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Kronos Quartet

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  • Kronos Quartet

  • Kronos Quartet

  • Kronos Quartet

  • Kronos Quartet

  • Kronos Quartet

  • Kronos Quartet

  • Kronos Quartet

  • Kronos Quartet

Albums

Biography All Music Guide

Group Members: Joan Jeanrenaud

All Music Guide:

Since their founding in 1973, Kronos Quartet have become the foremost ambassador of contemporary chamber music, determined and successful at breaking down barriers between musical genres and between musicians and audiences.

David Harrington, the ensemble's founder and first violinist, was inspired to form the group after hearing George Crumb's Black Angels. By the end of the 1970s, Kronos settled into a tight collaboration between Harrington, violinist John Sherba, violist Hank Dutt, and cellist Joan Jeanrenaud, and found a home base in San Francisco, California. At an early point, that initial musical inspiration and the audience reception at their performances led Kronos to devote themselves entirely to contemporary music and to present their music in a more relaxed environment than found at typical chamber music recitals.

As of 2010, the Quartet had commissioned more than 700 works and arrangements, not just for string quartet, but also for quartet plus other performers and even other sound sources. Kronos have had a particularly close working relationship with Terry Riley. In 2002, NASA commissioned Riley to write Sun Rings for Kronos, featuring sounds and images recorded by NASA instruments throughout the solar system. Other longstanding partnerships developed between Kronos and composers Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Henryk Górecki, Osvaldo Golijov, and Franghiz Ali-Zadeh.

Kronos' first big album was 1987's White Man Sleeps, and their 1989 recording of Reich's Different Trains won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Composition. Many of Kronos' other recordings have spent weeks at the top of Billboard's Classical Chart, with 2002's Nuevo nominated for both a Grammy and a Latin Grammy, and 2003's recording of Berg's Lyric Suite winning another Grammy for the ensemble. Kronos' recordings reflect their broad interests in jazz, world music, young composers, and film. In performance, they are just as catholic in their venues and collaborations, even working with several choreographers and multimedia artists.

In 1999, Jeanrenaud left the Quartet, and Jennifer Culp stepped in as the cellist. Culp left in 2005 following the recording of You've Stolen My Heart - Songs from R.D. Burman's Bollywood, and was replaced by Jeffrey Zeigler. Personnel changes aside, Kronos Quartet continue to appeal to an eclectic mix of listeners and to receive high praise for their championship of unique music. In 2011, just after the release of Uniko, a collaboration with accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen and sampling artist Samuli Kosminen, it was announced that Kronos had received both the Avery Fisher Prize (U.S.) and the Polar Music Prize (Sweden) for their exceptional achievements.

Tour Dates All Dates Dates In My Area

Date Venue Location Tickets
02.09.17 University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC US
02.11.17 Carnegie Hall - Judy & Arthur Zankel Hall New York, NY US
03.04.17 Sixth & I Historic Synagogue (Music & Comedy) Washington, D.c. US

eMusic Features

1

Who Is…Marques Toliver

By Barry Walters, Contributor

If Marques Toliver comes across a bit brash, it's because there's little precedent for him. Both a classical violinist and R&B singer-songwriter, this 26-year-old world traveler boasts talents too big and broad to fit into any one box. On his stunning London-recorded Bella Union debut album Land of CanAan, Toliver combines literary and historical influences — among them, Frederick Douglass and James Baldwin — with music that ably blends an unlikely combination of Bach,… more »

1

Icon: The Kronos Quartet

By Justin Davidson, Contributor

"Music is a huge place," violinist David Harrington once said, and no ensemble has explored vaster territories, or returned with more trophies, than the Kronos Quartet. Harrington founded the polymorphous string quartet in 1973 and nearly 40 years later, it is still going strong, even if its members have evolved from revolutionary upstarts to elders of the field. Harrington calls himself "a collector of musical experiences," and by now his ample storerooms contain Medieval polyphony,… more »

1

Icon: The Kronos Quartet

By Justin Davidson, Contributor

"Music is a huge place," violinist David Harrington once said, and no ensemble has explored vaster territories, or returned with more trophies, than the Kronos Quartet. Harrington founded the polymorphous string quartet in 1973 and nearly 40 years later, it is still going strong, even if its members have evolved from revolutionary upstarts to elders of the field. Harrington calls himself "a collector of musical experiences," and by now his ample storerooms contain Medieval polyphony,… more »

0

Music of Central Asia

By Richard Gehr, Contributor

The three fascinating new albums on the Smithsonian Folkways imprint that are devoted to the Music of Central Asia (volumes seven, eight and nine in an ongoing series, for those keeping score) might have been titled "Music of the 'Stans." The compilations range from the musics of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, into India, and then around the world to expatriate communities in New York and California. One album sets poetry composed hundreds of years… more »

Activity

  • 01.19.17 If you've never heard this early album of ours, check it out on @Spotify: https://t.co/XUi5AGCSsO or @YouTube:… https://t.co/xT9tvI0mUJ
  • 01.18.17 RT @JuanCarlosABC7: Musician Zakir Hussain practicing w/ @kronosquartet for tonight's @SFJAZZ gala. @ZakirHtabla getting Lifetime Award htt…
  • 01.18.17 Coming to San Francisco in February... https://t.co/PzAZKVNFvH #KronosHereNow
  • 01.18.17 RT @lisabielawa: Two years since first working w/ @kronosquartet on @OperaVireo, it was thrilling to have them back for the final episode @…
  • 01.18.17 RT @SFJAZZ: Cindy Blackman Santana, Ed Simon & Kronos Quartet rehearsing for tomorrow's #SFJAZZgala & Thursday's #TonyWilliams Spotlight co…
  • 01.18.17 One last HUGE thank you to all who came out to see us @Pier70sf in collab w/ @trevorpaglen and @Obscura_Digital + T… https://t.co/amsOfF6GTK
  • 01.17.17 Listen to "Kronos Under 30 Project:" https://t.co/waAQnebuW3 #nowplaying
  • 01.17.17 Looking forward to our SoCal concerts THIS wkend! Fri: @mcasd (@ljmusicsociety) Sat: @MuscoCenter (@PhilharmonicSoc) https://t.co/np23bClFaK
  • 01.17.17 RT @thesaltr: .@granick's piece is a nice complement to what was an amazing performance by @trevorpaglen & @kronosquartet https://t.co/jUgz…
  • 01.17.17 So exciting! The first choreography to a #FiftyForTheFuture work! https://t.co/YLVJcSbQf5
  • 01.17.17 RT @OperaVireo: Photos from yesterday's shoot @FortMasoninSF! Feat. @RoroAvery16, @kronosquartet & singers from @sfgirlschorus School w/ pn…
  • 01.17.17 RT @katecrawford: At the dress rehearsal for Sight Machine in SF. @kronosquartet + @trevorpaglen + a bunch of ML training libraries = beaut…