JUNE 20, 21, 22, & 23, 2024

201 Franklin Street, San Francisco, California

Celebrating KRONOS Five Decades!  Join Kronos for four nights of premieres, innovative collaborations, and more.


To mark its historic 50th anniversary in 2023–24, Kronos Quartet has taken its 50-event KRONOS Five Decades tour to audiences around the world. Now, KRONOS Five Decades comes home to San Francisco for four nights in this year’s Kronos Festival, with world premieres, special guests, and much more in store! 

This Festival includes a major Kronos milestone: the farewell performances of retiring violinist John Sherba and violist Hank Dutt — Kronos veterans of 45+ years! Join us as we salute their careers and wish them well on their retirement.


Thursday, June 20, 7:30pm, Program 1

Kronos Quartet performs with special guests Charmaine Lee, David Lei, and Wu Man

The Festival opener showcases the world premiere of Beyond the Golden Gate, an innovative exploration of how Chinese Americans have shaped our country, featuring live music (performed by Kronos with pipa virtuoso Wu Man and Cantonese Australian vocalist Charmaine Lee) and a moderated conversation between Lee and SF-based community activist David Lei. The program also includes a tribute to avant-jazz pioneer Sun Ra with a world premiere piece by Zachary James Watkins and a mash-up composition by Sun RaTerry Riley, and Sara Miyamoto; plus new works by Sahba Aminikia and Aleksandra Vrebalov.

[Program update, April 15, 2024: Journalist Brooke Gladstone had originally been scheduled to participate in this work. She will now take part instead in Active Radio in Program 2 on Saturday, June 21.]

Friday, June 21, 7:30pm, Program 2

Kronos Quartet performs with special guests Carmen Cheung Ka-Man, Brooke Gladstone, Nathalie Khankan, Dale Minami, and Tanya Tagaq

Night two of the Festival boasts the world premiere of Active Radio, combining a live performance by Kronos with an unscripted, on-stage conversation between Peabody-winning journalist Brooke Gladstone, host of WNYC’s On the MediaDale Minami, the SF–based civil rights lawyer and activist known for overturning Korematsu v. United States, and Carmen Cheung Ka-Man, Executive Director of the Center for Justice and Accountability. The program also includes a world premiere by Jonathan Berger, with a recitation by author and scholar Nathalie Khankan and video by Penny Hes Yassour; and the great throat singer/composer Tanya Tagaq, joining Kronos for a set of her own compositions, including the Bay Area premiere of Watchwolf.

Saturday, June 22, 7:30pm, Program 3

Kronos Quartet performs with special guests Mahsa Vahdat, and the San Francisco Girls Chorus conducted by Valérie Sainte-Agathe

Saturday night’s program showcases some of the most recent Kronos-commissioned works by longtime collaborators: The Black Art Book of St. Cyprian the Mage by Trey Spruance; This Assortment of Atoms – One Time Only!: Movement 3 by “Father of Minimalism” Terry Riley; the Bay Area premiere of I Will Be Your Voice by Mahsa Vahdat (featuring the composer on vocals); and the world premiere of a new work by Mary Kouyoumdjian. Also on the program: a special guest appearance by the San Francisco Girls Chorus, conducted by Valérie Sainte-Agathe, and more.

Saturday, June 22: Kronos Labs, 2pm and 4:30pm, FREE

2:00 PM | IN CONVERSATION: John Sherba & Hank Dutt with Brooke Gladstone

This Festival includes a major Kronos milestone: the farewell performances of retiring violinist John Sherba and violist Hank Dutt — Kronos veterans of 45+ years! Join us for a conversation with John and Hank, moderated by WNYC’s Brooke Gladstone, as they reflect on 45+ years of Kronos history. 

4:30PM | SPOTLIGHT: Luna Composition Lab with Missy Mazzoli and Ellen Reid

Founded in 2016 by composers and longtime Kronos collaborators Missy Mazzoli and Ellen Reid, Luna Composition Lab provides mentorship, education, and resources for young female, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming composers ages 13–18. This year’s Kronos Festival proudly presents six world-premiere performances of works by the 2023–24 Luna Composition Lab Fellows, all of whom have been mentored by Kronos as this season’s Luna Lab Ensemble in Residence. Join us for an in-depth conversation with Mazzoli, Reid, and others about the collaboration, the program, and more.

Sunday, June 23, 5:00PM, Program 4
A Thousand Thoughts: A Live Documentary with the Kronos Quartet
Written and Directed by Sam Green & Joe Bini
This program is a “grand finale” in two senses, as we close out the 2024 Festival and bid farewell to retiring Kronos members John Sherba and Hank Dutt, both veterans of the quartet for 45+ years. And what better way to reflect upon the careers of John and Hank—and the entire globe- and half-century-spanning history of Kronos—than with the “live documentary” A Thousand Thoughts, a signature work in the Kronos repertoire? With live narration by filmmaker Sam Green and live performances by Kronos married to concert, interview, and behind-the-scenes film footage from throughout Kronos’ history, A Thousand Thoughts considers topics as far-reaching as its title suggests: moments both fleeting and recorded, sound and vision, presence and absence, and more.

Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK, a free, GPS-enabled work of public art in Golden Gate Park that launched in 2021 as part of Kronos Festival, will also be ongoing at Golden Gate Park. 


Grants for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts

Kronos Festival 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 support from San Francisco Grants for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Bernard Osher Foundation.



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