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Béla Anton Leoš Fleck is named after three classical composers: the Hungarian Béla Bartók and the Czech composers Antonin Dvořák and Leoš Janáček. Known for his wicked banjo playing, he has been pushing the boundaries of the instrument for over 30 years. He performs his new quintet for banjo and string quartet with Brooklyn Rider, a group at home in both clubs and concert halls with appearances in venues as varied as Joe’s Pub, the Library of Congress, the SXSW Festival, and UMS’s Chamber Arts Series. The members of Brooklyn Rider are part of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, and their “down-to-earth demeanor…demystifies contemporary classical music and invites everyone into the tent.” (Time Out New York)
New this season! UMS “Tune in” - a series of brief pre-show talks by inspired and experienced special guests. Each Tune is just 15 minutes long. A special guest speaker will offer a unique perspective, tidbits of information, and provocative questions for thinking about, listening to, and watching the performance. Our special guest for this performance is Mark Clague, U-M Associate Professor of Musicology . Tune in begins at 3:30 pm in Rackham East Conference Room (4th floor).
Where does inspiration come from? What makes an artist tick? Join us for a post-performance Q&A and get a glimpse into the lives and minds of the artists that bring creativity to the stage. Must have a ticket to this evening’s performance to attend.
This afternoon’s concert will include one intermission and will be announced from the stage by the artists. The repertoire will include Béla Fleck’s Night Flight Over Water (2012) and Lev “Ljova” Zhurbin’s Culai (2011-12), among other works.
Program Book [PDF]
Brooklyn Rider website
Béla Fleck website
Born out of a desire to use the rich medium of the string quartet as a vehicle for communication across a large cross section of history and geography, Brooklyn Rider is equally devoted to the interpretation of existing quartet literature and to the creation of new works.
The musicians have worked with such composers as Derek Bermel, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, Jenny Scheinman and and many others, and they also regularly perform pieces written or arranged by members of the group. Another integral part of the group’s work involves creative collaborations with other artists, such as Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man, Syrian/Armenian visual artist Kevork Mourad, traditional and technology-based Japanese shakuhachi player Kojiro Umezaki, Irish fiddle player Martin Hayes, the trio 2 Foot Yard, and singer/songwriters Christina Courtin and Suzanne Vega. Courtin’s widely released debut album on Nonesuch features several tracks with the quartet, as does Vega’s Close Up 2: People & Places. A long-standing relationship between Brooklyn Rider and Kayhan Kalhor resulted in the critically acclaimed 2008 recording, Silent City, on the World Village/Harmonia Mundi label, selected by Rhapsody.com as one of World Music’s Best Albums of the Decade.
The quartet’s name is inspired in part by the cross disciplinary vision of Der Blau Reiter (The Blue Rider), a pre World War I Munich-based artistic collective whose members included Vassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, Arnold Schoenberg, and Alexander Scriabin.
Béla Anton Leoš Fleck is named after three classical composers: the Hungarian Béla Bartók and the Czech composers Antonin Dvořák and Leoš Janáček. Known for his wicked banjo playing, he has been pushing the boundaries of the instrument for over 30 years.
We welcome Brooklyn Rider to their UMS debut performance. All are members of the Silk Road Ensemble, which has performed at UMS on three occurrences. The musicians last appeared at UMS with the Silk Road Ensemble in March 2013, as part of the Ford Honors Program. This performance marks Bela Fleck’s second performance under UMS auspices. Fleck made his UMS debut in February 2010 with the Africa Project.