Kronos Festival, Celebrating 5 Decades

Thursday, June 20
Program 1, Miner Auditorium, 7:30PM
Kronos Quartet performs with special guests David Lei and Wu Man
Philip Glass (arr. Brian Carpenter) / Piano Etude No. 6 + 𝘉𝘢𝘺 𝘈𝘳𝘦𝘢 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘪𝘦𝘳𝘦
Sahba Aminikia / Chāhār Fasl (Four Seasons): Tābestān (Summer) **
with visuals by Kevork Mourad
Zachary James Watkins / Black Body Radiance (inspired by Sun Ra) * 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘪𝘦𝘳𝘦
Sun Ra, Terry Riley & Sara Miyamoto (arr. Paul Wiancko) / Kiss Yo’ Ass Goodbye *
Aleksandra Vrebalov / Gold Came From Space ** 𝘉𝘢𝘺 𝘈𝘳𝘦𝘢 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘪𝘦𝘳𝘦
Beyond the Golden Gate 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘪𝘦𝘳𝘦
with David Lei, featuring music performed by Kronos Quartet and Wu Man, pipa
[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.]
and two world premieres from the 2023–24 Luna Composition Lab Fellows
* Written for Kronos
** Written for KRONOS Five Decades / 50th Anniversary Season
+ Arranged for Kronos
Program subject to change.
The Festival kicks off with the world premiere of “Beyond the Golden Gate,” an innovative exploration of how the Chinese American community has shaped the fight for civil rights in our country, featuring live music (performed by Kronos with pipa virtuoso Wu Man) and a conversation with San Francisco–based community activist David Lei.
“Black Body Radiance,” a work paying tribute to avant-jazz pioneer Sun Ra by Zachary James Watkins, also receives its world premiere. Opening night features Bay Area premieres from two beloved Kronos collaborators: Aleksandra Vrebalov’s “Gold Came From Space” and Philip Glass’ Piano Etude No. 6; Iranian-American composer Sahba Aminikia’s “Chāhār Fasl (Four Seasons),” which depicts the cultural and ecological tapestry of Lake Urmia in Northwest Iran; and “Kiss Yo’ Ass Goodbye,” a mash-up composition by Sun Ra, Terry Riley, and Sara Miyamoto. The program will also feature two world premieres from the Luna Composition Lab Fellows.
This year, Kronos Festival celebrates five decades of musical innovation, collaboration, and boundary-pushing artistry. The Festival will feature a slate of world and Bay Area premieres commissioned as part of the KRONOS Five Decades season and include guest artists Wu Man (pipa virtuoso and composer), Brooke Gladstone (journalist), David Lei (community activist), Tanya Tagaq (singer/composer), Nathalie Khankan (poet), Dale Minami (civil rights lawyer), Mahsa Vahdat (singer/composer), Sam Green (filmmaker), and the San Francisco Girls Chorus conducted by Valérie Sainte-Agathe. A highlight of this year’s Festival is the farewell performances of violinist John Sherba and violist Hank Dutt, long-standing members of Kronos Quartet for more than 45 years. Their retirement marks the end of an era, making this Festival a poignant moment for both the quartet and devoted fans. The final day of the Festival features A Thousand Thoughts, a live documentary chronicling the quartet’s career, written and directed by Sam Green and Joe Bini. This will be the 41st and final performance of A Thousand Thoughts, which has been seen around the world since its debut at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.
This year the Festival will also feature six world premieres from Luna Composition Lab (LCL), a project founded in 2016 by composers Missy Mazzoli and Ellen Reid that provides mentorship, education, and resources for young female, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming composers ages 13-18. Kronos has partnered with LCL as their ensemble in residence this season, providing mentorship and workshop opportunities to the six 23–24 LCL Fellows as they developed their new compositions. Kronos is proud to showcase these premieres across the Festival in celebration of our next generation of musical voices.
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.
Kronos Festival Design by Dan D. Shafer.
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Jun 20 2024 - Jun 23 2024


7:30 pm


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