Brooklyn quartet rides into Stillwater

Brooklyn Rider
The Brooklyn Rider string quartet is back in Minnesota for the third Stillwater Music Festival.
Photo by Richard Frank

Although the New York-based Brooklyn Rider string quartet doesn't come from Minnesota, three-fourths of its members have roots here.

Brothers Colin and Eric Jacobsen, violin and cello, spent many summers at their grandmother's cabin near Stillwater. The group's violist, Nicholas Cords grew up in White Bear Lake. Only violinist Johnny Gandelsman has no Minnesota connection, except for his colleagues in the quartet.

This week Brooklyn Rider hosts the third annual Stillwater Music Festival. The event concludes Thursday with an all Scandinavian concert honoring the Minnesota sesquicentennial.

The program includes works by Franz Berwald and Jean Sibelius, along with songs by Edvard Grieg, featuring mezzo-soprano Heather Johnson.

The young singer Sibelius also has a Minnesota connection. Like violist Cords, she grew-up in White Bear Lake.

All five joined Minnesota Public Radio host Steve Staruch in the Maud Moon Weyerhaeuser Studio to perform a few of the pieces from this month's Stillwater Music Festival.

While the festival typically brings in large crowds, Brooklyn Rider can always count on an audience of at least one. Colin and Eric's 101-year-old grandmother usually sits in the first row.

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