Performance Friday, March 28, 2014 | 8 PM

Kronos Quartet and Friends

40th Anniversary Celebration

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Since its inception, the Kronos Quartet has combined a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to expand the range and context of the string quartet. In the process, Kronos has become one of the most celebrated and influential groups of our time, collaborating with many of the world's most eclectic composers and performers. Kronos returns to Carnegie Hall with several special guests to celebrate its 40th anniversary, performing commissioned works by favorite composers and collaborators, including a world premiere and Carnegie Hall commission by Terry Riley, a New York premiere by Philip Glass, plus works by Laurie Anderson, Jherek Bischoff, Clint Mansell, and others. The celebration also includes the world premiere of a short film by Sam Green.

This concert is part of My Time, My Music.


  • Kronos Quartet
    ·· 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


  • BRYCE DESSNER Aheym (Homeward)
  • TRAD. "Tusen Tankar" ("A Thousand Thoughts") (arr. Kronos Quartet, trans. Ljova)
  • WILEY "Last Kind Words" (arr. Jacob Garchik)
  • OMAR SOULEYMAN "La Sidounak Sayyada" ("I'll Prevent the Hunters from Hunting You") (arr. Jacob Garchik)
  • TERRY RILEY The Serquent Risadome (World Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
  • 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)
  • VLADIMIR MARTYNOV "The Beatitudes"
  • 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)

  • Encore:
  • HENDRIX "Purple Haze" (arr. Kronos Quartet)

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.


  • Kronos Quartet

    For 40 years, the Kronos Quartet 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 800 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 being named 2003's Musicians of the Year by Musical America.

    Kronos' adventurous approach dates back to the ensemble's origins. In 1973, David Harrington was inspired to form Kronos after hearing George Crumb's Black Angels, a highly unorthodox, Vietnam War-inspired work that featured bowed water glasses, spoken-word passages, and electronic effects. Kronos then began building a compellingly diverse repertoire for string quartet, performing and recording works by 20th-century masters (Bartók, Webern, Schnittke), contemporary composers (John Adams, Osvaldo Golijov, Aleksandra Vrebalov), jazz legends (Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk), rock artists (guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, Brazilian electronica artist Amon Tobin, and Icelandic indie-rock group Sigur Rós), and artists who truly defy genre (performance artist Laurie Anderson, composer-sound sculptor-inventor Trimpin, interdisciplinary composer-performer Meredith Monk).

    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, whose work with Kronos includes Salome Dances for Peace; Sun Rings, a multimedia, NASA-commissioned ode to the earth and its people, featuring celestial sounds and images from space; and Another Secret eQuation for youth chorus and string quartet, premiered at an April 2011 concert in celebration of Riley's 75th birthday. Kronos commissioned and recorded the three string quartets of Polish composer Henryk Górecki, with whom the group worked for more than 25 years. The quartet has also collaborated extensively with composers such as Philip Glass, recording a CD of his string quartets in 1995 and premiering a new work in 2013, among other projects; Azerbaijan's Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, whose works are featured on the full-length 2005 release Mugam Sayagi; Steve Reich, from Kronos' performance of the Grammy-winning composition Different Trains to the September 11-themed WTC 9/11; and many more.

    In addition to composers, Kronos counts numerous performers from around the world among its collaborators, including Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man; Azeri master vocalist Alim Qasimov, legendary Bollywood "playback singer" Asha Bhosle, featured on Kronos' Grammy-nominated CD You've Stolen My Heart: Songs from R. D. Burman's Bollywood; Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq; indie rock band The National; Mexican rockers Café Tacvba; sound artist and instrument builder Walter Kitundu; and Romanian gypsy band Taraf de Haïdouks. Kronos has performed live with the likes of Paul McCartney, Allen Ginsberg, Zakir Hussain, Modern Jazz Quartet, Noam Chomsky, Rokia Traoré, Tom Waits, David Barsamian, Howard Zinn, Betty Carter, and David Bowie, and has appeared on recordings by such diverse talents as Nine Inch Nails, Dan Zanes, DJ Spooky, Dave Matthews, Nelly Furtado, Joan Armatrading, and Don Walser. In dance, famed choreographers Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, and Eiko & Koma have created pieces with Kronos' music.

    Kronos' work has also featured prominently in a number of films, including two recent Academy Award-nominated documentaries: the AIDS-themed How to Survive a Plague (2012) and Dirty Wars (2013), an exposé of covert warfare for which Kronos' David Harrington served as music supervisor. Kronos also performed scores by Philip Glass for the films Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters and Dracula (a restored edition of the 1931 Tod Browning-Bela Lugosi classic) and by Clint Mansell for the Darren Aronofsky films The Fountain and Requiem for a Dream. Additional films featuring Kronos' music include 21 Grams, Heat, and True Stories.

    The quartet spends five months of each year on tour, appearing in concert halls, clubs, and festivals around the world, including Lincoln Center Out of Doors, BAM Next Wave Festival, Carnegie Hall, London's Barbican, WOMAD, UCLA's Royce Hall, 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 that simultaneously topped Billboard's Classical and World Music charts; 1998's 10-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. Among the group's latest releases are Rainbow (Smithsonian Folkways, 2010), in collaboration with musicians from Afghanistan and Azerbaijan; Music of Vladimir Martynov (Nonesuch, 2011), and Aheym: Kronos Quartet plays music by Bryce Dessner (Anti-, 2013). Music publishers Boosey & Hawkes and Kronos released sheet music for three signature Kronos-commissioned works in Kronos Collection, Volume 1 (2006), a performing edition edited by Kronos; Volume 2 will be released in 2014.

    In addition to its role as a performing and recording ensemble, the quartet is committed to mentoring emerging performers and composers and has led workshops, master classes, and other education programs at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, California State Summer School for the Arts, Carnegie Hall's Weill Institute, London's Barbican, and other institutions in the US and overseas. Kronos is undertaking extended educational residencies in 2013-2014 at UC Berkeley's Cal Performances, the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, the Special Music School at the Kaufman Music Center in New York City, and the Malta Arts Festival.

    With a staff of 10 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, concert presentations in the San Francisco Bay Area, education programs, and more. One of KPAA's most exciting initiatives is the Kronos: Under 30 Project, a unique commissioning and residency program for composers under age 30 that has now added five new works to the Kronos repertoire. By cultivating creative relationships with emerging and established artists from around the world, Kronos and KPAA reap the benefit of decades of wisdom, while maintaining a fresh approach to music making.

    More Info

  • Bryce Dessner

    Bryce Dessner is best known as the guitarist for the acclaimed rock band The National. Their albums Alligator (2005), Boxer (2007), and High Violet (2010) were named among albums of the decade in publications throughout the world. Their most recent release, Trouble Will Find Me (2013), debuted at number three on both the Billboard and the UK Albums charts. In addition to his work as a composer and guitarist, Dessner is the founder and artistic director of the acclaimed MusicNOW Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio, which presents its ninth season in 2014. He is also a co-founder and owner of the Brassland record label, home to a diverse group of artists who include experimental rock duo Buke and Gase, celebrated young composer Nico Muhly, and cellist Erik Friedlander. In addition, Dessner and his brother Aaron produced an extensive AIDS charity compilation, Dark Was the Night, for the Red Hot Organization. The ambitious record features exclusive new recordings and collaborations from a long list of artists, including Kronos, David Byrne, Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, Sharon Jones, Cat Power, Grizzly Bear, My Morning Jacket, and Spoon.

    More Info

  • Wu Man

    Recognized as the world's premier pipa virtuoso and leading ambassador of Chinese music, Grammy Award-nominated musician Wu Man has carved out a career as a soloist, educator, and composer. She has helped to give her lute-like instrument-which has a history of more than 2,000 years in China-a new role in both traditional and contemporary music. Having been brought up in the Pudong School of pipa playing-one of the most prestigious classical styles of Imperial China-Wu Man is now recognized as an outstanding exponent of the traditional repertoire, as well as a leading interpreter of contemporary pipa music by today's most prominent composers. Wu Man's efforts were recognized when she was named Musical America's 2013 Instrumentalist of the Year, the first time this prestigious award has been bestowed on a player of a non-Western instrument.

    Born in Hangzhou, China, Wu Man studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, where she was accepted at age 13, and became the first recipient of a master's degree in pipa performance. In 1985, she made her first visit to the United States as a member of the China Youth Arts Troupe. Wu man moved to the US in 1990 and currently resides with her husband and son in California.

    More Info

  • Jherek Bischoff

    In his 30 odd years, Jherek Bischoff has played in numerous bands and musical configurations, including Parenthetical Girls, Xiu Xiu, Degenerate Art Ensemble, The Dead Science, Amanda Palmer, Wordless Music Orchestra, and a various and sundry mix of musicians around the world. Bischoff has been an instinctive collaborator since his formative days spent sailing the world with his family, hopping ashore at various ports to serve as an impromptu Bischoff family backing band to locals.

    More Info

  • Face the Music

    Face the Music is the country's only ensemble for 18-and-under that is solely devoted to the music of living composers. In the space of nine years, Face the Music has grown from an after-school club of eight kids to a massive group of more than 135 students from all over the tri-state area who convene every week to write, rehearse, and perform music together. The ensemble advances the Kaufman Music Center's commitment to contemporary music and provides unparalleled performance and education experiences for the next generation of musical leaders.

    Under the direction of Dr. Jenny Undercofler, Face the Music performs nearly 35 concerts each season in venues around the city, ranging from schools to museums to concert halls. Highlights from recent seasons include performances at the Bang on a Can Marathon, Ecstatic Music Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, and River to River Festival, where Face the Music opened for the Philip Glass Ensemble. Face the Music has collaborated with many professional artists, including the JACK Quartet, ICE, and Gutbucket. This past fall, Face the Music launched the Kronos at Kaufman program, pairing members of the Kronos Quartet with four elite student quartets.

    More Info

  • Brooklyn Youth Chorus

    Now in its 22 season, the Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus (BYC), under the direction of Founder and Artistic Director Dianne Berkun-Menaker, is defying convention and re-imagining the artistic role of the youth chorus. BYC has become one of the country's leading choruses, performing hundreds of concerts, collaborating with some of the most influential composers and artists of our time, and commissioning daring, new choral works.

    BYC has performed with major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, and Mariinsky Orchestra under the batons of Valery Gergiev, Lorin Maazel, Charles Dutoit, Robert Spano, and Leon Botstein. The chorus has also appeared in performances and recordings with such popular artists as Barbra Streisand, Sir Elton John, Lou Reed, Philip Glass, the Kronos Quartet, and Alicia Keys. BYC won a Grammy for the world premiere live recording of John Adams's On the Transmigration of Souls with the New York Philharmonic in 2005.

    Central to BYC's work is New Voices, an active commissioning program with the goal of creating innovative, genre-bending repertoire that challenges and thrills both singers and audiences. Among the celebrated composers BYC has commissioned are Pulitzer Prize winners David Lang and Paul Moravec, Bryce Dessner, Missy Mazzoli, Nico Muhly, Kirk Nurock, Richard Reed Parry, Aleksandra Vrebalov, Julia Wolfe, and Shara Worden. These collaborations have yielded 30 individual compositions as well as full-scale productions, including Tell the Way (2011), co-produced with St. Ann's Warehouse and featuring composer Nico Muhly, and Brooklyn Village (2012), co-produced with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and Roulette theater.

    The young singers, who are drawn from all five boroughs of New York City, receive unparalleled training from the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy (BYCA)-a performance-based vocal music education program.

    More Info


Bryce Dessner's Aheym
Kronos Quartet
Anti, Inc.

The Program

Aleksandra Vrebalov, a native of the former Yugoslavia, left Serbia in 1995 and continued her education in the United States. She holds a bachelor's degree in composition from the University of Novi Sad in Serbia, a master's from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and a doctorate in composition from the University of Michigan. She lives in New York City.
Program Notes
Lead support for Carnegie Hall commissions is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This performance is part of Off the Beaten Track, Signatures, and Modern Virtuosos - Students.

Part of