Brooklyn Rider

22/23 Performance Season

The performances of Brooklyn Rider are always curated with a reverence for the tradition from which the quartet genre springs and a clear direction for the promise of the future. With this in mind, these programs are available for consideration in the 2022-23 season.


The Four Elements

The concept of four classical elements – Earth, Air, Fire, Water – as foundation for the physical world was shared across ancient cultures, including those in Greece, Egypt, Persia, Babylonia, India, and beyond. In parallel, the unique musical ecosystem of the string quartet is a balance of four equal and living elements, collectively capable of giving voice to the vast beauties and mysteries of our world as well as the highly destructive forces which, taken together, represent the single greatest challenge of our time.

In their latest project, Brooklyn Rider has assembled a novel program anchored by four works symbolically representing earth, air, fire, water; all created within the last century of accelerated and unprecedented planetary change. In addition, Brooklyn Rider has asked four brilliant composers to write new works that reflect current realities and serve as a musical call to action.

  • EARTH: New commission by Dan Trueman & Ruth Crawford Seeger (arranged by Colin Jacobsen) – Suite of American Folk Songs
  • AIR: New commission by Andreia Pinto-Correia & Henri Dutilleux – Ainsi la nuit
  • FIRE: New commission by Akshaya Avril Tucker & Dmitri Shostakovitch – String Quartet #8
  • WATER: New commission by Conrad Tao & Osvaldo Golijov – Tenebrae

Brooklyn Rider will collaborate with presenters to craft presentations around these 8 works which can contextualize the work, as well as a community-wide discussion of the ecological discussions we currently face.

Presenters are encouraged to participate as commissioning partners in The Four Elements.


“DREAMERS” – Magos Herrera & Brooklyn Rider

In society, poets and songwriters play the essential role of dreamers, opening up avenues of hope for others. Despite the oppressive regimes which prevailed throughout much of Latin America and Spain in the twentieth century, what persevered from the dreamers was an unending love for beauty
and humanity. Mexican-born songstress Magos Herrera and the omnivorous string quartet Brooklyn Rider join forces for an unforgettable musical journey, reinterpreting classics of the era from Mexico, Cuba, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and Spain, and celebrating such luminaries as Octavio Paz,
Federico García Lorca, and Rubén Darío.

Magos Herrera is regarded as one of the most expressive, beautiful voices and most active vocalists in the contemporary Latin American jazz scene. She is best known for her eloquent vocal improvisation and her bold style, that elegantly blends and surpasses language boundaries. “Herrera is stretching the very notion of jazz singing, pushing past the diva pleasantries into a sound that’s bold, thrilling and effortlessly global.” NPR

Variations on a Theme

SCHUBERT String Quartet No.14 in D Minor, D 810 “Death and the Maiden”

The vital and bountiful music of the late classical and early romantic eras is as significant today as it was two centuries ago, creating both the possibility of a dialogue and an endless source of inspiration for the contemporary world of the string quartet.

Featuring works that exemplify this long musical arc from two of Brooklyn Rider’s close musical friends, this program juxtaposes Caroline Shaw’s Entr’acte plus a major new work (written for Brooklyn Rider) by Osvaldo Golijov with Schubert’s transcendent masterpiece.


Brooklyn Rider & Kinan Azmeh, clarinet With Mathias Kunzli, percussion

Brooklyn Rider flexes its collaborative muscle with this program to include Syrian Clarinet virtuoso, Kinan Azmeh and percussionist Mathias Kunzli

COLIN JACOBSEN Mirror for a Prince
KINAN AZMEH Dabke on Martense Street
KINAN AZMEH In the Element
KINAN AZMEH The Fence, The Rooftop and The Distant Sea
LJOVA Everywhere is Falling Everywhere

Celebrating musical relationships spanning over a decade the, omnivorous string quartet Brooklyn Rider and Syrian clarinet virtuoso Kinan Azmeh join forces for the first time in a unique collaborative program that expands the notion of the clarinet quintet into a 21st century ensemble.

Drawing from the deep well of creative talents within the group as well as their artistic circle, the diverse repertoire will explore various aspects of home and tradition from Syria, Brooklyn, and beyond.