Songs We Love
by ALEX AMBROSE and ANASTASIA TSIOULCAS
March 25, 2014 8:39 AM ET
To mark the quartet's 40th anniversary, Alex Ambrose of Q2 Music spoke to some of the group's myriad composers and collaborators, from veteran Steve Reich to newcomer Dan Visconti of the Kronos Under 30 Project. And our own Anastasia Tsioulcas talked with Terry Riley.
The celebrations don't stop here. This past Monday night, Q2 hosted a performance by the group, recorded live at The Greene Space, that you can watch online; they will also be providing an encore presentation of a 24-hour Kronos Quartet marathononline this coming Sunday, March 30.
Have your own Kronos moment? Tell us about it in the comments section and onTwitter and Facebook. — Tom Huizenga
Kronos Quartet At 40: Songs We Love
I was on the faculty at Mills College during the '70s and early '80s, and I was on the selection committee for bringing in guest artists, and Kronos made an application. I heard their demo tape, and I was just really floored by how beautifully they played contemporary music. It's the same thing that I think they've always kept over the years. Just this incredible energy that they put into their music, an intensity and dedication to detail that was quite unusual, especially at that time, because performances of new music were often very shoddy, you know. People would just kind of be reading the music. David Harrington [the group's founder and first violinist] took this so seriously that he really goes deeply into any piece he prepares for performance. — Terry Riley
I'm a composer and concert presenter who's not only a fan of the Kronos Quartet but has had the chance to work with them on the "Under 30" commissions; I'm "Under 30" composer No. 3. The first time I had the chance to hear the Kronos Quartet was actually as a child on the television show "Sesame Street." It was really great to see a string quartet live, in a fun environment, and there was something about their presence that was really interesting, even to a young child. There's something about how Kronos approaches interpreting music that is just so incredibly nuanced, because it's so informed by commissioning hundreds and hundreds of new compositions. — Dan Visconti