Kronos Quartet
“I’ve always wanted the string quartet to be vital, and energetic, and alive, and cool, and not afraid to kick ass and be absolutely beautiful and ugly if it has to be. But it has to be expressive of life. To tell the story with grace and humor and depth. And to tell the whole story if possible …”—David Harrington, Founder and Artistic Director

For more than 35 years the Kronos Quartet has embodied these ideals with passion and commitment. Described as “an all-terrain vehicle in contemporary culture” (New Yorker), Kronos has commissioned 650 new works for quartet since its inception. Even a brief overview of the composers the group has performed—Alban Berg, Steve Reich, Jimi Hendrix, Kaija Saariaho, Hamza el Din, Henryk Górecki—shows the astonishing variety of music Kronos has championed to the delight of its wide-ranging fans.

The Kronos Quartet’s five Carnegie Hall Perspectives concerts are no exception, with music from minimalist original Terry Riley, works by composers from the Arctic Circle, performances on instruments constructed from remnant military materials by children from Angola, collaborations with virtuosic musicians from different traditions, and contemporary Chinese works. The Kronos Quartet will also lead a Professional Training Workshop, presented by the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall.


The Kronos Quartet and composer Terry Riley mark 30 years of prolific collaboration, a strong artistic relationship that has resulted in 26 new works. Transylvanian Horn Courtship, which draws inspiration from his legendary Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band performances in the 1960s, features a set of string instruments with metal horns created especially for Kronos by MacArthur Fellow Walter Kitundu. The program will feature other recent works and commissions for Kronos, including the premiere performance of Another Secret eQuation, for Kronos and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City.

Program Details

Kronos Quartet
  David Harrington, Violin
  John Sherba, Violin
  Hank Dutt, Viola
  Jeffrey Zeigler, Cello
Young People’s Chorus of New York City
Francisco J. Núñez, Artistic Director

TERRY RILEY Another Secret eQuation (World Premiere)
TERRY RILEY Transylvanian Horn Courtship (NY Premiere)
TERRY RILEY The Welcoming Baptism of Sweet Daisy Grace (NY Premiere)
TERRY RILEY “One Earth, One People, One Love” from Sun Rings
TERRY RILEY "Good Medicine" from Salome Dances for Peace

Tickets start at $32.


Posted March 8, 2010


One of the great beauties of Carnegie Hall’s Perspectives series is that it allows artists the opportunity to articulate their artistic visions in a curatorial way. For the Kronos Quartet’s Perspectives, the group has created programming that truly reflects the myriad and far-reaching explorations that Kronos has undertaken in more than 30 years of work.

During this series, we see the members of Kronos as the quintessential collaborators. They are not simply commissioning work, nor seeking out different voices just for the sake of being novel, but instead graciously inviting composers and artists of all stripes to create new artistic visions. They have asked a number of artists with whom they have shared the stage previously or with whom they hope to work in the future to join them for these concerts. The common denominator is that all are grounded in the notion of “we.” When Kronos generates commissions or begins to work with new artists, the ideal is to create a greater whole, a sum that far exceeds the voices of four individual musicians.

Posted January 30, 2010


Having artists curate programming is the focus of Carnegie Hall’s Perspectives series, and few artists are as intimately involved in presenting sounds from the world over as the Kronos Quartet. “In the last 35 years,” says violinist David Harrington, the group’s founder, “there have been 650 pieces written for Kronos, and I can say that I've been involved in every one of them.”

Since the group’s founding in 1973, the members of the Kronos Quartet have become four of music’s consummate collaborators; in addition to Harrington, there is John Sherba on violin, Hank Dutt on viola, and Jeffrey Zeigler on cello. The four have built a circle of colleagues past and present that include everyone from pop icon David Bowie to the Palestinian trip-hop collective Ramallah Underground.

Posted October 31, 2009


In 1992, I visited the home of composer Zhou Long and Chen Yi in New York. They shared a lot of music with me that evening, including the brilliant artistry of Wu Man, who had recently arrived in the United States. I heard all sorts of possibilities in Wu Man's vivid pipa sound, and I got in touch with her immediately.



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