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.

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