Brooklyn Quartet To Make A 'Racket' At U.S. Open

Brooklyn Rider
NY 1

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By Stephanie Simon

To get ready for the U.S. Open, Brooklyn Rider is tightening its strings. The local String Quartet will be performing at the U.S. Open in Queens in September. Violinist Johnny Gandelsman says they’re already working on their set.

"We play music from all over the world and the U.S. Open is such a representation of that. We might think of a set that kind of represents us and the U.S. Open together. We might play some Swiss music for Roger [Federer]," says Gandelsman.

While Roger Federer may need some help with his game, these musicians have played together for years and play like champions. They’ve just released their new album called "Dominant Curve." It takes on Debussy’s String Quartet in G minor plus several new compositions.

Violinist Colin Jacobsen also composed one of the new works on the album.

"I'd like to believe a string quartet is a band for the 21st century. It has been a band that's been around since, you know, 18th century or whatever. But it's a very, very versatile group," says Jacobsen.

Viola player Nick Cords says one of the reasons the group is able to attract a diverse group of fans is because their influences are so eclectic.

"We have this great tradition that we can draw from that’s a few hundred years old but we also have the opportunity to work with singer/songwriters and with composers who are living now and people who do electronics and people who play music and instruments from all around the world," says Cords.

When the musicians found out they were going to be playing at the U.S. Open, at least one of them was a little confused.

"Well, I'm working on my overhead slam right now, you know I haven't been able to necessarily coordinate exactly the jump and the swing but my eastern grip is really what I'm focusing on and trying to go out there and give 110 percent," says Eric Jacobsen of Brooklyn Rider.

Eric and Colin Jacobsen are brothers and do love to play tennis. But for now it seems they’re focused on the music. And no matter what, an appearance at the U.S. Open will be a grand slam for this foursome.

You can also check them out this Thursday at 7 p.m. at Borders at Columbus Circle.