St. John School of the Arts Presents Brooklyn Rider in Concert Followed by “Dinner at Eight” on Friday, March 25

St. John may be small and remote, but the St. John School of the Arts wants to be certain that residents can enjoy performances by world-class musicians through the Sis Frank Concert Series.

Credit Photo: Erin Baiano

In their fourth concert of the series, the school will present Brooklyn Rider on Friday, March 25 at 6 p.m. The concert was originally scheduled to take place in the spring of 2020 but was postponed for two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brooklyn Rider is a string quartet that defies easy description.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has cited Brooklyn Rider as “four classical musicians performing with the energy of young rock stars jamming on their guitars, a Beethoven-goes-indie foray into making classical music accessible but also celebrating why it was good in the first place.”

National Public Radio has hailed Brooklyn Rider for “recreating the 300-year-old form of string quartet as a vital and creative 21st-century ensemble.”

The group consists of Johnny Gandelsman (violin), Colin Jacobsen (violin), Nicholas Cords (viola), and Michael Nicholas (cello). The four have dedicated much of their 15-year collaboration to working with contemporary composers and soloists from around the world. Recent works include musical explorations of the U.S.–Mexico border conflict, the Syrian refugee crisis, the mental health epidemic, and physical well-being.

Credit Photo: Erin Baiano

For the concert on St. John, Brooklyn Rider will be performing “Aroma A Distancia” (“Distant Scent”) by Venezuelan-born composer Gonzalo Grau and a major new work by the Argentinian composer and group’s close friend, Osvaldo Golijov. Titled “Un Dia Bom,” (“A Good Day”) “It’s five movements depict a life from morning till midnight and beyond, but as if told to children,” according to Golijov.

The piece evokes – among other things – a child’s sense of wonder, the sound of rain, a dancing couple gliding across the floor, Yiddish folks songs, the painting of Jean-Michel Basquiat, and “the graceful, endless fall of a feather through the sky,” Golijov said.

In the final part of the program, Brooklyn Rider will perform Franz Schubert’s timeless String Quartet in D minor, D.810, known as “Death and the Maiden.”

Tickets for the concert are $50 and are available online at the St. John School of the Arts’ website.

Because the Department of Health has modified its protocols in recent weeks, audience members are no longer required to provide prior proof of vaccinations against COVID-19, although they still must wear masks. The lifting of restrictions also allows the school to sell a limited number of tickets at the door.

Concert goers are reminded of an earlier-than-usual curtain time of 6 p.m., which allows them to have dinner at one of five first-rate restaurants in Cruz Bay to benefit the St. John School of the Arts.

Following the concert, for a donation of $150 per person, “Angel Diners” can have “Dinner at Eight” (and a glass of wine or soft drink) at 18º64º (gratuity not included); Dave & Jerry’s Island Steakhouse (gratuity not included); Extra Virgin (gratuity not included; The Lime Inn (gratuity included); or The Terrace at 8:30, complimentary wine & cheese at SJSA prior to dinner (gratuity not included.)

Thanks to the generosity of these restaurants, the entire $150 donation will go to benefit the school. There’ll be a fun drawing after the concert during which Angel Diners will learn which of the five restaurants will be serving them dinner. Contact the school at to purchase tickets. Please note that “Dinner at Eight” is available to those who aren’t able to attend the concert.

Brooklyn Rider will perform at The Forum at Prior-Jollek Hall at the Antilles School on St. Thomas on Saturday, March 26 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available through this link:,-Inc.

The concerts are funded in part by the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, the Virgin Islands Lottery, and the ArtsConnect Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation program with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program.