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July 15, 2016

Kronos remembers Pelle

This week we pay tribute to Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen. The Danish composer passed late last month. From the first moment encountering his music and his refreshing personality, we have all felt energized, encouraged, and refueled by his sonic explorations and the generous force of his imagination. The world has lost a rare person, one who embodied the sacred fire of creativity. We miss Pelle immensely. Click below to read the full statement from artistic director David Harrington and the quartet.

Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen has been our friend since 1984 when we were introduced to his music by fellow Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen. From the first moment encountering Pelle’s music and his refreshing personality, we have all felt energized, encouraged and refueled by his sonic explorations and the generous force of his imagination. Over the years Pelle wrote around ten vivid works for Kronos. We had many beautiful explorative rehearsals together spent trying to actualize the amazing music he wrote for us. He was clear about what he hoped to hear and unusually limber in locating the exact way to get to the end result.

I’ve always felt that Pelle collected elements of sound, musical textures, rhythms and styles that appealed to him and then made his pieces from these amassed materials. The longer I knew him, the larger I realized his collection was. It seemed like an essential part of nature that Pelle was in Copenhagen holding these musical elements figuratively in his hands, examining them carefully, discovering new aspects and with a twinkle in his eye delightedly making another piece that gave us more opportunities to explore together.

The world has lost a rare person, one who embodied the sacred fire of creativity.

We miss Pelle immensely.

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