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  • Thursday, February 6, 2014
    Kronos Quartet Marks Kronos: Under 30 Project's Fifth Edition with Four Nights at San Francisco's Z Space
    Jay Blakesberg

    Kronos Quartet kicks off Kronos: Under 30 / #5 World Premiere, a series of four concerts at Z Space in their hometown of San Francisco tonight through Sunday, featuring the world premiere of Bombs of Beirut, a new work written for the Quartet by Mary Kouyoumdjian. The young composer, who happens to have grown up in the Bay Area, was selected from among nearly 400 applicants for this year’s Kronos: Under 30 Project—a commissioning and residency program for young artists produced by the Kronos Performing Arts Association that has elicited over 1,300 applications from 58 countries since 2003.

    Bombs of Beirut marks the fifth iteration of Kronos: Under 30 Project, created in 2003 for Kronos’s 30th anniversary year to support the creation of new music and to help Kronos cultivate stronger connections and develop lasting artistic relationships with the next creative generation. Over the past 10 years, four composers—Alexandra du Bois, Felipe Pérez Santiago, Dan Visconti, and Aviya Kopelman—have been commissioned, and Kronos has performed the commissioned works all over the world. A decade later, this weekend series is part of Kronos Quartet's 40th anniversary celebrations.

    Kouyoumdjian, a first generation Armenian-American whose parents were raised in Lebanon and lived through its Civil War, wrote Bombs of Beirut as a reflection of her family’s experience during wartime in the divided city. The 23-minute piece features live processing of a pre-recorded backing track that includes interviews with the composer’s friends and family and ambient sounds of attacks heard from an apartment balcony. Kronos artistic director David Harrington said of their choice: “As we narrowed down the field, we were looking for someone who seemed poised to write their breakthrough piece. And every time I came back to Mary’s work, I was magnetized.”

    All four nights of Kronos: Under 30 / #5 World Premiere feature works by Krzysztof Penderecki and John Oswald; tonight and Friday’s performances include works by The National’s Bryce Dessner and Dan Becker, and Saturday and Sunday’s include works by Geeshie Wiley, Laurie Anderson, and Terry Riley, among others. Each night of the program showcases a different supporting set from local, Bay Area-based groups: Friction Quartet, a new music string quartet, perform tonight; Mobius Trio, a guitar trio, offer contemporary art music on Friday; The Living Earth Show, electro-acoustic guitar and percussion duo, specialize in new chamber music on Saturday; and Amy X Neuburg, a genre-crossing composer of multi-layered and "avant-cabaret" compositions, sings on Sunday.

    To learn more about Kronos: Under 30 / #5 World Premiere and purchase tickets, visit zspace.org. For more on Kronos Quartet's upcoming performances, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.

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Kronos Quartet Marks Kronos: Under 30 Project's Fifth Edition with Four Nights at San Francisco's Z Space

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nonesuch's picture
on February 5, 2014 - 2:15pm
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Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 15:00
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Kronos Quartet kicks off Kronos: Under 30 / #5 World Premiere, four concerts at Z Space in San Francisco tonight through Sunday, featuring the world premiere of Bombs of Beirut, a new work written for the Quartet by Mary Kouyoumdjian. The young composer was selected from among nearly 400 applicants for this year’s Kronos: Under 30 Project, a commissioning and residency program founded a decade ago to support the creation of new music and develop lasting artistic relationships with the next creative generation. 

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Kronos Quartet kicks off Kronos: Under 30 / #5 World Premiere, a series of four concerts at Z Space in their hometown of San Francisco tonight through Sunday, featuring the world premiere of Bombs of Beirut, a new work written for the Quartet by Mary Kouyoumdjian. The young composer, who happens to have grown up in the Bay Area, was selected from among nearly 400 applicants for this year’s Kronos: Under 30 Project—a commissioning and residency program for young artists produced by the Kronos Performing Arts Association that has elicited over 1,300 applications from 58 countries since 2003.

Bombs of Beirut marks the fifth iteration of Kronos: Under 30 Project, created in 2003 for Kronos’s 30th anniversary year to support the creation of new music and to help Kronos cultivate stronger connections and develop lasting artistic relationships with the next creative generation. Over the past 10 years, four composers—Alexandra du Bois, Felipe Pérez Santiago, Dan Visconti, and Aviya Kopelman—have been commissioned, and Kronos has performed the commissioned works all over the world. A decade later, this weekend series is part of Kronos Quartet's 40th anniversary celebrations.

Kouyoumdjian, a first generation Armenian-American whose parents were raised in Lebanon and lived through its Civil War, wrote Bombs of Beirut as a reflection of her family’s experience during wartime in the divided city. The 23-minute piece features live processing of a pre-recorded backing track that includes interviews with the composer’s friends and family and ambient sounds of attacks heard from an apartment balcony. Kronos artistic director David Harrington said of their choice: “As we narrowed down the field, we were looking for someone who seemed poised to write their breakthrough piece. And every time I came back to Mary’s work, I was magnetized.”

All four nights of Kronos: Under 30 / #5 World Premiere feature works by Krzysztof Penderecki and John Oswald; tonight and Friday’s performances include works by The National’s Bryce Dessner and Dan Becker, and Saturday and Sunday’s include works by Geeshie Wiley, Laurie Anderson, and Terry Riley, among others. Each night of the program showcases a different supporting set from local, Bay Area-based groups: Friction Quartet, a new music string quartet, perform tonight; Mobius Trio, a guitar trio, offer contemporary art music on Friday; The Living Earth Show, electro-acoustic guitar and percussion duo, specialize in new chamber music on Saturday; and Amy X Neuburg, a genre-crossing composer of multi-layered and "avant-cabaret" compositions, sings on Sunday.

To learn more about Kronos: Under 30 / #5 World Premiere and purchase tickets, visit zspace.org. For more on Kronos Quartet's upcoming performances, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.

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Kronos Quartet 2013 by Jay Blakesberg w

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