Carnegie Hall celebrates the 40th anniversary of the groundbreaking contemporary music ensemble Kronos Quartet with a one-night-only concert in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage featuring collaborations with some of the group's close colleagues and longtime artistic partners on Friday, March 28 at 8:00 p.m. The program includes the world premiere of Terry Riley's The Serquent Risadome, commissioned by Carnegie Hall and written for the anniversary, which marks the 27th new work for Kronos by the acclaimed California maverick composer.
Kronos Quartet also performs Aleksandra Vrebalov's Bubbles, featuring the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, which the composer says was inspired by the John Cage quote: "Silence. Sounds are only bubbles on its surface. They burst to disappear." Other collaborations on the Carnegie Hall program include Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man joining Kronos for the New York premiere of Philip Glass's Orion: China; composer/guitarist Bryce Dessner and Kronos performing Dessner's Aheym (Homeward); and Jherek Bischoff performing bass guitar in his work, "A Semiperfect Number," with the quartet. In addition, Kronos performs with four young string quartets from Face the Music-which the quartet has been mentoring this season-on Severiano Briseño's "El Sinaloense" ("The Man from Sinaloa") (arr. by Osvaldo Golijov).
Rounding out the program are Laurie Anderson's Flow; film music by Clint Mansell from Requiem for a Dream and The Fountain, which Kronos recorded for those soundtracks; and arrangements of the traditional Scandinavian folk song "Tusen Tankar" (arr. by Kronos, trans. by Ljova), Syrian musician Omar Souleyman's "La Sidounak Sayyada" (arr. by Jacob Garchik), and Geeshie Wiley's obscure early blues song "Last Kind Words" (arr. by Garchik). Additionally, a short film celebrating the quartet by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Sam Green will be given its world premiere.
Kronos Quartet: For 40 years, the Kronos Quartet-David Harrington (violin), John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello)-has combined 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 world's most celebrated and influential ensembles, performing thousands of concerts worldwide, releasing more than 50 recordings, collaborating with many of the world's most intriguing and accomplished composers and performers, and commissioning more than 800 works and arrangements for string quartet. A Grammy Award winner, Kronos is also the only recipient of both the Polar Music Prize and the Avery Fisher Prize.
Since 1973, Kronos has built a compellingly eclectic repertoire for string quartet, performing and recording works by 20th-century masters (Bartók, Schnittke), contemporary composers (John Adams, Aleksandra Vrebalov), jazz legends (Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk), rock artists (guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, Brazilian electronica artist Amon Tobin), and many others.
Integral to Kronos' work is a series of long-running, in-depth collaborations with many of the world's foremost composers, including: "Father of Minimalism" Terry Riley, on projects such as the NASA-commissioned Sun Rings (2002) and Another Secret eQuation for youth chorus and string quartet (2011); Philip Glass, including an all-Glass CD in 1995 and the premiere of a new work in 2013; Azerbaijan's Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, featured on the 2005 CD Mugam Sayagi; Steve Reich, including Kronos' recording of the Grammy Award-winning composition Different Trains (1989) and WTC 9/11 (2011); and many more.
Kronos has collaborated regularly with performing artists from around the world such as Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man, performance artist Laurie Anderson, Azeri vocalist Alim Qasimov, legendary Bollywood "playback singer" Asha Bhosle, and Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq. Kronos has also performed and/or recorded with the likes of Allen Ginsberg, Zakir Hussain, Rokia Traoré, Tom Waits, Howard Zinn, Betty Carter, and Nelly Furtado. In dance, the famed choreographers Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, and Eiko & Koma have created pieces with Kronos' music.
Kronos' work has been featured prominently in film, including, in 2012, the Academy Award-nominated AIDS documentary How to Survive a Plague and Dirty Wars, a documentary exposé of covert warfare. Kronos also recorded full scores by Philip Glass (for Mishima and Dracula) and by Clint Mansell (Requiem for a Dream and The Fountain) and has contributed music to 21 Grams, Heat, and other films.
The quartet tours extensively each year, appearing in the world's most prestigious concert halls, clubs, and festivals. Kronos is equally prolific and wide-ranging on recordings, including the Nonesuch Records releases Pieces of Africa (1992), a showcase of African-born composers that simultaneously topped Billboard's Classical and World Music lists; Nuevo (2002), a Grammy- and Latin Grammy-nominated celebration of Mexican culture; the 2004 Grammy-winner, Alban Berg's Lyric Suite; and Music of Vladimir Martynov (2011). Music publishers Boosey & Hawkes and Kronos released the first volume of its Kronos Collection of sheet music in 2006; Volume 2 was published in 2013.
The non-profit Kronos Performing Arts Association (KPAA) manages all aspects of Kronos' work, including the commissioning of new works, concert tours and home-season performances, and education programs-such as extended residencies in 2013-2014 at UC Berkeley's Cal Performances; the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland; and the Special Music School at the Kaufman Music Center in New York City.
Friday, March 28 at 8:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
KRONOS QUARTET AND FRIENDS
•• David Harrington, Violin
•• John Sherba, Violin
•• Hank Dutt, Viola
•• Sunny Yang, Cello
Bryce Dessner, Guitar
Wu Man, Pipa
Jherek Bischoff, Bass Guitar
Musicians from Face the Music
Brooklyn Youth Chorus
Dianne Berkun-Menaker, Artistic Director
40TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
ALEKSANDRA VREBALOV Bubbles
BRYCE DESSNER Aheym (Homeward)
TERRY RILEY The Serquent Risadome (World Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
GEESHIE WILEY "Last Kind Words" (arr. Jacob Garchik)
OMAR SOULEYMAN "La Sidounak Sayyada" ("I'll Prevent the Hunters from Hunting You")
TRADITIONAL "Tusen Tankar" ("A Thousand Thoughts") (arr. Kronos Quartet, trans. Ljova)
SEVERIANO BRISEÑO "El Sinaloense" ("The Man from Sinaloa") (arr. Osvaldo Golijov)
LAURIE ANDERSON Flow (arr. Jacob Garchik)
PHILIP GLASS Orion: China (arr. Michael Riesman) (NY Premiere)
JHEREK BISCHOFF "A Semiperfect Number"
CLINT MANSELL "Lux Aeterna" from Requiem for a Dream (arr. David Lang)
CLINT MANSELL "Death is the Road to Awe" from The Fountain (arr. Kronos Quartet)
Tickets, priced $30 to $75, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.
For Carnegie Hall Corporation presentations taking place in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, a limited number of seats, priced at $10, will be available day-of-concert beginning at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00 noon on Sunday until one hour before the performance or until supply lasts. The exceptions are Carnegie Hall Family Concerts and gala events. These $10 tickets are available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis at the Carnegie Hall Box Office only. There is a two-ticket limit per customer.
In addition, for all Carnegie Hall presentations in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage a limited number of partial view (seats with obstructed or limited sight lines or restricted leg room) will be sold for 50% of the full price. For more information on this and other discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts. Artists, programs, and prices are subject to change.
Photo by Jay Blakesberg.