Fifty for the Future Updates

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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!

September 12, 2017

National Arts in Education Week

This week is Arts Education Week! For artists like ourselves, there is no end to our arts education (and we hope there is no end to yours either). As David, our artistic director, founder, and violinist, is fond of saying, “I think of playing in Kronos as having three teachers every day. Sunny, Hank, John - they’re always teaching me. When we add a composer, we are listening to what he or she says to us, trying to assemble a body of evidence about the music at hand, so the composer becomes a teacher as well. The same goes for all of our collaborators. We’re always trying to figure out how Kronos can extend its experiences and enlarge the palette of what can be done by two violins, a viola, and a cello.”

Whether you would like to celebrate, participate in, or advocate for the arts (or all of the above!) during National Arts In Education Week, you can learn more on the Americans for the Arts’ website: http://www.americansforthearts.org/by-topic/arts-education/national-arts-in-education-week

August 23, 2017

Kronos’ Fifty for the Future featured on Violinist.com

Kronos violinist John Sherba recently spoke with Violinist.com about Kronos’ Fifty for the Future, our education and legacy project that is commissioning – and distributing for free – the first learning library of contemporary repertoire for string quartet:

“There are going to be a lot of new techniques and ways to describe music. I remember when we were working on an album we did called ‘Pieces of Africa’ with composers from all over Africa. During rehearsals, we’d be talking about how an elephant walks – who would ever think that would come up in a quartet rehearsal? Another composer would use the word ‘gluing’ to describe the rhythmic aspect and how to stay together. We expanded our whole vocabulary of how to describe and talk about music. That’s also the goal for anybody who would try to tackle all 50 compositions in ‘Fifty for the Future,’ to expand the vocabulary.”

Thank you Laurie! Check out the full article here on Violinist.com.

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