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August 29, 2016

Esterhazy: a dream come true

This week, the Kronos Quartet had the privilege and honor of rehearsing and performing in Schloss Esterhazy’s Haydn Hall. Even after returning from their European tour that took them to the Viva Musica! Festival in Bratislava, Festival de Pollença on the Spanish island of Mallorca, and the European Solidarity Centre in Gdansk, David, John, Hank, and Sunny are still sailing high from their Classic.Esterhazy concert. It was an unforgettable experience for them to play in the birthplace of the string quartet.

Kronos performed eight new works composed for Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire, an education program that we hope will continue what Joseph Haydn, the Father of the String Quartet, began at Esterhazy over 200 years ago by sustaining the string quartet as a living art form for centuries more to come. The Esterhazy Foundation is one of our Commissioning Partners for Fifty for the Future, which is commissioning fifty new works – five by women and five by men, each year for five years – that are designed expressly to guide students, amateurs, and early-career professionals in developing and honing the skills required for the performance of 21st-century repertoire. The scores and parts, recordings, and supplemental pedagogical and musicological resources are being released online for free. The initial five modules, featuring works by Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Fodé Lassana Diabaté, Garth Knox, Aleksandra Vrebalov, and Wu Man, are currently available, with the next five to follow in early October.

After the Esterhazy concert, Kronos did a photoshoot with Pannonisches Jugend Orchestra, a youth orchestra conducted by Jochem Hochstenbach that features young musicians from Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, and Germany. When David asked them what their favorite piece was, they shouted together without any hesitation: ‘All of them!’ As David said afterward: “That made our day/year!”

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