Kronos Festival Returns to SFJAZZ Center June 20–23, 2024, for Final Performances of Longtime Members John Sherba, Hank Dutt

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Kronos Quartet has announced its ninth-annual Kronos Festival, to take place at SFJAZZ Center, June 20–23, 2024. The festival marks the ensemble’s milestone 50th Anniversary year and the farewell performances of John Sherba and Hank Dutt, members of Kronos Quartet for more than 45 years. It will feature a slate of world and Bay Area premieres commissioned as part of the KRONOS Five Decades season; several guest artists; and the final performance of A Thousand Thoughts, a live documentary chronicling the quartet’s career, written and directed by Sam Green and Joe Bini.

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Kronos Quartet and Kronos Performing Arts Association (KPAA) have announced the ninth-annual Kronos Festival, to take place at SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco, June 20–23, 2024. The festival marks the ensemble’s milestone 50th Anniversary year and features the farewell performances of violinist John Sherba and violist Hank Dutt, members of Kronos Quartet for more than 45 years.

This year's festival will also feature a slate of world and Bay Area premieres commissioned as part of the KRONOS Five Decades season. Guest artists will include pipa virtuoso and composer Wu Man, journalist Brooke Gladstone, community activist David Lei, singer/composer Tanya Tagaq, poet Nathalie Khankan, civil rights lawyer Dale Minami, singer/composer Mahsa Vahdat, filmmaker Sam Green, and the San Francisco Girls Chorus conducted by Valérie Sainte-Agathe. The final day of the festival features A Thousand Thoughts, a live documentary chronicling the quartet’s career, written and directed by Sam Green and Joe Bini. This will be the forty-first and final performance of A Thousand Thoughts, which has been seen around the world since its debut at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

"Kronos Festival encapsulates the vastness of our musical journey spanning five decades,” says Kronos founder David Harrington. “We're bringing together generations of musicians from many corners of the world of music. Our program celebrates long-standing friendships with some of our beloved guest artists and introduces exciting new collaborations that tap into the rich history of San Francisco for inspiration, creating fresh perspectives on what a concert can be.”

This year the festival will also feature six world premieres from Luna Composition Lab (LCL), a project founded in 2016 by composers Missy Mazzoli and Ellen Reid that provides mentorship, education, and resources for young female, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming composers aged 13–18. Kronos has partnered with LCL as their ensemble in residence this season, providing mentorship and workshop opportunities to the six 2023–24 LCL Fellows as they developed their new compositions. Kronos is proud to showcase these premieres across the festival in celebration of our next generation of musical voices.

The festival kicks off on Thursday, June 20, with the world premiere of Beyond the Golden Gate, an exploration of how the Chinese American community has shaped the fight for civil rights in the United States, featuring live music (performed by Kronos with pipa virtuoso Wu Man) and an unscripted, on-stage conversation between Peabody-winning journalist Brooke Gladstone, host of WNYC’s On the Media, and San Francisco–based community activist David Lei.

Black Body Radiance, a work paying tribute to avant-jazz pioneer Sun Ra by Zachary James Watkins, also receives its world premiere. Opening night includes Bay Area premieres from two beloved Kronos collaborators: Aleksandra Vrebalov’s Gold Came From Space and Philip Glass’s Piano Etude No. 6; Iranian-American composer Sahba Aminikia’s Chāhār Fasl (Four Seasons), which depicts the cultural and ecological tapestry of Lake Urmia in Northwest Iran; and Kiss Yo’ Ass Goodbye, a mash-up composition by Sun Ra, Terry Riley, and Sara Miyamoto. The program will also feature two world premieres from the Luna Composition Lab Fellows.

Night two of the festival, Friday, June 21, brings the world premiere of Active Radio, featuring an unscripted on-stage interview with SF-based civil rights lawyer and activist Dale Minami, best known for his work leading the legal team that overturned the conviction of Fred Korematsu. Active Radio is paired with a live performance by Kronos.

The program also includes the world premiere of Hajar Yasini by Jonathan Berger, an elegy commemorating the Palestinian village of Deir Yasin, with a recitation by poet Nathalie Khankan and film by Penny Hes Yassour. Nicole Lizée’s Black MIDI, an interpretation of the underground phenomenon known as Black MIDI, is constructed as a series of film shorts where each scene is enhanced and manipulated by the performers. The Canadian Inuit composer and throat singer Tanya Tagaq joins Kronos for a set of her own compositions, including the Bay Area premiere of Watchwolf, and the quartet performs two world premieres from the Luna Composition Lab Fellows.

On Saturday, June 22, night three features works by some of Kronos’ longtime collaborators, including Terry Riley, Mary Kouyoumdjian, and Trey Spruance, as well as performances with Mahsa Vahdat and the San Francisco Girls Chorus conducted by Valérie Sainte-Agathe. The program includes selections from Spruance's The Black Art Book of St. Cyprian the Mage, as well as the world premiere of a new work by Mary Kouyoumdjian that explores what and who is left when something, or someone we love, is lost, both commissioned in celebration of KRONOS Five Decades. Iranian singer Vahdat takes the stage for a set including I Will Be Your Voice, a new, original song arranged by Aftab Darvishi, and the quartet performs the third movement of Riley's This Assortment of Atoms — One Time Only!, written for Kronos Fifty for the Future. The program will also feature two world premieres from the Luna Composition Lab Fellows.

Earlier that Saturday, the festival hosts two free Kronos Labs events. At 2pm, longtime Kronos violinist John Sherba and violist Hank Dutt join WNYC’s Brooke Gladstone for a conversation about their forty-five-plus years of Kronos history. At 4:30pm, composers, longtime Kronos collaborators, and Luna Composition Lab founders Missy Mazzoli and Ellen Reid take part in a conversation about the organization.

On Sunday, June 23, Kronos Festival concludes with A Thousand Thoughts, a live documentary that chronologically unfolds the quartet’s groundbreaking, multi-decade career. A Thousand Thoughts is a meditation on the act of listening closely to music, the experience of feeling music deeply, and the power that music has to change the world. Academy Award–nominated filmmaker Sam Green narrates the piece live onstage while the Kronos Quartet performs the score, and a rich blend of archival footage, photos, and interviews with members of the Kronos Quartet—as well as longtime collaborators like Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Terry Riley, Tanya Tagaq, Steve Reich—unspools on screen.

For all the details on Kronos Festival 2024 and tickets, visit kronosquartet.org.

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Kronos Quartet: Kronos Festival 2024
  • Monday, April 15, 2024
    Kronos Festival Returns to SFJAZZ Center June 20–23, 2024, for Final Performances of Longtime Members John Sherba, Hank Dutt

    Kronos Quartet and Kronos Performing Arts Association (KPAA) have announced the ninth-annual Kronos Festival, to take place at SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco, June 20–23, 2024. The festival marks the ensemble’s milestone 50th Anniversary year and features the farewell performances of violinist John Sherba and violist Hank Dutt, members of Kronos Quartet for more than 45 years.

    This year's festival will also feature a slate of world and Bay Area premieres commissioned as part of the KRONOS Five Decades season. Guest artists will include pipa virtuoso and composer Wu Man, journalist Brooke Gladstone, community activist David Lei, singer/composer Tanya Tagaq, poet Nathalie Khankan, civil rights lawyer Dale Minami, singer/composer Mahsa Vahdat, filmmaker Sam Green, and the San Francisco Girls Chorus conducted by Valérie Sainte-Agathe. The final day of the festival features A Thousand Thoughts, a live documentary chronicling the quartet’s career, written and directed by Sam Green and Joe Bini. This will be the forty-first and final performance of A Thousand Thoughts, which has been seen around the world since its debut at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

    "Kronos Festival encapsulates the vastness of our musical journey spanning five decades,” says Kronos founder David Harrington. “We're bringing together generations of musicians from many corners of the world of music. Our program celebrates long-standing friendships with some of our beloved guest artists and introduces exciting new collaborations that tap into the rich history of San Francisco for inspiration, creating fresh perspectives on what a concert can be.”

    This year the festival will also feature six world premieres from Luna Composition Lab (LCL), a project founded in 2016 by composers Missy Mazzoli and Ellen Reid that provides mentorship, education, and resources for young female, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming composers aged 13–18. Kronos has partnered with LCL as their ensemble in residence this season, providing mentorship and workshop opportunities to the six 2023–24 LCL Fellows as they developed their new compositions. Kronos is proud to showcase these premieres across the festival in celebration of our next generation of musical voices.

    The festival kicks off on Thursday, June 20, with the world premiere of Beyond the Golden Gate, an exploration of how the Chinese American community has shaped the fight for civil rights in the United States, featuring live music (performed by Kronos with pipa virtuoso Wu Man) and an unscripted, on-stage conversation between Peabody-winning journalist Brooke Gladstone, host of WNYC’s On the Media, and San Francisco–based community activist David Lei.

    Black Body Radiance, a work paying tribute to avant-jazz pioneer Sun Ra by Zachary James Watkins, also receives its world premiere. Opening night includes Bay Area premieres from two beloved Kronos collaborators: Aleksandra Vrebalov’s Gold Came From Space and Philip Glass’s Piano Etude No. 6; Iranian-American composer Sahba Aminikia’s Chāhār Fasl (Four Seasons), which depicts the cultural and ecological tapestry of Lake Urmia in Northwest Iran; and Kiss Yo’ Ass Goodbye, a mash-up composition by Sun Ra, Terry Riley, and Sara Miyamoto. The program will also feature two world premieres from the Luna Composition Lab Fellows.

    Night two of the festival, Friday, June 21, brings the world premiere of Active Radio, featuring an unscripted on-stage interview with SF-based civil rights lawyer and activist Dale Minami, best known for his work leading the legal team that overturned the conviction of Fred Korematsu. Active Radio is paired with a live performance by Kronos.

    The program also includes the world premiere of Hajar Yasini by Jonathan Berger, an elegy commemorating the Palestinian village of Deir Yasin, with a recitation by poet Nathalie Khankan and film by Penny Hes Yassour. Nicole Lizée’s Black MIDI, an interpretation of the underground phenomenon known as Black MIDI, is constructed as a series of film shorts where each scene is enhanced and manipulated by the performers. The Canadian Inuit composer and throat singer Tanya Tagaq joins Kronos for a set of her own compositions, including the Bay Area premiere of Watchwolf, and the quartet performs two world premieres from the Luna Composition Lab Fellows.

    On Saturday, June 22, night three features works by some of Kronos’ longtime collaborators, including Terry Riley, Mary Kouyoumdjian, and Trey Spruance, as well as performances with Mahsa Vahdat and the San Francisco Girls Chorus conducted by Valérie Sainte-Agathe. The program includes selections from Spruance's The Black Art Book of St. Cyprian the Mage, as well as the world premiere of a new work by Mary Kouyoumdjian that explores what and who is left when something, or someone we love, is lost, both commissioned in celebration of KRONOS Five Decades. Iranian singer Vahdat takes the stage for a set including I Will Be Your Voice, a new, original song arranged by Aftab Darvishi, and the quartet performs the third movement of Riley's This Assortment of Atoms — One Time Only!, written for Kronos Fifty for the Future. The program will also feature two world premieres from the Luna Composition Lab Fellows.

    Earlier that Saturday, the festival hosts two free Kronos Labs events. At 2pm, longtime Kronos violinist John Sherba and violist Hank Dutt join WNYC’s Brooke Gladstone for a conversation about their forty-five-plus years of Kronos history. At 4:30pm, composers, longtime Kronos collaborators, and Luna Composition Lab founders Missy Mazzoli and Ellen Reid take part in a conversation about the organization.

    On Sunday, June 23, Kronos Festival concludes with A Thousand Thoughts, a live documentary that chronologically unfolds the quartet’s groundbreaking, multi-decade career. A Thousand Thoughts is a meditation on the act of listening closely to music, the experience of feeling music deeply, and the power that music has to change the world. Academy Award–nominated filmmaker Sam Green narrates the piece live onstage while the Kronos Quartet performs the score, and a rich blend of archival footage, photos, and interviews with members of the Kronos Quartet—as well as longtime collaborators like Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Terry Riley, Tanya Tagaq, Steve Reich—unspools on screen.

    For all the details on Kronos Festival 2024 and tickets, visit kronosquartet.org.

    Journal Articles:Artist NewsOn Tour

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