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Crowning an already action-packed year, it was announced today that brothers Colin Jacobsen
and Eric Jacobsen – fellow members of the groundbreaking string quartet Brooklyn Rider and
co-founders and artistic directors of the dynamic orchestra The Knights – have been selected
from among the nation’s top visual, performing, media, and literary artists to receive a prestigious
United States Artists Fellowship, which carries an unrestricted grant of $50,000.


Since its founding seven years ago by the national grant-making and advocacy organization
United States Artists (USA), the USA Fellows program has put $17.5 million directly into
the hands of American artists. The 2012 USA Fellows range from 31 to 81 years of age and
represent the most innovative and influential artists in their fields. Reflecting the diversity of
artistic practice in America, they embrace cutting-edge thinkers and traditional practitioners from
the fields of architecture and design, crafts and traditional arts, dance, literature, media, music,
theater arts, and visual arts. The Jacobsens’ fellow 2012 honorees comprise such leading lights
as novelist Annie Proulx and contemporary dance legend Trisha Brown, while past recipients
number among them visual artist Kara Walker; designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte;
performing artist Meredith Monk; jazz composer Jason Moran; ballet dancer and choreographer
Benjamin Millepied; choreographer Bill T. Jones; and writer Sapphire.


“When we received the phone call from USA Artists with the good news, we were in the
middle of doing what we do much of the time: planning for the future,” remarked violinist Colin
Jacobsen. “Receiving the Fellowship gives us renewed courage to move forward with our
passion to make the string quartet (Brooklyn Rider) and orchestral forms (The Knights) relevant to
our world.”


Violinist Colin has been named “one of the most interesting figures on the classical music
scene” (Washington Post), while cellist and conductor Eric was hailed by the New York Times
as “an interpretive dynamo.” Together, they founded The Knights to foster the intimacy
and camaraderie of chamber music on the orchestral stage; as the New Yorker reports, “few
ensembles are as adept at mixing old music with new as the dynamic young orchestra.”
Similarly, their string quartet Brooklyn Rider – offering true new-music chops, genre-bending
innovation, and risk-taking moxie – all while equally at home in the classics – has been justly
described as “one of the wonders of contemporary music” (Los Angeles Times). Upcoming
highlights for The Knights involve a U.S. tour with pipa virtuoso Wu Man and the release of an all-
Beethoven disc for Sony Classical, while this season has seen Brooklyn Rider present five world
premieres – including new commissions from John Zorn, Shara Worden, Gabriel Kahane, and
Colin Jacobsen himself.

 

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