Performance Friday, May 3, 2013 | 9 PM

Kronos Quartet

Zankel Hall
“I’ve always wanted the string quartet to be vital and energetic and alive and cool,” says Kronos Quartet founder and artistic director David Harrington. “It has to be expressive of life—to tell the story with grace and humor and depth.” The wildly successful group lives up to Harrington’s vision on this program, offering a world premiere by Missy Mazzoli and a New York premiere by Aleksandra Vrebalov.

This concert is part of Late Nights at Zankel Hall and My Time, My Music.


  • Kronos Quartet
    ·· David Harrington, Violin
    ·· John Sherba, Violin
    ·· Hank Dutt, Viola
    ·· Jeffrey Zeigler, Cello
  • with special guest David Krakauer, Clarinet


  • MISSY MAZZOLI You Know Me From Here (World Premiere)
  • LAURIE ANDERSON Flow (arr. Jacob Garchik)
  • SILVESTROV String Quartet No. 3 (NY Premiere)
  • ALEKSANDRA VREBALOV Babylon, Our Own (NY Premiere)

  • Encore:
  • TERRY RILEY "One Earth, One People, One Love" from Sun Rings


  • Kronos Quartet

    For nearly 40 years, the Kronos Quartet has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to expanding 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, performing thousands of concerts worldwide, releasing more than 45 recordings of extraordinary breadth and creativity, collaborating with many of the world's most eclectic composers and performers, and commissioning more than 750 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 accolades also include a 2004 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance and being named Musical America's Musicians of the Year in 2003.

    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 features 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, Shostakovich, Webern), contemporary composers (Aleksandra Vrebalov, John Adams, Alfred Schnittke), jazz legends (Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk), and artists from even farther afield (rock-guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, Azeri vocalist Alim Qasimov, 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 the early Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector; Cadenza on the Night Plain; Salome Dances for Peace; 2002's Sun Rings, a multimedia, NASA-commissioned ode to the earth and its people that features celestial sounds and images from space; and Another Secret eQuation for youth chorus and string quartet, premiered at a concert celebrating Riley's 75th birthday. Kronos commissioned and recorded the three string quartets of Polish composer Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, with whom the group worked for more than 25 years. The quartet has also collaborated extensively with composers such as Philip Glass, recording his string quartets and scores to films like Mishima and Dracula (a restored edition of the Bela Lugosi classic); Azerbaijan's Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, whose works are featured on the full-length 2005 release Mugam Sayagi: Music of Franghiz Ali-Zadeh; Steve Reich, whose Kronos-recorded Different Trains earned a Grammy for the composer; Argentina's Osvaldo Golijov, whose work with Kronos includes both compositions and extensive arrangements for albums like Kronos Caravan and Nuevo; and many more.

    In addition to composers, Kronos counts numerous artists from around the world among its collaborators, including Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man; legendary Bollywood "playback singer" Asha Bhosle, featured on Kronos' Grammy-nominated You've Stolen My Heart: Songs from R. D. Burman's Bollywood; Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq; Mexican rockers Café Tacvba; genre-defying sound artist and instrument builder Walter Kitundu; Romanian gypsy band Taraf de Haïdouks; renowned American soprano Dawn Upshaw; and the unbridled British cabaret trio, the Tiger Lillies. Kronos has performed live with the likes of icons 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, Amon Tobin, Dan Zanes, DJ Spooky, Dave Matthews, Nelly Furtado, Joan Armatrading, and Don Walser.

    Kronos' music has also featured prominently in other media, including film (Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, 21 Grams, Heat, True Stories) and dance, with noted choreographers such as Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, and Eiko & Koma setting pieces to Kronos' music.

    The quartet spends five months of each year on tour, appearing in concert halls, clubs, and festivals around the world, including the BAM Next Wave Festival, Carnegie Hall, the Barbican in London, 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, which simultaneously topped Billboard's Classical and World Music lists; 1998's 10-disc anthology, Kronos Quartet: 25 Years; Nuevo (2002), a Grammy- and Latin Grammy-nominated celebration of Mexican culture; and the 2003 Grammy-winner, Alban Berg's Lyric Suite. The group's latest releases are Floodplain (Nonesuch, 2009), spotlighting music from regions of the world riven by conflict; Rainbow (Smithsonian Folkways, 2010), in collaboration with musicians from Afghanistan and Azerbaijan; and Uniko (Ondine, 2011) with Finnish accordion-sampler duo Kimmo Pohjonen and Samuli Kosminen.

    Kronos' recording and performances reveal only a fraction of the group's commitment to new music. As a non-profit organization based in San Francisco, the Kronos Performing Arts Association has commissioned more than 750 new works and arrangements for string quartet. Music publishers Boosey & Hawkes and Kronos have released sheet music for three signature works, all commissioned for Kronos, in the first volume of the Kronos Collection, a performing edition edited by Kronos. The quartet is committed to mentoring emerging professional performers, and in 2007 Kronos led its first Professional Training Workshop with four string quartets at Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute. Subsequent workshops at Carnegie Hall and other venues have expanded this aspect of the quartet's work. One of Kronos' most exciting initiatives is the Kronos: Under 30 Project, a unique commissioning and composer-in-residence program for composers under 30 years old, launched in conjunction with Kronos' own 30th birthday in 2003. By cultivating creative relationships with such emerging talents and a wealth of other artists from around the world, Kronos reaps the benefit of decades of wisdom while maintaining a fresh approach to music-making inspired by a new generation of composers and performers.

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  • David Krakauer

    Internationally acclaimed clarinetist David Krakauer redefines the notion of a concert artist. Known for his mastery of myriad styles, he occupies the unique position of being one of the world's leading exponents of Eastern European Jewish klezmer music, and at the same time is a major voice in classical music. As one of the foremost musicians of the vital new wave of klezmer, Mr. Krakauer tours the globe with his celebrated Klezmer Madness! ensemble.

    In addition to his annual European tours to major international festivals and jazz clubs, recent seasons brought Mr. Krakauer and his band to the Library of Congress, Stanford Lively Arts, San Francisco Performances, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Carnegie Hall, Venice Biennale, Krakow Jewish Culture Festival, BBC Proms, Jazzfestival Saalfelden, Transmusicales de Rennes, La Cigale, New Morning in Paris, and many others. He recently toured internationally with the multi-genre super-group Abraham Inc., which he co-leads with funk legend Fred Wesley and hip-hop renegade Socalled.

    In addition, Mr. Krakauer is in demand worldwide as a guest soloist with the finest ensembles, including the Kronos, Emerson, and Orion string quartets, as well as the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Weimar, Phoenix Symphony, Dresdner Philharmonie, and Seattle Symphony.

    Mr. Krakauer's discography contains some of the most important klezmer recordings of the past decade, including six CDs under his own name (two on John Zorn's Tzadik label and four on Label Bleu), plus collaborations with The Klezmatics, Itzhak Perlman, and Socalled. His renowned collaboration with the Kronos Quartet on Osvaldo Golijov's The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind (Nonesuch) received the Diapason d'Or in France. Abraham Inc.'s Tweet-Tweet was released in early 2010.

    Composers who have written major pieces for him include David Del Tredici, Paul Moravec, Ofer Ben-Amots, Jean Philippe Calvin, George Tsontakis, Anthony Coleman, and Wlad Marhulets.

    David Krakauer is on the clarinet and chamber music faculties of Mannes College The New School For Music, Manhattan School of Music, NYU, and the Bard College Conservatory of Music. His unique sound can be heard as soloist in Danny Elfman's score for the film Taking Woodstock and throughout The Tango Lesson.

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Pre-concert talk starts at 8:00 PM in Zankel Hall with David Harrington of the Kronos Quartet and composers Missy Mazzoli and Aleksandra Vrebalov in conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Director of Artistic Planning, Carnegie Hall.


Laurie Anderson's Flow
Laurie Anderson
Aleksandra Vrebalov's Pannonia Boundless
Kronos Quartet

At a Glance

San Francisco's Grammy-winning Kronos Quartet returns with a focus on new, Kronos-commissioned works: You Know Me From Here (world premiere) by "Brooklyn's post-millennial Mozart" (Time Out New York), Missy Mazzoli; legendary Ukrainian innovator Silvestrov'sString Quartet No. 3 (New York premiere); and Serbian composer Aleksandra Vrebalov's Babylon, Our Own (New York premiere),  featuring virtuoso clarinetist David Krakauer. The program also includes a recent Kronos favorite, Jacob Garchik's arrangement of Laurie Anderson's concise and delicate Flow.
Program Notes


David Krakauer on Aleksandra Vrebalov's Babylon, Our Own: Part I

David Krakauer on Aleksandra Vrebalov's Babylon, Our Own: Part II

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The Fast Forward series of concerts is sponsored by Ernst & Young LLP
This tour of Kronos Quartet is made possible by a grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
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