Béla Fleck & Brooklyn Rider
Date: Wednesday, January 17 at 7pm
Location: Baum Walker Hall at Walton Arts Center
Béla Anton Leoš Fleck was born in New York and named after Béla Bartók, Leoš Janácek and Anton Webern. Fleck has been nominated for 30 Grammys in more unique categories than any artist in Grammy history, winning 14 of them.
Widely considered the premier banjo player alive today, Béla is an artist who has completely redefined the limits of the instrument. First making his name in the seminal bluegrass ensemble New Grass Revival with Sam Bush, Béla then formed The Flecktones which combined elements of jazz, jam-band and folk music and have become wildly popular for their brilliant genre-defying live concerts. In 2001 Béla finally delivered “Perpetual Motion” his acclaimed foray into the classical world, which picked up two Grammys. Since writing and performing concerti with double bassist, Edgar Meyer and tabla master Zakir Hussain, Béla made his Deutsche Grammophon debut in 2013 with his concerto for solo banjo, “The Impostor,” commissioned by and recorded with The Nashville Symphony. The concerto was paired with a banjo quintet performed with the dynamic, young string quartet Brooklyn Rider.
Hailed as “the future of chamber music” (Strings), 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. The 2013-14 season sees Brooklyn Rider collaborate with banjo legend Béla Fleck on the Deutsche Grammophon/Mercury Classics album The Impostor and on a 20-city North American tour. Other season highlights include collaborations with soprano Dawn Upshaw at residencies at the University of Texas at Austin and the University North Carolina at Chapel Hill In March and the eighth season of the Stillwater Music Festival, a weeklong chamber festival in Minnesota founded by the group in 2006 as a place to unveil new repertoire and collaborations.
The quartet has been increasingly active in the recording studio, including 2013’s A Walking Fire on Mercury Classics and the 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 long-standing relationship between Brooklyn Rider and Kayhan Kalhor resulted in the critically acclaimed 2008 recording, Silent City.