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Concert: Brooklyn Rider with Kayhan Kalhor at Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis


Source: The Cedar

The Cedar and Kate Nordstrum Projects present

Kayhan Kalhor (front) and Brooklyn Rider
Photo credit Alverno Presents

Hip string quartet Brooklyn Rider return to The Cedar, this time with Iranian kamancheh (Persian bowed string instrument) player and classical composer Kayhan Kalhor, with whom they collaborated on the highly praised recording Silent City (2008).

The program will include 'Atashgah', 'Beloved, do not let me be discouraged', and 'Three Persian Miniatures', all by Colin Jacobsen, 'Culai', which is a piece for string quartet by Lev 'Ljova' Zhurbin that was a commission for Brooklyn rider by Chamber Music America's Classical Commissioning Grant, and other works.

Monday, August 20, 2012 - 7:30pm at The Cedar

Kayhan Kalhor

Kayhan Kalhor is considered a virtuoso on his kamancheh, or spike-fiddle.
Photo credit Todd Rosenberg Photography.
Artist website: Kayhan Kalhor

Kayhan Kalhor is an internationally acclaimed virtuoso on the kamancheh (Persian spiked fiddle). His performances of Persian music and his many collaborations have attracted audiences around the globe.

Born in Tehran, Iran, he began his musical studies at the age of seven. At thirteen, he was invited to work with the National Orchestra of Radio and Television of Iran, where he performed for five years. When he was seventeen he began working with the Shayda Ensemble of the Chavosh Cultural Center, the most prestigious arts organization in Iran at the time. He has traveled extensively throughout Iran, studying the music of its many regions, in particular those of Khorason and Kordestan.

Kayhan has toured the world as a soloist with various ensembles and orchestras including the New York Philharmonic and the Orchestre National de Lyon. He is co-founder of the renowned ensembles Dastan, Ghazal: Persian & Indian Improvisations and Masters of Persian Music. Kayhan has composed works for Iran's most renowned vocalists Mohammad Reza Shajarian and Shahram Nazeri and has also performed and recorded with Iran's greatest instrumentalists. Kayhan has composed music for television and film and was most recently featured on the soundtrack of Francis Ford Copolla's Youth Without Youth in a score that he collaborated on with Osvaldo Golijov. In 2004, Kayhan was invited by American composer John Adams to give a solo recital at Carnegie Hall as part of his Perspectives Series and in the same year he appeared on a double bill at Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival, sharing the program with the Festival Orchestra performing the Mozart Requiem.

Kayhan is an original member of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project and his compositions Blue as the Turquoise Night of Neyshabur, Silent City and Mountains Are Far Away, appear on all three of the Ensemble's albums.

Three of his recent recordings have been nominated for Grammys, Faryad, Without You and The Rain. His new CD Silent City, with the innovative ensemble Brooklyn Rider, was released on the World Village label to critical acclaim.

Brooklyn Rider

Brooklyn Rider collaborated with Kalhor on his album "Silent City."

Photo credit Alverno Presents.
Artist website: Brooklyn Rider

The adventurous, genre-defying string quartet Brooklyn Rider combines a wildly eclectic repertoire with a gripping performance style that is attracting legions of fans and drawing critical acclaim from classical, world and rock critics. NPR credits Brooklyn Rider with “recreating the 300-year-old form of string quartet as a vital and creative 21st-century ensemble."” The musicians play in concert halls and clubs, in venues as varied as Joe's Pub in New York City, the San Francisco Jazz Festival, Todai-ji Temple in Japan, the Library of Congress and the South By Southwest Festival. Through creative programming and global collaborations, Brooklyn Rider illuminates music for its audiences in ways that are “stunningly imaginative” (Lucid Culture).

This past season Brooklyn Rider appeared at the Cologne Philharmonie, American Academy in Rome, Malmo Festival in Sweden, and SXSW Festival as the only classical group invited to play there. The quartet made its Spoleto Festival USA debut to capacity crowds in June, following an extensive cross-country tour from California to Philadelphia's Kimmel Center and New York City. “The dazzling fingers-in-every-pie versatility that Brooklyn Rider exhibits is one of the wonders of contemporary music,” wrote the Los Angeles Times.

Highlights of Brooklyn Rider's 2010-11 season include the CD release of the string quartets of Philip Glass, an appearance at the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament, a European tour with Persian kamancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor, and North American tours in the fall and winter, including concerts with the Washington Performing Arts Society in D.C. and Lincoln Center's inaugural Tully Scope Festival at Alice Tully Hall.

Brooklyn Rider's previous CD, Dominant Curve, made the Billboard classical chart, and is one of NPR Music's 50 Favorite Albums of 2010. It has received glowing reviews from Gramophone, Strings, The Strad and Huffington Post, as well as the online indie magazines Pitchfork, Vice, Nerve and Lucid Culture. “Forgive the hyperbole,” wrote Strings, “but I've seen the future of chamber music and it is Brooklyn Rider.”

Born out of a desire to use the rich medium of the string quartet as a vehicle for communication across a large cross section of history and geography, Brooklyn Rider is equally devoted to the interpretation of existing quartet literature and to the creation of new works. The musicians have worked with such composers as Derek Bermel, Lisa Bielawa, Ljova, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, Jenny Scheinman and Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky, and they also regularly perform pieces written or arranged by members of the group. Another integral part of their work involves creative collaborations with other artists. Some recent special guests include Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man, Syrian/Armenian visual artist Kevork Mourad, traditional and technology-based Japanese shakuhachi player Kojiro Umezaki, Irish fiddle player Martin Hayes, the trio 2 Foot Yard, and singer/songwriters Christina Courtin and Suzanne Vega. Courtin's widely released debut album on the Nonesuch label features several tracks with the quartet, as does Vega's new album, Close Up 2: People & Places. A long-standing relationship between Brooklyn Rider and Kayhan Kalhor resulted in the critically acclaimed 2008 recording, Silent City, on the World Village/Harmonia Mundi label, selected by as one of World Music's Best Albums of the Decade.

Brooklyn Rider often appears under the umbrella of outside initiatives begun by all four members of the group. Brothers Colin and Eric Jacobsen are co-founders of The Knights, a chamber orchestra based in New York in which all the members of Brooklyn Rider play. The Knights recently performed at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, and opened the 2009 Dresden Musikfestspiele. They have two albums on the Sony Classical label, as well as an all Mozart disc with violinists Lara and Scott St. John on Lara's label, Ancalagon, released this past summer.

In 2003 violinist Johnny Gandelsman created In A Circle, a series of performance events in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn that explore connections between music and the visual arts. In A Circle Records was launched by Gandelsman in 2008 with the release of Brooklyn Rider's eclectic debut recording entitled Passport, followed by Dominant Curve in 2010. The quartet also founded the Stillwater Music Festival (MN) in 2006 as a place to unveil new repertoire and collaborations. As educators, the quartet has been in residency at Williams College, MacPhail Center for the Arts, Dartmouth College, Texas A&M University, and Denison University.

Much of Brooklyn Rider's desire to extend the borders of conventional string quartet programming has come from their longstanding participation in Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble. As individual members of the ensemble, they have performed throughout the world, recorded three albums for Sony Classical, and taken part in educational initiatives, family concerts and media broadcasts. Members of Brooklyn Rider have been involved in a series of museum residencies initiated by the Silk Road Project at the Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art and the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum Reitberg in Zurich, and the Nara National Museum in Japan. They have also participated extensively in Silk Road Ensemble residencies at Harvard University and the Rhode Island School of Design.

A public radio favorite, Brooklyn Rider has been featured recently on NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts, All Songs Considered and All Things Considered, WNYC's Soundcheck, and American Public Media's Performance Today, and NY1 News TV in New York City. Their recordings are played across North America on stations ranging in focus from classical to world, jazz, pop and new music.

The quartet's name is inspired in part by the cross disciplinary vision of Der Blau Reiter (The Blue Rider), a pre World War I Munich-based artistic collective whose members included Vassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, Arnold Schoenberg and Alexander Scriabin. In this spirit, Brooklyn Rider has created an online art gallery that showcases the work of some of the quartet's friends. Proceeds are used to support new commissioning projects. In the eclectic spirit of Der Blau Reiter, the quartet also draws inspiration from the exploding array of cultures and artistic energy found in the borough of Brooklyn in New York City, a place they call home.

Johnny Gandelsman, violin
Colin Jacobsen, violin
Nicholas Cords, viola
Eric Jacobsen, cello

Related Article: Kayhan Kalhor and Brooklyn Rider sublime at Alverno


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