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Kronos Quartet Announces Spring/Summer Tour; Features Concerts with Philip Glass, Cultural Olympiad, BBC Proms Debut

Kronos Quartet 2011 by Michael Wilson

Kronos Quartet has announced its late-spring and summer tour schedule, adding a number of dates throughout Europe and including several performances in the UK for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

The Quartet kicks things off this weekend at home in San Francisco with Women's Voices, a program featuring the artistic voices of several contemporary women composers and performers, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts' Novellus Theate tonight and tomorrow night. The performances feature the world premiere of All Clear, written and performed by multi-instrumentalist, singer, and composer Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ, as well as Derek Charke’s Tundra Songs featuring Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq.

After that, Kronos heads to Europe for the first of two trips this summer. The tour begins in Amsterdam next Friday, May 18, followed by a performance in Rotterdam (May 19), where Hanna Kulenty's String Quartet No. 5 receives its world premiere. Next, Kronos joins Philip Glass and Michael Riesman for six performances of Dracula, featuring Glass's original score for the 1931 horror film classic starring Bela Lugosi, performed with the film. (Nonesuch Records released the Kronos recording of the score in 1999.) The performances take place in Paris (May 21 & 22), Grenoble (May 23), Glasgow (May 25), Cardiff (May 27), and Birmingham (May 29). This first leg of the tour wraps up in Stockholm, where the Quartet returns for the first time since receiving the Polar Music Prize last summer, with the world premiere of ReFrag by Hurdy Gurdy on June 3.

In July, the Quartet returns to the UK for several events in the Cultural Olympiad, the cultural celebration of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The tour begins in Glasgow on July 15 with an outdoor performance celebrating the ten-year anniversary of Terry Riley's Sun Rings—a multimedia work for string quartet, chorus and pre-recorded spacescapes—which takes place at the new Riverside Museum, designed by Zaha Hadid. The BT River of Music Festival in London (July 21 & 22) is the next stop, for two outdoor performances with several special guests. BT River of Music welcomes the world to London with a once-in-a-lifetime weekend of free music at landmarks along the River Thames, the weekend before the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Kronos performs on the Asia stage twice: first with with Homayun Sakhi and Salar Nader (July 21), followed by a performance with Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ (July 22).

Capping off Kronos's time in London is the group's debut at BBC Proms on July 24. The special late-night performance features the world premiere of Nicole Lizée's The Golden Age of the Radiophonic Workshop (Fibre-Optic Flowers), as well as music by Omar Souleyman, Sofia Gubaidulina, and Aleksandra Vrebalov.

For additional details and ticket links for these and other upcoming performances, go to kronosquartet.org or nonesuch.com/on-tour.

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