Fifty for the Future Updates

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December 19, 2017

World Premiere of Islam Chipsy’s “Zaghlala” at NPR Music’s 10th Anniversary Concert

“Collaboration. It’s at the heart of many of NPR Music’s finest moments,” writes NPR music producer Tom Huizenga for All Songs Considered today. “And it’s in the DNA of the intrepid Kronos Quartet, which some 40 years ago began working with composers around the globe to spotlight new music. Opening our 10th anniversary concert at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., Kronos, true to form, gave an appreciative audience both a world premiere and an extraordinary surprise collaboration.” Click here to watch Kronos’ entire set from the celebration.

As part of the program, Kronos performed the world premiere of Zaghlala, Islam Chipsy’s exhilarating piece for Kronos’ Fifty for the Future education initiative. The set also included “House of the Rising Sun” as played by the Everly Brothers with The Wrecking Crew; “Summertime” by George Gershwin as played by Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin; and “Born Alone” by Wilco, for which Kronos was joined on stage by lead singer Jeff Tweedy.

November 22, 2017

JUST PUBLISHED: Rhiannon Giddens’ Composer Interview

We caught up with our friend (and the recent MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” recipient) Rhiannon Giddens for a filmed interview for Kronos’ Fifty for the Future. She talks about her musical background, At the Purchaser’s Option with variations (the composition she wrote for our education project), and much more.

Watch the interview, download the score and parts, and listen to Rhiannon’s string quartet for FREE.

Watch us perform the piece live at The Greene Space at WNYC/WQXR for Q2 Music.

Watch the Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestra Quartet rehearse At the Purchaser’s Option with variations.

We’re thrilled to learn that TSYQ has selected a number of pieces from Kronos’ Fifty for the Future to add to their repertoire. They are planning to perform At the Purchaser’s Option with variations for a live radio show and and outreach performance early next year. If your ensemble is working with Fifty for the Future quartets too, please reach out and let us know.

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November 07, 2017

AVAILABLE NOW! Five more string quartets from Kronos’ Fifty for the Future

As of today, you can now study and learn to play new string quartets written by Laurie Anderson, Soo Yeon Lyuh, Karin Rehnqvist, Trey Spruance and Stephan Thelen. Scores and parts, recordings, and learning materials are now available on our website, free of charge. Listen to the works below:



This online release adds to previously published pieces by Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Ken Benshoof, Raven Chacon, Fodé Lassana Diabaté, Rhiannon Giddens, Yotam Haber, Joan Jeanrenaud, Garth Knox, Aleksander Kościów, Nicole Lizée, Kala Ramnath, Tanya Tagaq, Merlijn Twaalfhoven, Aleksandra Vrebalov and Wu Man, bringing this learning library of contemporary repertoire for string quartets to a total of 20 works. When completed, this collection will feature 50 new string quartets composed by an eclectic, international group of 25 female and 25 male composers. Kronos’ Fifty for the Future is devoted to the most contemporary approaches to the string quartet and designed expressly for the training of students and emerging professionals. Launched in 2015, the initial 15 scores of the initiative have been downloaded over 4,500 times in 60 countries and territories worldwide.

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November 05, 2017

“American treasure” Ken Benshoof inducted into Kronos Hall of Fame

After Kronos’ concert at Federal Way Performing Arts & Event Center this past Saturday, composer and longtime friend Ken Benshoof was inducted into the Kronos Hall of Fame.

Benshoof has written nine compositions for Kronos over the years, including “sweeter than wine” for Kronos’ Fifty for the Future initiative, and Traveling Music, which was the first composition ever written for Kronos. “With Traveling Music, Ken Benshoof started the musical odyssey of Kronos,” writes David Harrington, Kronos’ founder, artistic director, and violinist. “We are incredibly fortunate that the very first piece ever written for us was such fantastically beautiful, energetic, propulsive, and optimistic music. Ken’s work has paved the way for everything we have ever done. He is an American treasure.”

Kronos Performing Arts Association’s Board of Directors awards the Kronos Hall of Fame distinction to recognize and honor an individual’s extraordinary and distinguished contributions to Kronos.

October 11, 2017

Rhiannon Giddens Named 2017 MacArthur Genius Grant Winner

We are thrilled that Rhiannon Giddens, one of our Year 1 composers for Kronos’ Fifty for the Future, has been named a MacArthur Foundation 2017 “Genius” Grant Winner! The MacArthur fellowships, awarded annually by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for exceptional “originality, insight and potential.” Giddens joins a group of 23 other “exceptionally creative” individuals; see the full list and read more about the fellows here.

We can’t think of anyone more deserving of this honor. Congratulations, Rhiannon!

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