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  • KRONOS QUARTET May 2025
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KRONOS QUARTET

The multi-Grammy-winning, San Francisco-based Kronos Quartet will mark its fiftieth anniversary in the 2023/24 season with the KRONOS Five Decades tour, adding to its legacy of innovation by performing programs which feature new commissions, signature works from its vast repertoire, and pieces from Kronos’ Fifty for the Future project.

After ten years with the Kronos Quartet, cellist Sunny Yang will leave the group at the end of January 2023 to pursue other projects. Cellist/composer Paul Wiancko has joined the ensemble in February.
Wiancko was recently featured in The Washington Post’s “22 for ‘22: Composers and Performers to Watch.” In addition to contributing a work to the 50 for the Future collection, he has served as a guest cellist with Kronos on tour.

Music publicists classify the Kronos Quartet as “contemporary music” at first, but those who go below the surface do not forget to mention the jazz influences that are invisibly imprinted in the quartet’s music. The fact that the music of the Kronos Quartet has much more in common with jazz than it might seem at first glance is proven by the concert at the JazzFestBrno festival, which the band will be attending for the very first time as part of the celebration of 50 years of its existence.

The basis of the Kronos Quartet’s work is the long-term cooperation with many world-famous composers. The ensemble’s collaborators include many composers dedicated to minimalism. Terry Riley is one of them, and collaborations with Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass, Kevin Volans and Steve Reich, whose composition Different Trains, recorded by the Kronos Quartet, won a Grammy Award, have also been important. Over the course of the ensemble’s existence, over 600 compositions have been written for it. “I look for music that is a certain expression of emotion. When I talk to composers, I talk to them on that level. I don’t want them to write just another song in a series. I want the most amazing piece of music,” says the ensemble’s founder, violinist David Harrington. At the same time, the Kronos Quartet has been forming its successors for a long time. For its 50th anniversary, it has created a project called 50 for the Future, a free digital library of fifty contemporary works designed to guide string quartets in developing and honing the skills needed to perform 21st-century repertoire. Quartet’s current world tour setlist will be defined by that library.


„No one is ever going to say that Kronos Quartet is satisfied with the string quartet status quo. This group, founded nearly 50 years ago by violinist David Harrington, has, in its malleable virtuosity, become a wellspring for hundreds of new music commissions. Some of those have become iconic pieces of repertoire; others have provided real-time snapshots of creative collaborations. True to form, this Kronos program at Zankel Hall featured nine new and recent works, nearly all written during the past three years. It offered a wide palette of sonic ideas and creative visions, though some were more fully formed than others.“ – From the New York Times, January 29, 2023

“They treat all music with the same passionate fervour and deep respect that other string ensembles would usually reserve for classical music. And that really is all music. It doesn’t matter if they’re sitting down to play Hildegard von Bingen or Harry Partch, Geeshie Wiley or Alim Qasimov, Konono Nº1 or DJ Spooky; Kronos’ music spans a thousand years and six continents… One of the most important factors about the Kronos Quartet is that they are many more than four. Their extended family numbers in the hundreds. Collaboration has opened up soundscapes that would otherwise be inaccessible for a humble string quartet.” – Jim Hickson for WOMEX 18

"The most far-ranging ensemble geographically, nationally and stylistically the world has known.” – Los Angeles Times

“Kronos Quartet remains a living, breathing world-heritage site for music” – NPR Music

“It’s hard to imagine a time when the Kronos Quartet was not emphatically crossing musical boundaries, from its early days covering Jimi Hendrix to its most recent collaborations with Malian griots.” – The New York Times

"Kronos…a kind of all-terrain vehicle in contemporary culture" – The New Yorker

Line Up

David Harrington, violin
John Sherba, violin
Hank Dutt, viola
Paul Wiancko, cello

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Tourdates

05.05.2025  travel to Europe
18.05.2025  return home

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