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The Kronos Quartet has celebrated over four decades of new music performances and commissions of brand new works. They’ve premiered over 850 new works of notable composers such asPhilip Glass, Morton Feldman and Steve Reich.
The quartet formed in Seattle in 1973 at a time that reinvigorated string quartet groups, and after administrative changes eventually made their way to San Francisco in 1978 where they are based today. In 1984, Kronos Quartet had their New York debut. At the University of San Francisco they host their own radio programme and give an annual series of performances.
Works that have been written for the ensemble include Morton Feldman’s four-hour Second Quartet and Reich’sDifferent Trains. They’ve also collaborated withTerry Riley and Henryk Gorecki. Their sound includes a mix of 20th century music with contemporary music and even jazz. Their music has been featured in documentaries and films.
The quartet has released more than 50 recordings, primparily on Nonesuch Records as part of Warner Music Group, and spends more than 5 months of the year as they tour music in concert halls across the world.
In 2004 the Kronos Quartet won the Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance as well as Musical America’s award for Musician of the Year.
Kronos Quartet has a strong influence in supporting emerging artists and composers through their educational activities. They host residencies, workshops, and master classes at venues such as San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Institute.
Kronos Quartet is managed by the Kronos Performing Arts Association (KPAA), who administer the commissioning of new works, operate concert tours, and facilitate their education programmes. Through the KPAA, the quartet is working on commissioning about 10 new works a year including compositions from 25 men and 25 women totalling 50 new works over the course of five years.
KRONOS PRESENTS was created to showcase their commissioned works and collaborations through an annual festival in the Bay Area.