Brooklyn Rider

String Quartet

Johnny Gandelsman
Colin Jacobsen
Nicholas Cords
Michael Nicolas
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"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."
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.”

Brooklyn Rider will debut their Healing Modes project this season which presents Beethoven’s Opus 132 in its entirety alongside five compact new commissions which explore the subject of healing from a wide range of historical and cultures perspectives. Composers include Reena Esmail, Gabriela Lena Frank, Matana Roberts and recent Pulitzer Prize winners Caroline Shaw and Du Yun.

In fall 2018, Brooklyn Rider released Dreamers on Sony Music Masterworks with celebrated Mexican jazz vocalist Magos Herrera. The recording includes gems of the Ibero-American songbook as well as pieces written to texts by Octavio Paz, Rubén Darío, and Federico García Lorca — all reimagined by arrangers including Jaques Morelenbaum, Gonzalo Grau, Diego Schissi, Guillermo Klein and Brooklyn Rider’s own Colin Jacobsen.

To start the 2017/18 season, Brooklyn Rider released Spontaneous Symbols on Johnny Gandelsman’s In a Circle Records label. The album featured new quartet music by Tyondai Braxton, Evan Ziporyn, Paula Matthusen, Kyle Sanna, and Brooklyn Rider violinist Colin Jacobsen. Works from that recording 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 two U.S. tours, including a week-long run at New York City’s Joyce Theater.

In 2016 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.

Two new albums by Brooklyn Rider will be released this autumn, featuring instrumentalists who are at the forefront of their respective genre: jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman and Irish fiddle master Martin Hayes (The Butterfly).

2019 / 2020
„The Butterfly […] finds itself woven into a stringed experiment of almost Schoenberg proportions, replete with muted dissonance and foreboding that one would never have dreamed could characterise this most delicate and sociable of tunes. And yet it works: boldly, gloriously even.”The Irish Times, August 2019
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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.


Boccherini: La Musica Notturna Ritratta di Madrid
Colin Jacobsen: new piece for mandolin and string quartet
Giovanni Sollima: Prelude for solo mandolin
Matana Roberts: borderlands…
JS Bach: selection(s) (tba)
Gonzalo Grau: new piece for mandolin and string quartet 
Osvaldo Golijov: ‘Oración Lecumí’ from La Pasión ségun San Marcos
John Zorn: selection from ‘The Book of Angels’ (tba)

Summer 2021 I
Pure Quartet Programme

“Widely regarded for their gripping performance style and virtuosic stylistic fluency, Brooklyn Rider (One of the most interesting and innovative string quartets in Classical music –  Pioneer Press) takes audiences on a lively summertime tour across multiple continents and global traditions. Weaving together selections from the traditional string quartet canon alongside their signature body of arrangements and recent commissions, this innovative program features some of the most exciting musical voices of today, including Kinan Azmeh, Reena Esmail, Philip Glass, Gonzalo Grau, Ljova, Giovanni Sollima, the quartet’s own Colin Jacobsen, plus more.”

Summer 2021 II
Brooklyn Rider & Kinan Azmeh

Colin Jacobsen: Mirror for a Prince (10 min)
Kinan Azmeh: New piece for string quartet (7 min)
Kinan Azmeh: In the Element (26 min)
Kinan Azmeh: The Fence, The Rooftop and The Distant Sea (20 min)
Colin Jacobsen: Starlighter (11 min)
Ljova: Everywhere is Falling Everywhere (13 min)


2019 / 2020


The Butterfly

Maghera Mountain
O'Neill's March
Jenny's Welcome Home to Charlie
The Butterfly
Bob and Bernie
Ship in Full Sail
Drunken Sailor
Port Na bPúcaí
An Rogaire Dubh
P.Joe's Reel
Hole in the Hedge


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


Brooklyn Rider - Philip Glass Quartet Satz
Brooklyn Rider - Live at Fraser


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