Kronos Quartet

22/23 Performance Season



Oscar-nominated filmmakers Sam Green and Joe Bini have teamed up with Grammy-winning Kronos Quartet for a wildly creative multimedia performance piece that blends live music and narration with archival footage and filmed interviews with such prominent artists as Philip Glass, Tanya Tagaq, Steve Reich, Wu Man and Terry Riley. Together on stage, Green and Kronos interact with the stirring cinematic imagery on screen to craft an important record and exploration of late 20th– and early 21st–century music. As Green tells the multi-decade and continent-spanning story of the groundbreaking string quartet, Kronos revisits its extensive body of work, performing music by George Crumb, Laurie Anderson, John Zorn, Aleksandra Vrebalov and many others. Transcending the typical live music and film event, this collaboration quickly becomes a meditation on music itself – the act of listening to it closely, the experience of feeling it deeply, and the power that it has to change the world.


At War With Ourselves – 400 Years of You 

At War with Ourselves: 400 Years of You is a new evening- length work for string quartet, chorus, and narrator that explores race relations, social justice, and civil rights in America. With music by Michael Abels (Get Out, Us) and words by award- winning poet Nikky Finney, the 17-movement, 80-minute song cycle features Kronos Quartet, narrator, and a 24-to-32-voice adult choir conducted by San Francisco Girls Chorus artistic director Valérie Sainte-Agathe. Engagements include a multi- day residency in addition to the performance(s); residency activities include rehearsals with locally sourced singers and education and community opportunities. Under development by the Kronos Performing Arts Association, the work will premiere in the 2021-22 season and will tour in 2022-23.



As part of Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire, Kronos Quartet is available for educational residencies concurrent with performance engagements. Activities may include, but are not limited to, masterclasses, coaching sessions, panel discussions, and select shared performances with elementary/middle/high school, college, conservatory or pre-professional musicians, preferably string quartets or larger string ensembles. Integrated as a cornerstone of its touring repertoire, Kronos’ groundbreaking commissioning and legacy initiative, Fifty for the Future, is creating an open access library of contemporary repertoire for future generations of musicians and composers everywhere. The final works in the 50-piece collection will be released in 2022; Kronos looks forward to sharing new pieces by Rafiq Bhatia, Bryce Dessner, Angélique Kidjo, Missy Mazzoli, Aruna Narayan, and Terry Riley, among others.

Residencies focus on learning works developed for Kronos’ Fifty for the Future, an education and legacy project that is commissioning new works for string quartet written by 50 composers and musicians from around the world. These works are designed expressly for the training of students and emerging professionals in contemporary repertoire.


Sun Rings

Since premiering in 2002, the “mystical, musical, scientific, philosophical, and spiritual voyage” of Sun Rings has inspired tens of thousands of people in nearly 50 live performances worldwide. Over the past 35 years, composer Terry Riley and the Grammy Award-winning Kronos Quartet have collaborated on nearly 30 works of expansive music. One of their most ambitious projects is Sun Rings, a ten-movement suite commissioned in part by NASA to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Voyager Planetary Mission launches. This evening-length epic weaves together string quartet, choir, and the sounds of space – sonifications of the data recorded by plasma wave receivers flown on the Voyagers and a variety of other American spacecraft – with Willie WiIliams’ dramatic visual design. As this audio-visual journey moves through one cosmic sphere after another, it transcends the exploratory mission of Voyager to encapsulate the probes’ selfless spirit as represented by the famous Golden Record each carried – in the words of Carl Sagan: “a hopeful, and optimistic gesture.”


Music for Change

Over the past several seasons, Kronos Quartet has been programming an increasing number of concerts that articulate a thread of civil discourse. “Everything we do as citizens, as human beings, is a statement about how we want the world to be,” says David Harrington, Kronos’ artistic director, founder and violinist. “Increasingly, I feel my role as musician is to point in constructive musical and cultural directions as we attempt to help repair the torn fabric of our society. With Music for Change, we are taking the listener through vast experiences of musical variety and possibilities, and encouraging more listening, and wider listening. Maybe, through music, we can attempt to move things towards a little bit more understanding, a little bit more peacefulness, a little bit more open- heartedness about the future.”

Current Touring Programs: Kronos Quartet with Mahsa Vahdat, Black Angels


Kronos is Concert

For nearly 50 years, San Francisco’s Kronos Quartet – David Harrington (violin), John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello) – has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually reimagine the string quartet experience. In the process, Kronos has become one of the most celebrated and influential groups of our time, performing thousands of concerts worldwide, releasing more than 60 recordings of extraordinary breadth and creativity, collaborating with many of the world’s most accomplished composers and performers, and commissioning more than 1,000 works and arrangements for string quartet.

In the 2022-23 season, Kronos will create programs that include new works, recent commissions, signature works from their vast repertoire, and thematic programs developed in collaboration with presenters and producers. Sample past programs are included in this document.


Kronos Quartet + Sō Percussion

Kronos Quartet and Sō Percussion join forces for an adventurous program featuring brand-new commissions from composers Nicole Lizée and Angélica Negrón. These works will be written for and performed by Kronos Quartet and Sō Percussion together. The program is rounded out with additional works by each ensemble.This project will build upon the existing relationship between Kronos Quartet and Sō Percussion, as well as adding to the contemporary repertory for string quartet and percussion quartet.