kronos FESTIVAL ARCHIVe: 2017



February 2, 3 & 4, 2017


201 Franklin Street, San Francisco, California 

Sahba Aminikia, Artist-In-Residence



San Francisco’s Kronos Quartet and their nonprofit Kronos Performing Arts Association will present KRONOS FESTIVAL 2017: Here and Now at the SFJAZZ Center on February 2-4, 2017. With six concerts over three days, Kronos’ third annual hometown music festival will showcase the innovations of the Bay Area’s contemporary music community. With Kronos taking center stage for three evening concerts, as well as a Saturday morning family concert, performances will feature some of the region’s most engaging composers – from Minimalism pioneer Terry Riley to renowned Indian violinist Kala Ramnath – and transcendent guest musicians – from the breathtaking Persian singer Mahsa Vahdat to the ethereal sounds of traditional Vietnamese instrumentalist Vân-Ánh Võ.

This year’s festival will highlight the ingenious and arresting work of Iranian-American composer and San Francisco resident Sahba Aminikia, who will serve as the festival’s artist-in-residence. His work will be featured throughout the festival, as well as at an intimate afternoon survey that concludes with a conversation with the 35-year-old composer. “My music is inspired by human stories around me,” says Aminikia. “I am struck by generalizations about cultures unknown to us. We hear mostly about hardship and oppression, despite the fact that people of every nation find their own balance between hardship and pleasure. I would like to demonstrate a drop of the ocean of beauty that exists in every one of these cultures, including those in my home country. To make strong human connections and build understanding, I do this by telling stories. I am a storyteller. My compositions are in fact like One Thousand and One Nights: a human story within a human story within another human story.”

“KRONOS FESTIVAL 2017: Here and Now will focus the spotlight on Kronos’ relationships with San Francisco Bay Area composers, arrangers, and musicians from many corners of the musical landscape, as well as the huge energetic promise of local students,” says David Harrington, Kronos’ artistic director, founder, and violinist. “Artist-in-residence Sahba Aminikia, whom we first met when he was a student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music [SFCM], has been writing vivid works for Kronos since 2005. Throughout KRONOS FESTIVAL 2017, we give Sahba opportunities to reveal the breadth of his interests and expand his horizon through collaborations with Kronos, as well as visionary singer Mahsa Vahdat, San Francisco Girls Chorus, students from the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts [SOTA], The Living Earth Show, Amaranth Quartet, Delphi Trio, and Mobius Trio. Kronos continues the creative pageant with a true mosaic of thrilling talent, including contributions from guest artists Van Dyke Parks, Soo Yeon Lyuh, and Vân-Ánh Võ. A thread woven throughout the festival is Kronos’ unprecedented Fifty for the Future education initiative, which is commissioning – and distributing for free – the very first learning library of contemporary repertoire. The first 10 of these 50 commissions will be performed by Kronos and, fittingly, SOTA’s Dragon String Quartet and the impressive young ensemble Thalea String Quartet, who is the first ever quartet in residence at SFCM.”

KRONOS FESTIVAL 2017: Here and Now is made possible by generous support from San Francisco Grants for the Arts, The Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, The Bernard Osher Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Zellerbach Family Foundation, and the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Program in Iranian Studies at Stanford University, with additional support provided by KPAA’s Board of Directors.

For more than 40 years, Kronos Quartet has re-imagined and redefined the string quartet experience. Prompting The New York Times to declare that they have “broken the boundaries of what string quartets do” and The Globe and Mail to laud them for “elevating a concert of music to a spiritual trip through our common humanity,” the group has performed thousands of concerts worldwide, commissioned more than 900 works for string quartet, received a Grammy in addition to more than 40 other awards, collaborated with many of the world’s most accomplished composers and performers, and released over 60 recordings, including soundtracks for such films as Requiem for a DreamThe FountainDracula and the AIDS documentary How to Survive a Plague.


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KRONOS FESTIVAL 2017 is produced by the Kronos Performing Arts Association (KPAA) and is part of the San Francisco-based 501(c)3 nonprofit’s KRONOS PRESENTS program. It is made possible by generous support from San Francisco Grants for the Arts, The Bernard Osher Foundation, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, with additional support provided by the KPAA’s Board of Directors.



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