For 40 years, the Kronos Quartet has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with an ongoing commitment to re-imagining the string quartet experience. They started out as classical music’s original renegades and continue that cause to this very day. When asked to design a pair of concerts for UMS’s Renegade Series, they delivered. Their Friday concert is devoted to historical renegades, ranging from Richard Wagner to Laurie Anderson and George Crumb, representing a look at those composers who shook up the status quo over the past 150 years. Their Saturday concert takes a contemporary approach to the notion of Renegade, using their platform as artists to tell us stories of governmental power and war-making run amok. String quartet playing as political act — renegade indeed.
||Quartetto per archi (1960 or 1968)
|Geeshie Wiley (arr. Jacob Garchik)
||Last Kind Words Blues (1930) +
|Thelonious Monk (arr. Jacob Garchik)
||’Round Midnight (1944) +
|Richard Wagner (arr. Aleksandra Vrebalov)
||Prelude from Tristan und Isolde (1857-59) +
|Laurie Anderson (arr. Jacob Garchik)
||Flow (2011) +
||WTC 9/11 (2011) *
||Black Angels (1970)
* Written for Kronos
+ Arranged for Kronos
New this season, “Tune In” to UMS for a brief pre-performance talk by Dr. Emily Barkakati, an Ann Arbor-based violinist, community educator, and teaching artist. Just 15 minutes long, the “Tune In” will offer interesting information and provocative questions for thinking about, listening to, and watching the performance.“Tune In” begins at 7:30 pm, Michigan League Room D (3rd floor).
Where does inspiration come from? What makes an artist tick? Join us for a post-performance Q&A and get a glimpse into the lives and minds of the artists that bring creativity to the stage. Must have a ticket to this evening’s performance to attend.
Kronos Quartet website
For nearly 40 years, the Kronos Quartet has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of exploration with a commitment to expanding the range and context of the string quartet.
The Quartet’s adventurous approach dates back to the ensemble’s origins. In 1973, David Harrington was inspired to form Kronos after hearing George Crumb’s Black Angels, a highly unorthodox, Vietnam War-inspired work featuring bowed water glasses, spoken word passages, and electronic effects. Kronos then began building a diverse repertoire for string quartet, performing and recording works by 20th-century masters (Bartók, Shostakovich, Webern), contemporary composers (Aleksandra Vrebalov, John Adams, Alfred Schnittke), jazz legends (Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk), and artists from even farther afield (rock guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, Azeri vocalist Alim Qasimov, multimedia performer Meredith Monk).
The quartet’s music has also been featured prominently in other media, including film (Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, 21 Grams, Heat, True Stories) and dance, with noted choreographers such as Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, and Eiko & Koma setting pieces to Kronos’ music.
The group is also committed to new music. As a non-profit organization based in San Francisco, the Kronos Performing Arts Association has commissioned more than 750 new works and arrangements for string quartet.
This concert marks the Kronos Quartet’s fourth appearance at UMS. The quartet made its debut in March 1994, and most recently performed at UMS in March 2004.