Brooklyn Rider Presents the "Brooklyn Rider Almanac" on Upcoming Winter Tour, Including New Works by Bill Frisell, Nik Bärtsch, Padma Newsome, Greg Saunier and Ethan Iverson

01.08.13
Brooklyn Rider
21C Media Group

The adventurous, genre-defying string quartet Brooklyn Rider hits the road in January, with a rich program of new works by Swiss jazz/funk keyboardist Nik Bärtsch, Padma Newsome of Clogs (formerly of The National,) Greg Saunier of Deerhoof, Ethan Iverson of The Bad Plus, and legendary jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, to be premiered at Dartmouth's Hopkins Center as part of the “Brooklyn Rider Almanac,” the ensemble’s newest commissioning and programming initiative.  Brooklyn Rider will couple these and other works from the Almanac with fresh takes on tried-and-true repertory staples – like Mendelssohn’s First String Quartet and Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131 – for its January performances at Dartmouth College; University of Chicago; Washington, DC; Rochester, NY; and North Andover, MA. In April, the group makes stops in Eugene, OR and Atlanta, GA, and then tours Asia, with appearances in Hong Kong, Macau, Taipei, Tokyo, and Beijing.
 
The “Brooklyn Rider Almanac” brings together composers from across the spectrum of contemporary music – from jazz, rock, pop and beyond – asking them to create short works for the quartet.  Brooklyn Rider violist Nicholas Cords describes the genesis of the project:
 
“We live in a world with musical creativity oozing from all corners of the music industry. To celebrate that, we are looking to composers of genres other than classical music to write for Brooklyn Rider. We have asked these musicians to look at artistic figures of any medium from the last fifty years – an era that saw an explosion of popular culture – as the basis for a new work for string quartet.”
 
The project takes its name from the “Almanach”, a collection of essays and artwork published in 1912 by the group’s namesake, Der Blaue Reiter.  The art chosen for the “Almanach” encompassed works by celebrated artists of the day, including Wassily Kandinsky and Pablo Picasso, alongside folk and children's art from non-central European traditions.  The fourteen essays in the collection, written by Kandinsky, Arnold Schoenberg, Franz Marc and others, examine art, music, literature and modernity.
 
New works composed for the “Almanac” premiering in January – this time by Bill Frisell, Nik Bärtsch, Greg Saunier, Ethan Iverson, and Padma Newsome – were commissioned by the Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College in celebration of the organization’s 50th anniversary. An open-ended commissioning project, the “Almanac” is ongoing, with more commissions and premieres to come in the months and years ahead. In addition to the new “Almanac” works, many concerts on the winter tour will showcase Brooklyn Rider’s own group composition, Seven Steps.
 
The ground-breaking quartet has had a busy autumn season, which included recording two new albums: one with Bela Fleck, and one including Bartók’s second string quartet and a world-premiere recording of a piece by Lev Zhurbin. These new recordings follow up Brooklyn Rider’s acclaimed 2012 release, Seven Steps, which was recently named one of NPR Music's 50 Favorite Albums of the Year, and one of the 10 Best Classical Albums of 2012.   In performance, the quartet launched “Make It New,” in November, a characteristically bold program juxtaposing masterpieces by Stravinsky and Bartók with new music exemplifying innovation in the present. These included three major new commissions: from MacArthur Fellow and iconoclastic polymath John Zorn; My Brightest Diamond singer/songwriter Shara Worden; and the quartet’s own violinist, Colin Jacobsen, whose multidisciplinary new piece was a collaboration with choreographer (and two-time Jerome Robbins Foundation New Essential Works-recipient) John Heginbotham. Brooklyn Rider also performed the premiere of Gabriel Kahane’s The Fiction Issue at Carnegie Hall on October 25.
 
Further details of Brooklyn Rider’s upcoming engagements are provided below, and more information is available at the quartet’s web site: www.brooklynrider.com.
 
 
Brooklyn Rider: Upcoming engagements
 
January 18, 2013 – 8:00 PM
Hanover, NH
Dartmouth College
Seven Steps – Brooklyn Rider
Brooklyn Rider Almanac  – New Works by Nik Bärtsch, Bill Frisell, Ethan Iverson, Padma  
   Newsome and Greg Saunier
Kol Nidre – John Zorn
Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131 – Ludwig van Beethoven
 
January 20, 2013 – 8:00 PM
Chapel Hill, NC
University of North Carolina
 
January 25, 2013 – 7:30 PM
Chicago IL
Mandel Hall, University of Chicago 
Quartet No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op. 12 – Felix Mendelssohn
Selections from the Brooklyn Rider Almanac
   tralala – Christina Courtin
   Maintenance Music – Dana Lyn
   Dig the Say – Vijay Iyer
Seven Steps – Brooklyn Rider
The Alchemist – John Zorn
Three Miniatures for String Quartet – Colin Jacobsen
 
January 26, 2013 – 8:00 PM
Washington DC
Sixth & I Historic SynagogueWashington Performing Arts Society
Quartet No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op. 12 – Felix Mendelssohn
Selections from the Brooklyn Rider Almanac
   tralala – Christina Courtin
   Maintenance Music – Dana Lyn
   Dig the Say – Vijay Iyer
Kol Nidre – John Zorn
The Alchemist – John Zorn
Three Miniatures for String Quartet – Colin Jacobsen
 
 
Jan 29, 2013 – 8:00 PM
Rochester, NY
Kilbourn Hall, Eastman School of Music
Quartet No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op. 12 – Felix Mendelssohn
Selections from the Brooklyn Rider Almanac
   tralala – Christina Courtin
   Maintenance Music – Dana Lyn
   Dig the Say – Vijay Iyer
Seven Steps – Brooklyn Rider
The Alchemist – John Zorn
Three Miniatures for String Quartet – Colin Jacobsen
 
January 31, 2013 – 7:30 PM
North Andover, MA
Rogers Center, Merrimack College
Quartet No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op. 12 – Felix Mendelssohn
Selections from the Brooklyn Rider Almanac
   tralala – Christina Courtin
   Maintenance Music – Dana Lyn
   Dig the Say – Vijay Iyer
Seven Steps – Brooklyn Rider
The Alchemist – John Zorn
Three Miniatures for String Quartet – Colin Jacobsen
 
April 7
Eugene, OR
Beall Concert Hall
Oregon Bach Festival / Chamber Series
 
April 12
Atlanta, GA
Schwartz Center
 
April 18-19
Hong Kong, China
Jockey Club Amphitheatre
Premiere Performances of Hong Kong
 
April 20
Tainan, Taiwan
Tainan Arts Festival
Hsinying Cultural Center
 
April 22-25
Macao, China
Macao Cultural Centre
 
April 26
Tokyo, Japan
Suntory Hall
 
April 29
Beijing, China
National Center for the Performing Arts
 
May 5
New York, NY
Abrons Arts Center at Henry Street Settlement
Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert
 
 
 
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