Caramoor favorites Colin Jacobsen (founding member of The Knights and Brooklyn Rider), Nicolas Cords and Edward Arron (both Evnin Rising Star alumni) join forces for a special performance of Bach’s iconic and beloved Goldberg Variations, arranged for string trio. Opening the program will be Biber’s haunting Passacaglia from his Mystery Sonatas, for solo violin.
Colin Jacobsen, violin
Nicholas Cords, viola
Edward Arron, cello
Biber Passacaglia in G Minor for Solo Violin, C. 105
Bach Goldberg Variations, BWV 988, transcribed for string trio by Dmitry Sitkovetsky
Colin Jacobsen, violin
Violinist and composer Colin Jacobsen is “one of the most interesting figures on the classical music scene” (Washington Post). An eclectic composer who draws on a range of influences, he was named one of the top 100 composers under 40 by NPR listeners. He is also active as an Avery Fisher Career Grant-winning soloist and a touring member of Yo-Yo Ma’s famed Silk Road Ensemble. For his work as a founding member of two game-changing, audience-expanding ensembles – the string quartet Brooklyn Rider and orchestra The Knights – Jacobsen was recently selected from among the nation’s top visual, performing, media, and literary artists to receive a prestigious and substantial United States Artists Fellowship.
In 2005, the violinist founded Brooklyn Rider with violinist Johnny Gandelsman, violist Nicholas Cords, and his brother, cellist Eric Jacobsen. Hailed as “one of the wonders of contemporary music” (Los Angeles Times), the quartet combines true new-music chops and genre-bending innovation with an equal mastery of the classics. Together its members have presented a wealth of world premieres and toured extensively across North America, Asia and Europe, in venues ranging from clubs and rock festivals to Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Brooklyn Rider’s recordings Passport, Dominant Curve, and Seven Steps all made NPR’s best-of-the-year lists; the group’s Silent City, its collaboration with Iranian kamancheh player Kayhan Kalhor, was named one of Rhapsody’s Best World Music Albums of the Decade; and with Brooklyn Rider Plays Philip Glass, the four musicians proved themselves “stunning interpreters” (Time Out Chicago) of the composer’s music.
It was to foster the intimacy and camaraderie of chamber music on the orchestral stage that Jacobsen and his brother, conductor and cellist Eric Jacobsen, founded The Knights. As the New Yorker reports, “few ensembles are as adept at mixing old music with new as the dynamic young Brooklyn orchestra.” The “consistently inventive, infectiously engaged indie ensemble” (New York Times) has appeared at New York venues ranging from Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the 92nd Street Y to Central Park and (Le) Poisson Rouge, storied concert halls worldwide including Dresden Musikfestspiele, Cologne Philharmonie, Düsseldorf Tonhalle, and National Gallery of Dublin.
Colin Jacobsen’s work as a composer developed as a natural outgrowth of his chamber and orchestral collaborations. Jointly inspired by encounters with leading exponents of non-Western traditions and by his own classical heritage, his writing reveals an eclectic personal voice with a “knack for spinning lines with an elasticity that sounds uncannily like improvisation” (New York Times). Among Jacobsen’s most notable compositions for Brooklyn Rider are Brooklesca, an homage to his Brooklyn home; Beloved, do not let me be discouraged…, as heard on the quartet’s acclaimed recording with Kayhan Kalhor; and Achille’s Heel, which is showcased on Dominant Curve. His most recent compositions for the group include Three Miniatures – “vivacious, deftly drawn sketches” (New York Times), which were written for the reopening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Islamic art galleries. Jacobsen collaborated with Iran’s Siamak Aghaei to write a Persian folk-inflected composition, Ascending Bird, which he performed as soloist with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House, in a concert that was streamed live by millions of viewers worldwide. His work for dance and theater includes music for Compagnia de’ Colombari’s theatrical production of Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself.
As a violin soloist, Jacobsen was “born to the instrument and its sweet, lyrical possibilities” (New York Times). He has collaborated with orchestras including the New York Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony, and has premiered concertos by Kevin Beavers and Lisa Bielawa. He has performed with such prominent artists as Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Steven Isserlis, Yo-Yo Ma, Christian Tetzlaff, Mitsuko Uchida, and composer Tan Dun, with whom he toured China. With Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters as narrator, Jacobsen recently performed Stravinsky’s L’histoire du soldat. He has regularly appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, at Bargemusic, and as a member of the Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert, besides enjoying cross-disciplinary explorations with dance and theater companies including the New York City Ballet, Mark Morris Dance Group, and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. His numerous summer festival engagements include Caramoor, Marlboro, Mostly Mozart, Moritzburg, Ravinia, Salzburg, Tanglewood and Taiwan’s National Concert Hall.
A graduate of the Juilliard School and the Royal Conservatory of the Hague, Jacobsen’s principal teachers have included Doris Rothenberg, Louise Behrend, Robert Mann and Vera Beths. He received an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2003.
Colin Jacobsen plays a Joseph Guarneri filius Andreae violin dating back from 1696 and a Samuel Zygmuntowicz violin made in 2008.
Nicholas Cords, viola
Violist Nicholas Cords is strongly committed to the advocacy and performance of music from a very broad historic and geographical spectrum. His busy touring schedule has led him in recent years to Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw, the Cologne Philharmonie, and the Library of Congress. As a soloist, he has appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the New York String Seminar Orchestra. He appeared at the 2012 White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg where he performed recent contemporary American chamber and solo works, including Morton Feldman’s The Viola In My Life 3. At the 2012 Vail International Dance Festival, he gave two performances of Stravinsky’s Elegie for solo viola with the Brazilian ballerina Carla Korbes in a late Balanchine choreography that hasn’t been seen for thirty years. He has appeared in recent years at the Schleswig-Holstein, Santa Fe, Tanglewood, Spoleto, Moritzburg, Lincoln Center, Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, Smithsonian Folklife, and Bard Festivals.
Mr. Cords is a regular member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, a musical collective that uses the historic Silk Road trading route as a metaphor for musical exchange and creativity in the present. The group has not only traveled to many of the major musical centers of the United States and Europe, but also to China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, India, Egypt, Iran, Syria and a number of the Central Asian Republics. In addition to performing with the ensemble, he has taken a role in the organization and development of new creative projects, programming for concerts and museum residencies, and as an active part of two long-term residencies with the group; one at the Rhode Island School of Design and one at Harvard University. Mr. Cords appears on all four of the ensemble’s albums; Silk Road Journeys, Beyond the Horizon, New Impossibilities and Off the Map.
Mr. Cords is also a founding member of Brooklyn Rider; a genre-defying string quartet dedicated to creative programming of repertoire both new and old. The group has collaborated with composers all over the globe, as well as with Irish fiddler Martin Hayes, Persian kemancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor, Japanese shakuhachi player Kojiro Umezaki, banjo phenomenon Bela Fleck, and songstress Suzanne Vega, to name a few. Equally at home in concert halls and clubs, Brooklyn Rider was the only classical group invited to play in the 2010 South By Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. Last season’s highlights included Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall debuts. This season sees the group touring in North America and Asia, along with premieres of works by John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Vijay Iyer, Padma Newsome, Greg Saunier, and more. Their recordings, Silent City, Passport, and Dominant Curve, Brooklyn Rider Plays Philip Glass, and Seven Steps have received wide critical acclaim from sources ranging from Gramophone Magazine to Pitchfork.
Mr. Cords began his musical education at the Juilliard School where he won top honors in the viola competition and subsequently gave the New York premiere of John Harbison’s Viola Concerto at Avery Fisher Hall. He completed his studies at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music. His teachers have included Karen Tuttle, Harvey Shapiro, Joseph Fuchs, and Felix Galamir. A committed teacher, Mr. Cords currently teaches at Stony Brook University. He spends part of his summer schedule teaching at the Bennington Chamber Music and Composers Conference and served for eight years as viola instructor at Princeton University. He has twice participated as a mentor along with other members of the Silk Road Ensemble in the Weill Institute Professional Training Workshops at Carnegie Hall and has also delivered a series of teacher workshops for the New York City Department of Education on music and the role of it can play in cross-cultural understanding. He recently presented a talk at the American Association of Museums National Conference on the role of music in a museum setting. He is a regular contributor to NPR’s classical music blog Deceptive Cadence. Mr. Cords plays on an instrument made for him in 2008 by famed Brooklyn maker Samuel Zygmuntowicz.
Edward Arron, cello
Cellist Edward Arron has garnered recognition worldwide for his elegant musicianship, impassioned performances, and creative programming. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Mr. Arron made his New York recital debut in 2000 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since that time, he has appeared in recital, as a soloist with major orchestras, and as a chamber musician throughout North America, Europe and Asia.
In 2013, Mr. Arron completed a ten-year residency as the artistic director of the critically acclaimed Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert, a chamber music series created in 2003 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Museum’s prestigious Concerts and Lectures series. Currently, he is the artistic director, host, and resident performer of the Musical Masterworks concert series in Old Lyme, Connecticut, as well as the Festival Series in Beaufort, South Carolina and Chamber Music on Main at the Columbia Museum in Columbia, SC. Additionally, Mr. Arron curated a series, “Edward Arron and Friends,” at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, and is the co-artistic director along with his wife, pianist Jeewon Park, of the new Performing Artists in Residence series at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Mr. Arron has performed numerous times at Carnegie’s Weill and Zankel Halls, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully and Avery Fisher Halls, New York’s Town Hall, and the 92nd Street Y, and is a frequent performer at Bargemusic. Festival appearances include Ravinia, Salzburg, Mostly Mozart, Bravo! Vail, Tanglewood, Bridgehampton, Spoleto USA, Santa Fe, Seattle Chamber Music, Kuhmo (Finland), PyeongChang, Charlottesville, Telluride Musicfest, Seoul Spring, Lake Champlain Chamber Music, Chesapeake Chamber Music, and Bard Music Festival. He has participated in Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project as well as Isaac Stern’s Jerusalem Chamber Music Encounters.
Edward Arron began playing the cello at age seven in Cincinnati and continued his studies in New York with Peter Wiley. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where he was a student of Harvey Shapiro. Mr. Arron joined the faculty at University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2016, and has served on the faculty of New York University since 2009.
Sunday April 29 3:00pm