Brooklyn Rider

String Quartet

Johnny Gandelsman
Colin Jacobsen
Nicholas Cords
Michael Nicolas
Go to Biography
Contact Linda Uschinski


Hailed as “the future of chamber music” (Strings), the veteran string quartet Brooklyn Rider presents eclectic repertoire and gripping performances that continue to 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.”
„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, July 2013
To start the 2017-18 season, Brooklyn Rider releases Spontaneous Symbols in October on Johnny Gandelsman’s In a Circle Records label. The album features new quartet music by Tyondai Braxton, Evan Ziporyn, Paula Matthusen, Kyle Sanna, and Brooklyn Rider violinist Colin Jacobsen. To mark the release the group will tour the northeast, with stops in New York and Boston, performing music from the new album. Works from that recording by Braxton, Ziporyn and Jacobsen were also featured in live performance for Some of a Thousand Words, the ensemble’s recent collaboration with choreographer Brian Brooks and former New York City Ballet prima ballerina Wendy Whelan. An intimate series of duets and solos in which the quartet’s live onstage music is a dynamic and central creative component, Some of a Thousand Words was featured at the 2016 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, before a U.S. tour the following spring, including a week-long run at New York City’s Joyce Theater. This season the quartet reunites with Whelan and Brooks for a second North American tour. They also team up with incomparable banjoist Béla Fleck — with whom they appeared on two different albums, 2017’s Juno Concerto and 2013’s The Impostor — for concerts in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Colorado and Montana. Also in the spring, Brooklyn Rider partners with two instrumentalists who are at the forefront of their respective genres, jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman and Irish fiddle master Martin Hayes. The tours with Redman and Hayes are the product of multi-season collaborations that will continue beyond the spring and will include new recordings with both artists. Balancing these collaborations is a full schedule of quartet performances across the U.S., as well as in the U.K., Sweden, and Germany.

During the 2016-17 season, Brooklyn Rider released an album entitled so many things on Naïve Records with Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, comprising music by Colin Jacobsen, Caroline Shaw, John Adams, Nico Muhly, Björk, Sting, Kate Bush and Elvis Costello, among others. The group toured material from the album and more with von Otter in the U.S. and Europe, including stops at Carnegie Hall and the Opernhaus Zürich. Additionally, Brooklyn Rider performed Philip Glass’s String Quartet #7, furthering a relationship with the iconic American composer which began with 2011’s much-praised Brooklyn Rider Plays Philip Glass and will continue with the upcoming album release of Glass’s recent quartets on the composer’s Orange Mountain Music label.

In 2015, the group celebrated its tenth anniversary with the groundbreaking multi-disciplinary project Brooklyn Rider Almanac, for which it recorded and toured 15 specially commissioned works, each inspired by a different artistic muse. Other recording projects include the quartet’s eclectic debut recording in 2008, Passport, followed by Dominant Curve in 2010, Seven Steps in 2012, and A Walking Fire in 2013. In 2016, they released The Fiction Issue with singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane, with the title track a Kahane composition that was premiered in 2012 at Carnegie Hall by Kahane, Brooklyn Rider and Shara Worden. A long-standing relationship between Brooklyn Rider and Iranian kamancheh player Kayhan Kalhor resulted in the much-praised 2008 recording, Silent City.

2018 / 2019
This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorized by artist management.
Contact: Linda Uschinski



2020 / 2021
Programme I

Caroline Shaw: Schisma (2018)
Gonzalo Grau: Aroma a Distancia (2018)
Smetana: String Quartet No. 1 in E minor “From My Life”
Osvaldo Golijov: Yiddishbbuk (1992)
Colin Jacobsen: 3 Miniatures (2011)

Programme II
with Avi Avital (Mandolin)

Intense times wit Yo-Yo Ma´s Silk Road Ensemble and The Knights link Avi Avital to the unique string quartet Brooklyn Rider. In spring of 2021, they reunite with new works and arrangements for mandolin and string quartet at hand.


An evening celebrating fearless musical innovators through the shared interpretive lens of virtuoso mandolinist Avi Avital and the omnivorous string quartet Brooklyn Rider.


New commissions, arrangements, and interpretations of music by JS Bach, Luigi Boccherini, Colin Jacobsen, Matana Roberts, Philip Glass, Giovanni Sollima, John Zorn and Osvaldo Golijov.

Season PDF download
2019 / 2020



De Manhã
Volver a los 17
Milonga Gris
La Aurora de Nueva York
Eu Vim Da Bahía
Coração Vagabundo
Tú y Yo
La Llorona
Luz de Luna

Magos Herrera - Voice

Philip Glass: String Quartets Nos. 6 and 7
Philip Glass
Saxophone Quartet (1995) - Arranged By Brooklyn Rider
String Quartet No. 6 (2013)
String Quartet No. 7 (2014)

So Many Things

Kate Bush: Pi
John Adams: Am I In Your Light?
Caroline Shaw: Cant Voi l'Aube
Colin Jacobsen: For Sixty Cents
Björk: Cover Me
Nicol Muhly: So Many Things
Anders Hillborg: Kväll
Björk: Hunter
Brad Mehldau: Love Sublime
Elvis Costello: Speak Darkly, My Angel
Gordon Sumner, Robert Mathes: Practical Arrangement
Rufus Wainwright: Les Feux d'Artifice t'Appellent

Anne Sofie von Otter - Mezzo-soprano

The Fiction Issue

Gabriel Kahane, Matthew Zapruder:
The Fiction Issue
Bradbury Studies
Come On All You Ghosts

Magdeburg Music, 2016

The Brooklyn Rider Almanac

Necessary Henry
Maintenance Music
Simpson's Gap
The Haring Escape
Show Me
Dig The Say
Quartet, Parts One & Two
Morris Dance
Five-Legged Cat
Ping Pong Fumble Thaw
John Steinbeck

A Walking Fire
The Game
The Muse
The Song (For Romica Puceanu)
Love Potion, Expired

Béla Bartók
String Quartet No. 2, Sz. 67
Allegro Molto Capriccioso

Colin Jacobsen
Three Miniatures For String Quartet
Majnum's Moonshine
The Flowers Of Esfahan
A Walking Fire

Seven Steps
Brooklyn Rider
Seven Steps
Together Into This Unknowable Night

Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No. 14 In C-sharp minor, Op. 131
I. Adagio Ma Non Troppo E Molto Espressivo
II. Allegro Molto Vivace
III. Allegro Moderato
IV. Andante Ma Non Troppo E Molto Cantabile - Andante Moderato E Lusinghiero - Adagio - Allegretto - Adagio Ma Non Troppo E Semplice
V. Presto
VI. Adagio Quasi Un Poco Andante
VII. Allegro

Brooklyn Rider Plays Philip Glass
Philip Glass
Suite from "Bent" for String Quartet
String Quartet No. 3 (Mishima)
(1957: Award Montage; November 25 - Ichigaya; Grandmother And Kimitake; 1962: Body Building; Blood Oath; Mishima / Closing)
String Quartet No. 1
String Quartet No. 4 (Buczak)
String Quartet No. 2 (Company)
String Quartet No. 5

Dominant Curve
Colin Jacobsen
Achille's Heel (2009)
Lydia's Reflection
Second Bounce
Shur Landing

Shakuhachi – Kojiro Umezaki
(Cycles) What Falls Must Rise (2009)

Claude Debussy
String Quartet In G minor, Op. 10
I. Animé Et Très Décidé
II. Assez Vif Bien Rytmé
III. Andantino Doucement Expressif
IV. Très Modéré - Très Mouvementé Et Avec Passion

Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky
....Al Niente (2009)

John Cage
In A Landscape (1948)

Silent City

Ascending Bird
Silent City
Beloved, Do Not Let Me Be Discouraged


Vagharshabadi Dance
Harvest Song
It's Cloudy
Festive Song
The Partridge
La Muerte Chiquita


Linda Uschinski
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 717
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713