusian flamenco. Your guest are great and are continuing the wonderful tradition deriving quotes from folk traditions. Joseph, Ann Arbor    

  • nec93

    What a pleasure to listen to and learn about this group. My husband and I met while studying at New England Conservatory in the early 90s, and since moving out of the Boston area to less urban places have often remarked how much we missed being surrounded by music both old and new. Thank you, Tom Ashbrook, for shining the spotlight on these incredible players. This is classical music–alive and well.

  • nj_v2

    Great stuff! I was unfamiliar with these guys, so thanks for the show!

    They bring an approach, energy, and intelligence to classical music, that is similar (or at least analogous) , perhaps, to what the Punch Brothers bring to the bluegrass genre.

  • Chris Burton

    Thanks so much for a wonderful show, though I could only hear part of it today.  Modern “classical” music has been completely misunderstood for a long time and I hope that your show today will let people know that there is some really great stuff out there!  (speaking as a professional “classical” musician and composer)

  • Samantha Schiffman

    Nicholas Cords plays the viola

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