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. Nicholas currently serves as violist, Programming Chair, and Co-Artistic Director of the internationally renowned musical collective Silkroad. Founded by Yo-Yo Ma in 2000 with the belief that listening across cultures leads to a more hopeful world, Silkroad’s mission is explored world-wide through countless learning initiatives and a deep commitment to the exploration of new music and partnerships. Recent highlights include the Grammy Award winning album ‘Sing Me Home’ (Best World Music Album 2017), the Oscar-nominated documentary on Silkroad by Morgan Neville ‘The Music of Strangers,’ and music created for Ken Burns’ recent series ‘The Vietnam War.’ Another key aspect of Nicholas’ busy musical life is as founding member of Brooklyn Rider, an intrepid group which NPR credits with “recreating the 300-year-old form of the string quartet as a vital and creative 21st-century ensemble.” Brooklyn Rider’s singular mission and gripping performance style have resulted in an indelible contribution to the world of the string quartet that has brought in legions of fans across the spectrum. Recent collaborators include Irish fiddler Martin Hayes, Swedish mezzo soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman, Persian kemancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor, banjo legend Béla Fleck, and Mexican jazz singer Magos Herrera. A committed teacher, Nicholas joined the viola and chamber music faculty at New England Conservatory this past fall after teaching at Stony Brook University for the past seven years.