Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State
Group members pose around one musician wearing striped socks in a rocking chair.


“I’ve seen the future of chamber music,” writes a reviewer for Strings magazine, “and it is Brooklyn Rider.” The quartet, which calls Brooklyn home, offers an eclectic repertoire in performances that attract legions of fans and rave reviews from critics. “They are four classical musicians performing with the energy of young rock stars jamming on their guitars,” insists a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette critic, “a Beethoven-goes-indie foray into making classical music accessible but also celebrating why it was good in the first place.” NPR lauds violinists Johnny Gandelsman and Colin Jacobsen, violist Nicholas Cords, and cellist Eric Jacobsen for “recreating the 300-year-old form of string quartet as a vital and creative twenty-first-century ensemble.” Brooklyn Rider has performed in an array of venues such as Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, the San Francisco Jazz Festival, Japan’s Todai-ji, Lincoln Center, the Library of Congress, and Austin, Texas’ South by Southwest. The foursome has also collaborated on projects with artists as diverse as banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck and opera soprano Dawn Upshaw. The quartet members are longstanding participants in Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, with which they have performed throughout the world and recorded three CDs. Brooklyn Rider has been featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, On Point, All Songs Considered, Deceptive Cadence, and All Things Considered. The quartet’s recordings are played across North America on stations ranging in focus from classical to world, jazz, pop, and new music. Brooklyn Rider’s name was inspired, in part, by the cross-disciplinary vision of Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), a pre-World War I artist collective in Munich.

Artist website: Brooklyn Rider

1Project Events

Foundations of Arts Entrepreneurship Class Visit

9:05 a.m. Monday, April 13, 2015
118 Borland Building

The public is welcome to listen as Brooklyn Rider musicians participate in an A&A 297A course that introduces arts markets and consumption models for emerging arts entrepreneurs. The musicians discuss their experiences. They also explore issues in marketing aesthetic products and creating and communicating artistic value. Penn State Assistant Professor Jonathan Gangi leads the 75-minute discussion.

Western Art from the Renaissance to the Present Class Visit

12:10 p.m. Monday, April 13, 2015
101 Thomas Building

The public is encouraged to hear Brooklyn Rider musicians speak at an Art History 112 class about their creative process and the inspiration they derive from the pre-World War I Blue Rider art movement. The musicians also discuss their work with contemporary composers and engage in general conversation with students. Penn State Associate Professor Nancy Locke moderates the one-hour discussion.

Honors Dinner

5:30 p.m. Monday, April 13, 2015
The Nittany Lion Inn
Not open to the public

Brooklyn Rider musicians engage with Penn State Schreyer Honors College students during a dinner that gives the scholars an opportunity to talk about the quartet’s almanac project and ask questions.

Engaging Student Leaders

7 p.m. Monday, April 13, 2015
The Nittany Lion Inn Boardroom 2
Not open to the public

Brooklyn Rider musicians and students from the Students Engaging Students organization and Schreyer Honors College explore the concepts behind the dynamics of leaderless teams, pursuing passions, and appreciation of classical music. In the same way that a chamber music ensemble performs without a conductor, individuals on a leaderless team must recognize when to step forward and when to drop back and allow someone else to take the lead.

coolBlue Concert and Conversation

Noon Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Innovation Park at Penn State Tech Center Lobby

The public is invited to hear Brooklyn Rider perform several pieces of music. The one-hour session also includes conversation with the string quartet musicians.

A Haydn quartet and works from The Brooklyn Rider Almanac

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 14, 2014
Schwab Auditorium

The Schwab Auditorium program features Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet in G minor, Op. 74, No. 3, Rider, plus compositions by Dana Lyn, Gonzalo Grau, Vijay Iyer, Christina Courtin, Bill Frisell, Glenn Kotche, Aoife O’Donovan, and Rubin Kodheli from the ensemble’s 2014 album The Brooklyn Rider Almanac.

Adult $42  |  University Park Student $19  |  18 and Younger $32

Buy Tickets

Complimentary round-trip shuttle service is provided between the Eisenhower Parking Deck and Schwab. Board the shuttle in the area between the parking deck and the Eisenhower Auditorium rear loading dock. The first shuttle leaves Eisenhower at 6:05 p.m., followed by others every twenty minutes until 7:05 p.m. After the concert, the shuttle makes as many trips as necessary to return riders to Eisenhower.


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Artistic Viewpoints

Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring the four Brooklyn Rider musicians, is offered in Schwab one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders.

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