Performance Saturday, April 2, 2016 | 7:30 PM

Kronos Quartet

Zankel Hall
The ever daring, never boring Kronos Quartet presents a program of exciting new works. Karin Rehnqvist’s All Those Strings! features the sounds of 54 strings—38 of them on an ancient Finnish zither called the kantele. There is also a new work by Fodé Lassana Diabaté, Mali's most gifted balafon (wooden xylophone) player. To complete the program, Kronos gives the world premieres of two new works from its Fifty for the Future project, which is devoted to the most contemporary approaches to the string quartet. As The New York Times has said, “the ensemble . . . has revolutionized the approach to string quartet repertory."


  • Kronos Quartet
    ·· David Harrington, Violin
    ·· John Sherba, Violin
    ·· Hank Dutt, Viola
    ·· Sunny Yang, Cello
    with Special Guest
    Ritva Koistinen, Kantele
    Philip White, Electronics


  • ALEKSANDRA VREBALOV My Desert, My Rose (World Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
  • NICOLE LIZÉE The Golden Age of the Radiophonic Workshop [Fibre-Optic Flowers] (NY Premiere)
  • N. RAJAM Dadra in Raga Bhairavi (arr. Reena Esmail) (NY Premiere)
  • WU MAN "Ancient Echo" from Four Chinese Paintings (arr. Danny Clay) (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
  • KARIN REHNQVIST All Those Strings! (NY Premiere)
  • YOTAM HABER break_break_break (World Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
  • FODÉ LASSANA DIABATÉ "Bara kala ta" from Sunjata's Time (arr. Jacob Garchik) (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
  • PETE TOWNSHEND Baba O'Riley (arr. Jacob Garchik) (NY Premiere)
  • ALBERT BEHAR Lost Wax (NY Premiere)

  • Encore:
  • GEESHIE WILEY "Last Kind Words" (arr. Jacob Garchik)


  • Kronos Quartet

    For more than 40 years, the Kronos Quartet has combined a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually reimagining 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 850 works and arrangements for string quartet. A Grammy 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); Philip Glass, including an all-Glass CD in 1995 and the premiere of String Quartet No. 6 in 2013; Azerbaijan's Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, featured on the 2005 CD Mugam Sayagi; Steve Reich, including Kronos' recording of the Grammy-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 Paul McCartney, Allen Ginsberg, Zakir Hussain, Rokia Traoré, Rhiannon Giddens, Tom Waits, Howard Zinn, Betty Carter, and rock bands The National and Sigur Rós. In dance, 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 two recent Academy Award-nominated documentaries: the AIDS-themed How to Survive a Plague (2012) and Dirty Wars (2013), an exposé of covert warfare. Kronos also recorded full scores by Philip Glass (Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters and Dracula) and Clint Mansell (Noah, The Fountain, and Requiem for a Dream).

    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 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; and the 2004 Grammy-winner, Alban Berg's Lyric Suite. Kronos Explorer Series, a five-CD retrospective boxed set, was released in 2014, in addition to the single-disc A Thousand Thoughts, featuring mostly unreleased recordings from throughout Kronos' career. The following year, a boxed set of Terry Riley's music written for and performed by Kronos was released.

    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 home-season performances, education programs, and its new presenting program KRONOS PRESENTS.

    Ritva Koistinen

    Ritva Koistinen is well known as a sensitive interpreter of contemporary music written for kantele. She has worked as a lecturer in kantele music at the Sibelius Academy since 1987, when she was invited to start the education of young kantele players. Koistinen has given premiere performances of a large number of compositions written for solo kantele and also for kantele with other instruments. To date, she has recorded three solo albums.

    Koistinen has given concerts as soloist both in Finland and abroad, including Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Germany, France, Spain, Israel, Russia, Canada, and the US. She has performed several kantele concertos by Finnish composers Pekka Jalkanen and Pehr Henrik Nordgren with the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Juha Kangas, and Sinfonia Lahti, conducted by Osmo Vänskä.

    Collaborations with the Kronos Quartet have been the most significant artistic projects in Koistinen's musical activity. In 2014, she performed with Kronos in Stockholm Concert Hall, where they gave the world premiere of Karin Rehnqvist's All Those Strings!.

    In recent years, Koistinen has concentrated on research, finishing her doctoral work in the development study program at the Sibelius Academy, University of Arts Helsinki. The title of her project is "Bodily Experience and the Art of Touching in Kantele Playing."

    Philip White

    Composer, performer, and improviser Philip White works with electronics at the intersection of noise, jazz, and contemporary concert music. Current projects include R WE WHO R WE (with Ted Hearne); duos with Chris Pitsiokos, Bob Bellerue, Taylor Levine, and Paula Matthusen; and cross-media collaborations with Jim Findlay, Ralph Lemon, Nora Chipaumire, and Urban Bush Women. Recent presentations of his work have taken place at BAM Harvey Theater (Brooklyn), Fylkingen (Stockholm), American Academy in Rome, ISSUE Project Room (Brooklyn), and other national and international venues. His music has been released on Carrier Records, New Focus Recordings, Infrequent Seams, and Tape Drift Records. It has been described as "utterly gripping" (Time Out Chicago), "bona fide evocative music" (The Brooklyn Rail), and a "vibrant textural tapestry" (The Wall Street Journal).

    More Info


Kronos Quartet

Fifty for the Future

The Kronos Quartet / Kronos Performing Arts Association have launched an exciting new commissioning initiative, Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire. Beginning in the 2015–2016 season, Fifty for the Future will commission 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 25 male and 25 female composers. Kronos will premiere each piece and create companion digital materials, including scores, recordings, and performance notes, which will be distributed online for free. Kronos, Carnegie Hall, and an adventurous list of project partners join forces to support this exciting new commissioning, performance, education, and legacy project of unprecedented scope and potential impact to sustain the string quartet as a living art form.

Four of the Fifty for the Future works, co-commissioned with Carnegie Hall, are included on this evening’s program.
Program Notes


The performance of Karin Rehnqvist’s All Those Strings! is supported by The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.
Lead support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Public support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Additional funding is provided by members of Carnegie Hall's Composer Club.
Kronos Quartet is the holder of the 2015–2016 Richard and Barbara Debs Creative Chair at Carnegie Hall.
This performance is part of Fast Forward.

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