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Brooklyn Rider tours U.S. for second time with Béla Fleck, Jan 29-Feb 9

Brooklyn Rider – the group that NPR credits with “re-creating the 300-year-old form of the string quartet as a vital and creative 21st-century ensemble” – is embarking on its second collaborative tour of the season with multiple Grammy-winning banjo innovator Béla Fleck, from January 29 to February 9. Following their widely hailed November trek across North America together, Brooklyn Rider and Fleck will range across nine U.S. cities in the New Year – from Portland, ME, to Seattle, from Philadelphia to Las Vegas. The quartet – violinists Johnny Gandelsman and Colin Jacobsen, violist Nicholas Cords and cellist Eric Jacobsen – will perform Night Flight Over Water, Fleck’s composition for banjo and string quartet, which Brooklyn Rider recorded for his new Deutsche Grammophon/Mercury Classics album, The Impostor
In addition to Night Flight Over Water, the group will perform new quintet arrangements of works originally recorded by Fleck’s celebrated bands New Grass Revival and the Flecktones, and several Brooklyn Rider favorites. Brooklyn Rider will also perform as a quartet, playing violinist Colin Jacobsen’s Three Miniatures for String Quartet, a work featured on A Walking Fire, the group’s acclaimed sixth album. The Boston Globe praised the album as an “important statement about cultural curiosity and musical interconnection. That alone would justify hearing it, but the performances are also fantastic.”
A Walking Fire and Brooklyn Rider’s performances on behalf of the album garnered headlines throughout last year, with the Washington Post declaring the group “ultra-cool.” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette put it this way: “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.” And the New Yorker explicated Brooklyn Rider’s appeal at length:
            We’re more than a decade into the “post-classical” era: Classical musicians of all stripes are reconsidering the repertoire they play, and reimagining the way they play it. And the string quartet – once the focus of connoisseurs, now a sturdy off-road vehicle for sonic exploration – has been at the forefront. In New York, the movement has been personified by Brooklyn Rider, the fun-loving foursome whose smoothly ingratiating style emerges from a combination of new-music, early-music and world-music influences, in addition to deep classical training.
When Fleck set out to compose Night Flight Over Water, he turned to Brooklyn Rider not only to play the music, but also for inspiration. About working with the quartet, Fleck says:
“These guys are really good at new music, and they have a youthful sensibility that really makes sense for a piece that has many influences from outside of classical music. I listened to their music, and really enjoyed and respected their work. I started out writing Night Flight Over Water by composing a dozen or so sketches. The initial idea was that the ones that really worked out for this combination of instruments would be the ones that I’d use to build the piece from. But these guys were so good that they made everything I came up with sound amazing – so it was very hard to figure out what not to use. The best part is that I came to realize that I could write virtually anything and they would be able to make it come alive.”
About Brooklyn Rider’s November concert with Fleck in Alabama, the Birmingham News concluded: “Their encounter was a cross-pollination of ideas, stretching from avant-garde Americana to Romanian Gypsy music, from Ireland to South America. Whether a flash in the pan, a growing fad or the future of music, it formed a unique, eminently listenable bond.”
Brooklyn Rider: upcoming engagements
Jan 29
Worcester, MA
Music Worcester, Inc.
With Béla Fleck
Jan 30
Manchester, NH
Dana Center for the Humanities
With Béla Fleck
Jan 31
Keene, NH
Colonial Theatre
With Béla Fleck
Feb 1
Philadelphia, PA
Kimmel Center
With Béla Fleck
Feb 4
Seattle, WA
University of Washington
With Béla Fleck
Feb 6
Chico, CA
California State University, Chico
With Béla Fleck
Feb 7
Northridge, CA
California State University, Northridge
With Béla Fleck
Feb 8
Las Vegas, NV
Smith Center for the Performing Arts
With Béla Fleck
Feb 9
Ogden, UT
Weber State University
With Béla Fleck
Feb 13
Huntingdon, PA
Juniata College
March 14-15
Miami Beach, FL
South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center
March 16
Celebration, FL
Celebration Foundation Classical Concert Series
March 19
Austin, TX
University of Texas, Austin
Selections from A Walking Fire
March 26
Austin, TX
University of Texas, Austin
Music inspired by Der Blaue Reiter, more
With soprano Dawn Upshaw
March 29
Stevens Point, WI
University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point
April 6
Chapel Hill, NC
University of North Carolina
Music inspired by Der Blaue Reiter, more
With soprano Dawn Upshaw

April 12
Wellesley, MA
Wellesley College

April 13
Clinton, CT
George Flynn Classical Concerts
April 22
Copenhagen, Denmark
Mogens Dahl Koncertsal
April 25
Vara, Sweden
Vara Konserthus
April 26
Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholms Koncerthus
May 14
Fernandina Beach, FL
Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival
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© 21C Media Group, January 2014





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