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Brooklyn Rider
Anne Sofie von Otter

Thursday, October 13, 2016 7:30 PM Zankel Hall
Take seven of the most talked-about composers of our time—including two Pulitzer Prize winners—add a legendary mezzo-soprano and a cutting-edge string quartet, and you have a recipe for an unforgettable evening of new music. Brooklyn Rider, “one of the wonders of the contemporary music” (NPR), and Anne Sofie von Otter premiere the music of Caroline Shaw and Colin Jacobsen, plus new arrangements by Evan Ziporyn, Nico Muhly, Erik Arvinder, Vince Mendoza, Rob Mathes, and Kyle Sanna of songs by Björk, Elvis Costello, Kate Bush, and more.


Brooklyn Rider
·· Johnny Gandelsman, Violin
·· Colin Jacobsen, Violin
·· Nicholas Cords, Viola
·· Michael Nicolas, Cello

Anne Sofie von Otter, Mezzo-Soprano


PHILIP GLASS Three Selections from "Suite from Bent"

CAROLINE SHAW "Cant voi l'aube" (NY Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)

COLIN JACOBSEN "For Sixty Cents" (NY Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)

JOHN ADAMS "Am I In Your Light?" from Doctor Atomic (arr. Evan Ziporyn; NY Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)


NICO MUHLY So Many Things (arr. Nico Muhly; NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)

JANÁČEK String Quartet No. 1, "Kreutzer Sonata"

BJÖRK "Cover Me" (arr. Erik Arvinder; NY Premiere)

BJÖRK "Hunter" (arr. Vince Mendoza; NY Premiere)


ELVIS COSTELLO "Speak Darkly, My Angel" (arr. Rob Mathes; NY Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)

KATE BUSH "Pi" (arr. Kyle Sanna; NY Premiere)


STING "Practical Arrangement" (arr. Rob Mathes; NY Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)

ANDERSSON / ULVAEUS "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!"

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission. 

Pre-Concert Talk

Pre-concert talk starts at 6:30 PM in Zankel Hall with Brooklyn Rider members Nicholas Cords and Colin Jacobsen, and Anne Sofie von Otter in conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Director of Artistic Planning, Carnegie Hall.

This concert is supported, in part, by The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.

Lead support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Public support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Additional funding is provided by members of Carnegie Hall's Composer Club.

Anne Sofie von Otter Meets Brooklyn Rider

Music is a reflection of our richly nuanced lives, and the repertoire under the vast umbrella of the string quartet medium indeed teaches us much about the human condition. But as grateful as we are for that tradition, working with the incomparable Anne Sofie von Otter has been a near constant reminder that there is nothing quite as expressive as the human voice. Indeed, every string player of honest intentions aspires to the expressive and dramatic palette of the human voice (if we only had a nickel for every teacher who implored us to sing ...). As our rehearsal process began, we immediately sensed that the architecture inherent in the string quartet fused with Anne Sofie’s singular voice yielded something satisfyingly whole. The juxtaposition allowed us to sing, as much as we would venture to guess that it allowed Anne Sofie to play. In our experience, it is almost always in the reaching between two mediums where the interesting “stuff” happens.

As we went about the works of gathering the music for this project, we lamented that walls too often separate the music of today. Is it popular music? Is it art music? To which camp does it belong? These somewhat superficial chasms leave audiences and musicians alike in a disorienting landscape. Casting those clouds aside for now, perhaps the simplest way to describe the collaborative music on tonight’s program is as a constellation of diverse songs and compositions whose only prerequisite for inclusion was that the music touched an emotional chord for us collectively. Achieving a synthesis between the highly particular needs of our respective mediums was of paramount importance to bringing it all to life, and we sought out the most sympathetic arrangers and composers we could possibly find. It was through a process of mutual introductions that we gathered this family of musicians, most everybody hailing from our respective homes and past experiences, all now separated to each of us by only one degree.

—Brooklyn Rider


Brooklyn Rider

Johnny Gandelsman, Violin
Colin Jacobsen, Violin
Nicholas Cords, Viola
Michael Nicolas, Cello

Brooklyn Rider offers eclectic repertoire in gripping ...

Johnny Gandelsman, Violin
Colin Jacobsen, Violin
Nicholas Cords, Viola
Michael Nicolas, Cello

Brooklyn Rider offers eclectic repertoire in gripping performances that continue to attract legions of fans and draw rave reviews from classical, world, and rock critics alike.

Last season, the group celebrated its 10th anniversary with the groundbreaking multidisciplinary project The Brooklyn Rider Almanac, for which it recorded and toured 15 specially commissioned works, each inspired by a different artistic muse. This season, Brooklyn Rider releases an album with Anne Sofie von Otter entitled So Many Things on Naïve Records, including music by Colin Jacobsen, Caroline Shaw, John Adams, Nico Muhly, Björk, Sting, Kate Bush, and Elvis Costello, among others. Together they will tour material from the album and more in the US and Europe.

After performances together at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts last July, the quartet toured the US with choreographer Brian Brooks and former New York City Ballet prima ballerina Wendy Whelan, performing Some of a Thousand Words. Using music from composers John Luther Adams, Tyondai Braxton, Philip Glass, Evan Ziporyn, and a new composition from Colin Jacobsen, the intimate series of duets and solos featured Brooks and  Whelan foregrounds with the live onstage music of the quartet as a dynamic and central creative component.

Other recent recording projects include 2016's The Fiction Issue with music by Gabriel Kahane, 2013's A Walking Fire on Mercury Classics and TheImpostor with Béla Fleck on Deutsche Grammophon / Mercury Classics, plus 2011's much-praised Brooklyn Rider Plays Philip Glass on the composer's Orange Mountain Music label. Violinist Johnny Gandelsman launched In a Circle Records in 2008 with the release of Brooklyn Rider's eclectic debut recording, Passport,  followed by Dominant Curve in 2010, and Seven Steps in 2012. A longstanding relationship between Brooklyn Rider and Iranian kamancheh player Kayhan Kalhor resulted in the much-praised 2008 recording Silent City.

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Anne Sofie von Otter

Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter is one of today's most recorded artists with an unrivalled discography built across a career that spans more than three  ...

Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter is one of today's most recorded artists with an unrivalled discography built across a career that spans more than three decades. A lengthy and exclusive relationship with Deutsche Grammophon produced a wealth of acclaimed recordings as well as a collaboration with pop legend Elvis Costello on For the Stars. Her first recording with Naïve Records, Love Songs, with renowned jazz pianist Brad Mehldau was released in 2010, followed by the Grammy-nominated Sogno Barocco with Leonardo García Alarcón and Cappella Mediterranea. Her double CD, Douce France, received a Grammy Award in 2015 for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album.

Considered the superlative Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier) of her generation, Ms. von Otter appeared in the role at the Bavarian State Opera, Opéra national de Paris, Metropolitan Opera, and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Other recent roles have included Leocadia Begbick in Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at the Royal Opera House, Cornelia in Giulio Cesare at the Salzburg Festival, Countess Geschwitz in Lulu at the Metropolitan Opera, and Nicklausse in Les contes d'Hoffmann at Madrid's Teatro Real. She also appeared as Baba the Turk in The Rake's Progress and as Jenny in The Threepenny Opera at the Theater an der Wien, and as Waltraute in Götterdämmerung at both Deutsche Oper Berlin and Vienna State Opera. Last season, she created the role of Leonore in the world premiere of Thomas Adès's The Exterminating Angel at the Salzburg Festival.

A busy concert schedule takes Ms. von Otter to all corners of the world. Recent guest appearances include performances with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle, the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Daniele Gatti, Washington's National Symphony Orchestra and Christoph Eschenbach, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Marc Minkowski, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski, and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and Sakari Oramo. She also appeared with Jonas Kaufmann and the Berliner Philharmoniker under the baton of the late Claudio Abbado for a televised performance of Das Lied von der Erde on the 100th anniversary of Mahler's death. Last season, she appeared with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Hannu Lintu in a performance of newly commissioned arrangements of Sibelius's songs on the 150th  anniversary of the composer's birth.

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