Master Kayhan Kalhor plays the upright Persian fiddle. (UCSB Arts & Lectures)

UCSB’s Office of Arts and Lectures is bringing the exciting new string quartet, Brooklyn Rider, along with Kayhan Kalhor, master of the upright Persian fiddle (kamancheh), to Campbell Hall for a concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 11.

Brooklyn Rider, musicians are Johnny Gandelsman, Colin Jacobsen, violins; Nicholas Cords, viola; and Michael Nicolas, cello.

The program opens with A Mirror for Princes by Jacobsen; Philip Glass’s String Quartet No. 7 (2014); and Beloved, Do Not Let Me Be Discouraged, also by Jacobsen.

Following intermission, Kalhor and percussionist Mathias Kunzli with perform Traditional Persian kamancheh improvisations.

The concert will conclude with Kalhor’s piece Silent City, written in memory of Saddam Hussein’s destruction of the city Hallabjah in Kurdistan, but intended as an elegy for all fallen cities and vanished civilizations everywhere.

Brooklyn Rider met Kalhor when they were all performing with Yo-Yo Ma‘s Silk Road Project, and they clicked immediately. The have been collaborating ever since, when their schedules permit.

As this program suggests, the Brooklyn Rider is distinguished from other avant-garde quartets popping up in the wake of the Kronos revolution by their emphasis on what is now known as “World Music,” rather than confine themselves to the works of their European and American contemporaries.

It is not mere exoticism, however (nothing smacking of the discredited term, orientalism), but a genuine empathy for the master musicians of other cultures, coupled with a genuine gift for melding their own music with that of that of the rest of the worl

They serve, that is, as musical ambassadors from the wider world to the more traditional classical music scene at home.

Tickets to  Brooklyn Rider and Kayhan Kalhor are $25-$40 for the general public and $10 all students (with valid ID). Tickets may be purchased at the door, by phone at 893.3535, or on line at

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at The opinions expressed are his own.