For more than two decades, omnivorous violist Nicholas Cords has been on the front line of a growing constellation of projects as performer, educator, and cultural advocate. He is deeply committed to music from a broad variety of traditions and epochs, with a particular passion for the cross-section between the long tradition of classical music and the polyglot music of today. 

About Nicholas Cords »




Brooklyn Rider

Mr. Cords is also a founding member of Brooklyn Rider; a genre-defying string quartet dedicated to creative programming of repertoire both new and old ( The group has collaborated with composers all over the globe, as well as with Irish fiddler Martin Hayes.

Brooklyn Rider »

Silkroad Ensemble

Mr. Cords is a regular member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad Ensemble, a musical collective that uses the historic Silkroad trading route as a metaphor for musical exchange and creativity in the present. The group has traveled to many of the major musical centers of the United States and Europe, and also to China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, India, Egypt, Iran, Syria and a number of the Central Asian Republics. 

Mr. Cords was recently named co-artistic director of the ensemble, working alongside Jeffrey Beecher and Shane Shanahan.

Learn about Silkroad »


Stony Brook University

Nicholas Cords is viola artist in residence at Stony Brook University. Stony Brook is located on Long Island, an easy commute to New York City. It is a world class graduate school for viola performance (MM, DMA). Nicholas Cords shares the viola studio with Larry Dutton, violist of the Emerson String Quartet. 

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