CAMPANILE MUSIC FESTIVAL
Johnny Gandelsman, violin
Colin Jacobsen, violin
Nicholas Cords, viola
Michael Nicolas, cello
Hailed as “the future of chamber music” (Strings), the veteran string quartet Brooklyn Rider presents eclectic repertoire and gripping performances that continue to draw rave reviews from classical, world, and rock critics alike. NPR credits Brooklyn Rider with “recreating the 300-year-old form of string quartet as a vital and creative 21st-century ensemble.”
To start the 2017-18 season, Brooklyn Rider releases Spontaneous Symbols in October on Johnny Gandelsman’s In a Circle Records label. The album features new quartet music by Tyondai Braxton, Evan Ziporyn, Paula Matthusen, Kyle Sanna, and Brooklyn Rider violinist Colin Jacobsen. To mark the release the group will tour the northeast, with stops in New York and Boston, performing music from the new album. Works from that recording by Braxton, Ziporyn and Jacobsen were also featured in live performance for Some of a Thousand Words, the ensemble’s recent collaboration with choreographer Brian Brooks and former New York City Ballet prima ballerina Wendy Whelan. An intimate series of duets and solos in which the quartet’s live onstage music is a dynamic and central creative component, Some of a Thousand Words was featured at the 2016 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, before a U.S. tour the following spring, including a week-long run at New York City’s Joyce Theater. This season the quartet reunites with Whelan and Brooks for a second North American tour. They also team up with incomparable banjoist Béla Fleck — with whom they appeared on two different albums, 2017’s Juno Concerto and 2013’s The Impostor — for concerts in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Colorado and Montana. Also in the spring, Brooklyn Rider partners with two instrumentalists who are at the forefront of their respective genres, jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman and Irish fiddle master Martin Hayes. The tours with Redman and Hayes are the product of multi-season collaborations that will continue beyond the spring and will include new recordings with both artists. Balancing these collaborations is a full schedule of quartet performances across the U.S., as well as in the U.K., Sweden, and Germany.
During the 2016-17 season, Brooklyn Rider released an album entitled so many things on Naïve Records with Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, comprising music by Colin Jacobsen, Caroline Shaw, John Adams, Nico Muhly, Björk, Sting, Kate Bush and Elvis Costello, among others. The group toured material from the album and more with von Otter in the U.S. and Europe, including stops at Carnegie Hall and the Opernhaus Zürich. Additionally, Brooklyn Rider performed Philip Glass’s String Quartet #7, furthering a relationship with the iconic American composer which began with 2011’s much-praised Brooklyn Rider Plays Philip Glass and will continue with the upcoming album release of Glass’s recent quartets on the composer’s Orange Mountain Music label.
In 2015, the group celebrated its tenth anniversary with the groundbreaking multi-disciplinary project Brooklyn Rider Almanac, for which it recorded and toured 15 specially commissioned works, each inspired by a different artistic muse. Other recording projects include the quartet’s eclectic debut recording in 2008, Passport, followed by Dominant Curve in 2010, Seven Steps in 2012, and A Walking Fire in 2013. In 2016, they released The Fiction Issue with singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane, with the title track a Kahane composition that was premiered in 2012 at Carnegie Hall by Kahane, Brooklyn Rider and Shara Worden. A long-standing relationship between Brooklyn Rider and Iranian kamancheh player Kayhan Kalhor resulted in the much-praised 2008 recording, Silent City.
Hailed as a “Virtuoso” and “Intensely Soulful” by the New York Times and “Spellbinding” by the New Yorker, and “Incredibly Rich Sound” by the CBC. His utterly distinctive sound across different musical genres has gained him international recognition as clarinetist and composer. Kinan was recently named composer-in-residence with Classical Movements for the 2017-2018 season.
Kinan has been touring the world as soloist, composer and improviser. Notable appearances include: Opera Bastille, Paris; Tchaikovsky Grand Hall, Moscow; Carnegie Hall and the UN’s general assembly, New York; the Royal Albert hall, London; Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires; der Philharmonie; Berlin; the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center, Washington DC; the Mozarteum, Salzburg, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and the Damascus opera house for its opening concert in his native Syria.
He has appeared as soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Seattle Symphony, the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, the Qatar Philharmonic and the Syrian Symphony Orchestra among others.; and has shared the stage with Yo-Yo Ma, Marcel Khalife, Aynur, Daniel Barenboim and Jivan Gasparian.
His compositions include several works for solo, orchestra, and chamber music; film, live illustration, and electronics. His discography include three albums with his ensemble Hewar, several soundtracks for film and dance, a duo album with pianist Dinuk Wijeratne and an album with his New York Arabic/Jazz quartet the Kinan Azmeh CityBand. He serves as artistic director of the Damascus Festival Chamber Players, a pan-Arab ensemble dedicated to contemporary music form the Arab world. His is a frequent guest faculty at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music and is on the advisory board of the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra. He is also a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble with whom he was awarded a Grammy in 2017.
Kinan is a graduate of New York’s Juilliard school as a student of Charles Neidich, and of both the Damascus High institute of Music where he studied with Shukry Sahwki, Nicolay Viovanof and Anatoly Moratof, and Damascus University’s School of Electrical Engineering in his native Syria. Kinan earned his doctorate degree in music from the City University of New York in 2013.
Past Visiting Artists
- Che-Yen Chen, Viola
- Jasmine Lin, Violin
- Wayne Lee, Violin
- Deborah Pae, Cello
- Jesse Mills, Violin
- Jonathan Moerschel, Viola
- Clancy Newman, Cello
- Ariana Kim, Violin
- Che-Yen Chen, Viola
- Andra Lunde Padrichelli, Cello
- Laura Albers, Violin
- Gareth Zehngut, Viola
- Ani Aznavoorian, Cello