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    What can you say about Brooklyn Rider?  They are a string quartet featuring Johnny Gandelsman (violin), Colin Jacobsen (violin), Nichoals Cords (viola), and Eric Jacobsen (cello) – and they have blossomed from highly competitive music scene that explodes from the concrete jungle of New York City.  While the general structure of their quartet is a centuries old template in the world of chamber music, what Brooklyn Rider does on-stage is a whole new experience.

    They are a mixed bag of eccentricities.  They play some of the classical pieces you might expect from a chamber quartet, pieces of music by long dead names like Ludwig Van Beethoven and Joseph Hayden.  But Brooklyn Rider plays those centuries old pieces with the same fervor as a modern rock n’ roll band paying tribute to Led Zeppelin with a searing rendition of “Kashmir.”  That’s not to say that this string quartet is bogged down in convention either.

    They have worked with modern composer Phillip Glass, and recorded his “Complete String Quartets.”  They recorded an album called The Imposter with banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck, further expanding the group’s musical repertoire, and infusing their classic sensibilities with non-traditional arrangements.  They have also worked with and performed pieces by other modern musicians including jazz guitarist Bill Frissell (a piece entitled “John Steinbeck”) and Wilco’s drummer Glenn Kotche (a piece called “Ping Pong Fumble Thaw”).

    All of this is to say that Brooklyn Rider is not the show you’ll expect to see when you hear you’re being drug to a chamber music concert.  It will be vibrant and edgy – and will bounce with a pulse rarely seen in classical music anymore.

    Brooklyn Rider will be performing at Clifton Center Theater, Thursday April 16th.  The show begins at 7:30 PM and tickets are still available for $25.

    Brent Owen's picture

    About Brent Owen

    Born and raised in Louisville, I have lived here most of my life (except during a short furlough, when I, lovelorn and naive, followed a girl to Baton Rouge). My roots are here, my family, my friends, and my life are all here. I work primarily as a free-lance writer for a few local and regional publications. I have also written two books (one a memoir, the other a novel) that barring some divine intervention, will probably never see the light of day. I find myself deeply ingrained in the local bar scene, or perhaps better said, I often indulge in the local drinking culture. I love music, movies, comedy, and really just about any other live performance art.

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