Cloister of Santo Domingo Convent
David Harrington: Violin
John Sherba: Violin
Hank Dutt: Viola
Sunny Yang: Cello
If we surveyed the world’s music critics, the Kronos Quartet would be one of their top picks among performance groups of 20th century music. Having this top bill ensemble on the Festival is a great privilege and makes the Festival a must-see on the European circuit.
Aheym (Homeward) by Bryce Dessner1
La Sidounak Sayyada (I’ll Prevent the Hunters from Hunting You)
by Omar Souleyman (arr. Jacob Garchik)2
Sunjata’s Time: 4. Bala Faseke by Fodé Lassana Diabaté (realized by Jacob Garchik)1
Requiem for Adam: 3. Cortejo Fúnebre en el Monte Diablo by Terry Riley1
Last Kind Words by Geeshie Wiley (arr. Jacob Garchik)2
Baba O’Riley by Pete Townshend (arr. Jacob Garchik)2
Death to Kosmische by Nicole Lizée1
Dadra in Raga Bhairavi by N. Rajam (arr. Reena Esmail)2
Harp and Altar by Missy Mazzoli1
The program is subject to changes
1 Written for the Kronos Quartet
2 Arranged for the Kronos Quartet
Approximate length: 1 hour, 30 minutes (including 15 minute intermission)
For more than 40 years, the Kronos Quartet —David Harrington (violin), John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello)— has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually re-imagining the string quartet experience. In the process, Kronos has become one of the most celebrated and influential groups of our time, performing thousands of concerts worldwide, releasing more than 50 recordings of extraordinary breadth and creativity, collaborating with many of the world's most intriguing and accomplished composers and performers, and commissioning more than 850 works and arrangements for string quartet. In 2011, Kronos became the only recipients of both the Polar Music Prize and the Avery Fisher Prize, two of the most prestigious awards given to musicians. The group’s numerous awards also include a Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance (2004) and “Musicians of the Year” (2003) from Musical America.
Integral to Kronos’ work is a series of long-running, in-depth collaborations with many of the world’s foremost composers. One of the quartet’s most frequent composer-collaborators is “Father of Minimalism” Terry Riley. Kronos commissioned and recorded the three string quartets of Polish composer Henryk Górecki. The quartet has also collaborated extensively with composers such as Philip Glass, Azerbaijan’s Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Steve Reich, and many more.
The Kronos Quartet has performed live with the likes of Paul McCartney, Allen Ginsberg, Jarvis Cocker, Zakir Hussain, Modern Jazz Quartet, Noam Chomsky, Rokia Traoré, Tom Waits, Rhiannon Giddens, Howard Zinn, Betty Carter, and David Bowie, and has appeared on recordings by artists such as Nine Inch Nails, Dan Zanes, Glenn Kotche, Dave Matthews, Nelly Furtado, Joan Armatrading, and Don Walser.
Kronos has also performed scores by Philip Glass for the films Mishima and Dracula and by Clint Mansell for the Darren Aronofsky films Noah (2014), The Fountain (2006), and Requiem for a Dream (2000). Additional films featuring Kronos’ music include The Great Beauty (2013), Heat (1995), and True Stories (1986).
The quartet spends five months of each year on tour, appearing in concert halls, clubs, and festivals around the world including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Big Ears, BAM Next Wave Festival, Chicago’s Harris Theater, Disney Hall, Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Barbican in London, WOMAD, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Shanghai Concert Hall and Sydney Opera House.
Kronos is equally prolific and wide-ranging on recordings. The ensemble’s expansive discography on Nonesuch Records includes collections like Pieces of Africa (1992), a showcase of African-born composers; 1998’s ten-disc anthology, Kronos Quartet: 25 Years; Nuevo (2002), a Grammy- and Latin Grammy–nominated celebration of Mexican culture; and the 2004 Grammy-winner, Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite, featuring renowned soprano Dawn Upshaw. Other more recent releases include Rainbow (2010), in collaboration with musicians from Afghanistan and Azerbaijan; and Aheym: Kronos Quartet Plays Music by Bryce Dessner (2013). In celebration of the quartet’s 40th anniversary season in 2014, Nonesuch released both Kronos Explorer Series and the single-disc A Thousand Thoughts. 2015 brought the release of Tundra Songs by Derek Charke as well as a boxed set of Terry Riley’s music written for and performed by Kronos. Music publishers Boosey & Hawkes and Kronos have released two editions of Kronos Collection sheet music.With a staff of 11 based in San Francisco, the non-profit Kronos Performing Arts Association (KPAA) manages all aspects of Kronos’ work, including the commissioning of new works, concert tours and local performances, education programs, and more. In 2015 KPAA launched a new commissioning and education initiative – Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire. With Carnegie Hall as a lead partner, KPAA is commissioning 50 new works – 10 per year for five years – devoted to contemporary approaches to the quartet and designed expressly for the training of students and emerging professionals. The works will be created by an eclectic group of composers – 25 women and 25 men. The quartet will premiere each piece and create companion materials, including scores and parts, recordings, videos, performance notes, and composer interviews, that will be distributed online for free.