Kronos Quartet Returns to
Carnegie Hall with
George Crumb's Black Angels
In Zankel Hall on
Saturday, April 23
Inventive Program Also Features
My Lai Suite with Music by Jonathan Berger
and Libretto by Harriet Scott Chessman,
and New Works by Aleksandra Vrebalov
and inti figgis-vizueta
Kronos Quartet returns to New York City with a performance in Zankel Hall on Saturday, April 23 at 9:30 p.m. The ensemble makes a timely statement with an eclectic program featuring George Crumb’s Black Angels, the iconic work that inspired the founding of the ensemble. The piece is a powerful parable written in response to the Vietnam War, scored for amplified string quartet with percussive sounds, spoken-word passages, and other special effects.
"We want to celebrate the groundbreaking creativity of George Crumb. He gave our medium a vast, bold, fresh sonic palette, a political conscience, as well as staging and theatrical opportunities,” says Kronos Quartet Artistic Director David Harrington. “When I first heard Black Angels in August 1973, the strength of that experience gave me the impetus to form Kronos…Jimi Hendrix and Schubert were brought together!”
Crumb’s work is pointedly paired with My Lai Suite, written by Jonathan Berger (music) and Harriet Scott Chessman (libretto) for Kronos Quartet, Vietnamese multi-instrumentalist Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ, and vocalist Rinde Eckert. The suite is drawn from the acclaimed opera My Lai, which tells the powerful story of the My Lai massacre and the ethical dilemmas of an individual placed in an impossible situation, with a dramatic score emphasizing the bleakness and horror of the Vietnam War. On May 20, Kronos will release the world premiere recording of the complete opera on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.
The program also features the world premiere of ilektrikés rímes by Serbian composer Aleksandra Vrebalov, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall, and the New York premiere of inti figgis-vizueta’s music by yourself.
“Aleksandra Vrebalov and inti figgis-vizueta are astonishing young composers who grew up listening to our recording of Black Angels, and both of their works on this program are in some ways a continuation of Crumb’s pinnacle work. We then had the idea to bookend the concert with Jonathan Berger's My Lai Suite, and we are thrilled to have Rinde Eckert and Vân-Ánh Võ join us for this piece,” Harrington adds.
About The Artist
For 48 years, San Francisco’s 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 reimagine the string quartet experience. In the process, Kronos has become one of the world’s most celebrated and influential ensembles, performing thousands of concerts, releasing more than 60 recordings, collaborating with many of the world’s most accomplished composers and performers, and commissioning over 1,000 works and arrangements for string quartet. Kronos has received over 40 awards, including the prestigious Polar Music, Avery Fisher, and Edison Klassiek Oeuvre Prizes.
Integral to Kronos’s work is a series of long-running associations with many of the world’s foremost composers and musicians, including Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Philip Glass, Nicole Lizée, Vladimir Martynov, Steve Reich, Aleksandra Vrebalov, and Wu Man. Kronos has shared the stage with numerous artists, including David Bowie, Asha Bhosle, Rhiannon Giddens, Sam Green, Zakir Hussain, Trevor Paglen, Van Dyke Parks, Alim Qasimov, San Francisco Girls Chorus, Tanya Tagaq, Mahsa Vahdat, Tom Waits, and Howard Zinn.
Touring for five months each year, Kronos appears in the world’s most prestigious concert halls, clubs, and festivals. Kronos has a prolific and wide-ranging discography on Nonesuch Records, including three Grammy-winning albums—Terry Riley’s Sun Rings (2019), Landfall with Laurie Anderson (2018), and Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite featuring Dawn Upshaw (2003). Among Kronos’ recent releases are Ladilikan (World Circuit Records) with Malian musicians Trio Da Kali; Michael Gordon: Clouded Yellow (Cantaloupe), Placeless (Kirkelig Kulturverksted) with Iranian vocalists Mahsa and Marjan Vahdat, and Long Time Passing: Kronos & Friends Celebrate Pete Seeger (Smithsonian Folkways).
The Kronos Quartet made its Carnegie Hall debut in 1980 and has since performed close to 40 times, including curating a Perspectives series in the 2009–2020 season. Kronos celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2014 with a Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage concert that featured longtime artistic partners and young artists. The group was Carnegie Hall’s Debs Creative Chair for the Hall’s 125th anniversary season in 2015–2016.
The nonprofit Kronos Performing Arts Association manages all aspects of Kronos’ work, including the commissioning of new works, concert tours and home season performances, education programs, and the annual Kronos Festival. In 2015, Kronos launched Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire, an education and legacy project that is commissioning—and distributing online for free—50 new works for string quartet written by composers from around the world. Learn more at kronosquartet.org.
Saturday, April 23 at 9:30 PM
·· David Harrington, Violin
·· John Sherba, Violin
·· Hank Dutt, Viola
·· Sunny Yang, Cello
Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ, Bamboo Xylophone and Zithers
Rinde Eckert, Vocalist
GEORGE CRUMB Black Angels
ALEKSANDRA VREBALOV ilektrikés rímes (World Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
INTI FIGGIS-VIZUETA music by yourself (NY Premiere)
JONATHAN BERGER / HARRIET SCOTT CHESSMAN My Lai Suite
Photo at top of release by Steve Sherman.
Tickets, priced $65 and $80, 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 more information on 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.
Please note: To support a safe reopening for in-person events and in accordance with the advice of medical and public health experts, everyone entering Carnegie Hall will be required to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 with a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO). In addition, everyone on Carnegie Hall’s premises will be required to wear a properly fitting mask over the nose and mouth except when eating or drinking in designated areas.
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