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Brooklyn Rider: Bio

" They are four classical musicians performing with the energy of young rock stars jamming on their guitars, a Beethoven-goes-indie foray into making classical music accessible but also celebrating why it was good in the first place."
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Hailed as "the future of chamber music" (Strings), the game-changing string quartet Brooklyn Rider offers eclectic repertoire in gripping performances that continue to attract legions of fans and draw rave reviews from classical, world, and rock critics alike. NPR credits Brooklyn Rider with "recreating the 300-year-old form of string quartet as a vital and creative 21st-century ensemble"; the Los Angeles Times dubs the group "one of the wonders of contemporary music"; and Vice likens its members to "motocross daredevils who never screw up a stunt." Equally at home in clubs and concert halls, the quartet has played venues as varied as Carnegie's Zankel Hall, the San Francisco Jazz Festival, Le Poisson Rouge, Japan's Todai-ji, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn's Littlefield, the Library of Congress, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and South by Southwest. Through visionary programming and global collaborations, Brooklyn Rider's "down-to-earth demeanor…demystifies contemporary classical music and invites everyone into the tent" (Time Out New York).

Celebrating its tenth anniversary with its most ambitious venture to date, Brooklyn Rider launches the 2014-15 season with the release of the Brooklyn Rider Almanac on Mercury Classics, accompanied by a U.S. tour. The album forms the centerpiece of a groundbreaking multi-disciplinary project for which the quartet commissioned 15 new works, each inspired by a respective artistic muse, from composers ranging from Wilco's Glenn Kotche of indie rock fame to jazz icon Bill Frisell. Like the quartet's name, the project was inspired in equal parts by the cross-disciplinary vision of Der Blaue Reiter ("The Blue Rider"), the pre-World War I Munich-based artistic collective, and the exploding array of cultures and artistic energy found in the group's Brooklyn home. Upcoming highlights also include a residency at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, crowned by the world premiere ofVeils and Vespers by Pulitzer Prize winner John Luther Adams; the New York premiere of Chalk and Soot, a collaboration between quartet violinist Colin Jacobsen and choreographer John Heginbotham, at Lincoln Center's White Light Festival; and continued touring with banjo legend Béla Fleck, with whom Brooklyn Rider recently released The Impostor on Deutsche Grammophon/Mercury Classics. Summer brings the tenth anniversary season of the Stillwater Music Festival, a weeklong Minnesota chamber festival founded by the group in 2006 as a place to unveil new repertoire and collaborations.

Following the 2013 release of A Walking Fire on Mercury Classics, Brooklyn Rider showcased repertoire from the album for its Wigmore Hall debut and elsewhere on tour in the U.S. and northern Europe. Superstar soprano Dawn Upshaw joined the quartet for performances at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of North Carolina. Recent seasons also saw performances at the Ojai Music Festival, the U.S. Open tennis tournament, the Cologne Philharmonie, Rome's American Academy, Sweden's Malmö Festival, the Lincoln Center Festival, Philadelphia's Kimmel Center, and Texas's South by Southwest, where the quartet was the only classical group with an official invitation to play.

Brooklyn Rider often appears under the umbrella of outside initiatives begun by all four members of the group. In 2003, violinist Johnny Gandelsman created In A Circle, a series of performance events in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn that explores connections between music and the visual arts. He launched In A Circle Records in 2008 with the release of Brooklyn Rider's eclectic debut recording, Passport, followed by Dominant Curve in 2010, and Seven Steps in 2012; the first two albums made NPR's year-end round-ups, while the third was named an NPR listener favorite. In 2013 In A Circle released violist Nicholas Cords's solo recording,Recursions. Colin and Eric Jacobsen are co-founders of acclaimed New York-based orchestral collective The Knights. All four members of the quartet enjoy longstanding participation in Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble, with which they have performed worldwide and recorded three albums for Sony Classical.

A public radio favorite, Brooklyn Rider has been featured on NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts, On Point, All Songs Considered, Deceptive Cadence, and All Things Considered, WNYC's Soundcheck, and American Public Media's Performance Today, as well as on NY1 television in New York City. The ensemble's recordings are played across North America on stations ranging in focus from classical to world, jazz, pop, and new music.

1 Necessary Henry! - Rubin Kodheli
2 Maintenance Music - Dana Lyn
3 Simpson's Gap - Padma Newsome
4 The Haring Escape - Daniel Cords
5 Show Me - Aoife O'Donovan
6 Dig The Say - Vijay Iyer
7 Quartet, Parts One & Two - Greg Saunier
8 Morris Dance - Ethan Iverson
9 Exit - Colin Jacobsen
10 One Five-Legged Cat - Gonzalo Grau
11 Tralala - Christina Courtin
12 Ping Pong Fumble Thaw - Glenn Kotche
13 John Steinbeck - Bill Frisell
Support the Brooklyn Rider Almanac on Kickstarter
NPR: Fresh Air
Brooklyn Rider: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert / May 12, 2010
Brooklyn Rider Plays Debussy's String Quartet Live on WNYC - Soundcheck
Brooklyn Rider Plays
Bela Fleck & Brooklyn Rider @ Telluride Bluegrass Festival 6/22/14

Brooklyn Rider -"the future of chamber music," according to Strings magazine-celebrates its 10th anniversary this fall with a major multi-disciplinary project called the Brooklyn Rider Almanac, beginning with a new Mercury Classics album of specially commissioned work from a diverse group of composers, set for worldwide release on September 30. In the cross-disciplinary spirit of Der Blaue Reiter ("The Blue Rider"), the legendary European artistic collective that is the group's namesake, each work-by musicians including Bill Frisell, Padma Newsome, Vijay Iyer, Aoife O'Donovan, Glenn Kotche from the Grammy Award-winning rock band Wilco, and Greg Saunier from the rock band Deerhoof-is inspired by a creative muse of the composer's choice from the past half-century, ranging from groundbreaking composer Igor Stravinsky to king of funk James Brown to Mississippi novelist William Faulkner to iconic choreographer Mark Morris.

19 NEW  57 Total
NPR, Classical 24
Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice
Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Seattle, Dallas, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Denver, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, New Orleans, Baltimore, Austin, Louisville KY
Online: Taintradio, ClassicallyHip, MusiClassical

Crossover Media Projects with: Brooklyn Rider