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September 23, 2019

Check out Kronos’ new Fifty for the Future site

Kronos Quartet/Kronos Performing Arts Association announces the launch of a new website for Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire, the San Francisco–based nonprofit’s ongoing multi-year commissioning, performance, education and legacy initiative. Designed and developed by the San Francisco design and storytelling company First Person, the site provides a gateway to discover, explore and learn contemporary string quartets composed by 25 women and 25 men from around the world. The free digital learning library currently contains 30 scores and parts, recordings and supplemental learning materials. When completed, this collection will feature 50 new pieces. Launched in 2015 with Lead Partner Carnegie Hall, the initial scores have been downloaded more than 14,000 times in 88 countries and territories worldwide.

Fifty for the Future homepage and composers page

From the start, two key goals of the project have been to provide open access to a contemporary repertoire and to encourage curiosity in a wider world of music. Kronos’ violinist John Sherba explains: “When I was 17 or 18, I’d go to the library to look for scores. I’d pull one after another and usually think ‘I’m not ready for this.’ I’d put each back because I was frightened of learning something different than the usual violin concertos I was taught. What’s great about Kronos’ Fifty for the Future is that not only are the scores easily available, but we also put up our own recordings so you can hear how they might sound. If there’s an extended technique, we or the composer will demonstrate how it’s done. So some of the mystique of the piece is being clarified. I think if I had had this resource when I was 18, the scores I put back on the shelf would have been on my music stand, and I would have been playing them. This is what I’m so excited about.”

The new site emphasizes these goals of access and exploration by providing a variety of avenues for discovery. “It is incredibly thorough and intuitive,” says Danny Clay, a San Francisco–based composer, arranger and educator whom Kronos has collaborated with on multiple occasions. “I love all of the different sortable categories as a means of helping musicians find the right fit for their skill level or their interests.”

“We are thrilled to launch this new website,” says Janet Cowperthwaite, KPAA’s managing director. “Fifty for the Future is our most ambitious initiative to date, and our team has been working for months to develop this visually dynamic and engaging resource. It is our hope that this new site will enable the music of Kronos’ Fifty for the Future to become even more accessible to players and listeners all over the world. We are grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts for its support and to our colleagues at First Person for their imagination, creativity and dedication. We could not have wished for more thoughtful collaborators.”

Click here to explore works by composers Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Laurie Anderson, Ken Benshoof, Raven Chacon, Islam Chipsy, Aftab Darvishi, Fodé Lassana Diabaté, Mario Galeano Toro, Guillermo Galindo, Rhiannon Giddens, Philip Glass, Yotam Haber, Zakir Hussain, Joan Jeanrenaud, Jlin, Garth Knox, Aleksander Kościów, Nicole Lizée, Lu Yun, Soo Yeon Lyuh, Onutė Narbutaitė, Kala Ramnath, Karin Rehnqvist, Yevgeniy Sharlat, Trey Spruance, Tanya Tagaq, Stephan Thelen, Merlijn Twaalfhoven, Aleksandra Vrebalov and Wu Man. Click here to learn more about the most recent works that were added to the collection. Listen to all of the works >

The new website for Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Kronos Performing Arts Association’s Fifty for the Future initiative is made possible by a group of adventurous partners and funders, including Carnegie Hall, Andrea Abernethy Lunsford, the National Endowment for the Arts, Marjorie Randolph, Peggy Dorfman & the Ralph I. Dorfman Family Fund, Mai Family Foundation, Ann Hatch – Tin Man Fund, David and Evelyne Lennette, Gottfried and Janet Tittiger and many others. A complete listing of funders may be found here.

KPAA also acknowledges the generous support of Kronos’ Fifty for the Future Legacy Partners: Aga Khan Music Initiative, The Arts Center at New York University Abu Dhabi, Cal Performances / University of California, Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, Cornish College of the Arts, Holland Festival, Kaufman Music Center’s Face the Music, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts / University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Oakland School for the Arts, The Performing Arts Center at SUNY Purchase, ProQuartet Centre Européen de Musique de Chambre, Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Serious / Barbican, Texas Performing Arts Association at the University of Texas at Austin and Washington Performing Arts.

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