Co-founded by brothers Colin Jacobsen (violin) and Eric Jacobsen (cello), who were also among the founding members of chamber orchestra the Knights, Brooklyn Rider's original lineup also included violinist Johnny Gandelsman and violist Nicholas Cords. The quartet soon founded the Stillwater Music Festival (2006-2015) with an eye to premiering new works. Brooklyn Rider made their recording debut via Gandelsman's In a Circle label with 2008's Passport, which included a set of Armenian folk songs by Komitas. Later that year, they issued The Silent City with Iranian composer and kamancheh player Kayhan Kalhor. They could be heard on Suzanne Vega's Close-Up Series beginning in 2010, the same year Claude Debussy, John Cage, and their own Colin Jacobsen were among the composers represented on Dominant Curve. The year 2011 saw the release of Brooklyn Rider Plays Philip Glass as well as the group's Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center debuts.