Brooklyn Rider to Perform Live on A Prairie Home Companion This Saturday, April 25, Broadcast from New York's Town Hall

04.23.15
Brooklyn Rider
A Prairie Home Companion

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Brooklyn Rider – “the string quartet from Brooklyn that everybody talks about” (Washington Post) – will perform live on A Prairie Home Companion this Saturday, April 25, broadcast from New York’s Town Hall to some four million listeners on more than 600 public radio stations via American Public Media. The group will appear on A Prairie Home Companion alongside iconic host Garrison Keillor and the show’s company of performers, as well as a fellow musical guest, folk trio the Wailin’ Jennys. Few classical groups would fit in to this institution of Americana as well as Brooklyn Rider, which has toured extensively across the country with Grammy Award-winning banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck on behalf of their recent collaborative album, The Impostor. As the Seattle Times has pointed out, the quartet’s artistic purview stretches far and wide: “Brooklyn Rider … has been called the future of chamber music, with their embrace of new compositions and envelope-pushing collaborations with other global artists.”

The current Brooklyn Rider tour features music from the group’s latest album, Brooklyn Rider Almanac, a collection of new commissions from a variety of composers, each inspired by an artistic muse of relatively recent memory – from Igor Stravinsky to “Godfather of Soul” James Brown, and from Nobel Prize-winning novelist William Faulkner to iconic choreographer Mark Morris. The album’s composers – most of them best known for their work outside the classical world, in genres ranging from jazz to indie-rock – are Christina Courtin, Bill Frisell, Gonzalo Grau, Vijay Iyer, Ethan Iverson, Carla Kihlstedt, Rubin Kodheli, Glenn Kotche, Dana Lyn, Padma Newsome, Aoife O’Donovan, Greg Saunier, Daniel Cords and Brooklyn Rider’s own Colin Jacobsen. Hailing the record as “both an all-over-the-map stylistic tour and a treatise on present-day quartet writing,” the Boston Globe concluded: “It’s also a lot of fun, and Brooklyn Rider sounds passionately at home in everything.”

The Washington Post review of Brooklyn Rider’s D.C. concert last month marveled over the program’s “extraordinary diversity,” summing up the performance this way: “Played with complete commitment, sympathy and fierce virtuosity, the evening was two fascinating hours of unalloyed listening pleasure.” The review also quoted Brooklyn Rider Almanac composer Greg Saunier’s comment thanking the quartet for doing their part in “sneaking classical music out of museum jail.” Apt for their appearance at Town Hall for A Prairie Home Companion, the Boston Musical Intelligencer noted the group’s “engaging stage presence,” adding that Brooklyn Rider, even after 10 years together, “still project young musicians’ joy in a whimsical turn of musical phrase, or in unexpected humor.”