Three New String Quartets Available Now!
Apr 29, 2022

Three New String Quartets Available Now!

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We're excited to announce the release of the next three additions to 50 for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire, the ongoing multi-year commissioning, performance, education and legacy initiative. Scores and parts, recordings and companion learning materials for new string quartets composed by Sky Macklay, Aruna Narayan, and Terry Riley are now available online, free of charge. Listen to the works below:

This online release adds to previously published pieces by Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Laurie Anderson, Mark Applebaum, Ken Benshoof, Raven Chacon, Aftab Darvishi, Fodé Lassana Diabaté, Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté, Alexandra du Bois, Mario Galeano Toro, Guillermo Galindo, Rhiannon Giddens, Philip Glass, Yotam Haber, Zakir Hussain, Susie Ibarra, Joan Jeanrenaud, Garth Knox, Aleksander Kościów, Nicole Lizée, Lu Yun, Soo Yeon Lyuh, Tod Machover, Vladimir Martynov, Missy Mazzoli, Misato Mochizuki, Onutė Narbutaitė, Angélica Negrón, Jlin Patton, Kala Ramnath, Karin Rehnqvist, Yevgeniy Sharlat, Charlton Singleton, Trey Spruance, Tanya Tagaq, Stephan Thelen, Henry Threadgill, Merlijn Twaalfhoven, Aleksandra Vrebalov and Wu Man, bringing this learning library of contemporary repertoire for string quartets to a total of 40 works.

When completed, this collection will feature 50 new string quartets by an eclectic, international group composers. Kronos’ 50 for the Future is devoted to the most contemporary approaches to the string quartet and designed expressly for the training of students and emerging professionals. Launched in 2015 by the Kronos Performing Arts Association with Lead Partner Carnegie Hall, Fifty for the Future continues to grow, with scores downloaded more than 25,500 times by musicians in 100+ countries and territories around the globe. The final seven Fifty for the Future pieces are scheduled to be released later this year.


About the Works

Sky Macklay is a Baltimore-based composer, oboist, and installation artist creating works that explore extreme contrasts, surreal tonality, audible processes, humor, and the physicality of sound. Some of her pieces incorporate intermedia and extramusical narratives, addressing topics ranging from commuting times to the side effects of contraceptive and assisted reproductive technology. Vertebrae imagines a spine as a musical scale: "Notes played by a prehistoric person on a xylophone of sun-dried bones."

Born in Mumbai, India, Aruna Narayan Kalle plays the Sarangi, an ancient North Indian bowed instrument that is considered one of the most difficult to master, and one of the more undeveloped instruments in both its physical and musical aspects. About Mishra Pilu, she writes, "This piece is based on Raag Mishra Pilu. Mishra means a mixture of a few different raags that are woven into a central theme. Raag Pilu has a textbook ascending and descending structure. I felt that Mishra Pilu would be a perfect representation of an Indian classical music bouquet!"

Terry Riley first came to prominence in 1964 when he subverted the world of tightly organized atonal composition with his groundbreaking In C, the seminal work of Minimalism. A longtime friend and collaborator with Kronos, Riley has written dozens of works for Kronos the latest of which is This Assortment of Atoms - One Time Only!. About the piece, Riley writes, "This Assortment of Atoms – One Time Only! is the first work that I set out to compose since relocating to Japan in February 2019. All three movements have spoken text, especially ‘Lunch in Chinatown’ which attempts in a few words to capture a brief conversation between me and David Harrington in one of our many enjoyable meetings in San Francisco’s Chinatown. ‘A Gentle Rain’ was inspired by the interminable spring rains while living amidst central Japan’s rice fields. ‘This Assortment of Atoms...’ consists of a series of repeating phrases that give the performers the choice to shape the flow of the performance.”


The Kronos Performing Arts Association is grateful to the many individuals and institutions who have supported Kronos’ Fifty for the Future, including Peggy Dorfman & the Ralph I. Dorfman Family Fund, David and Evelyne Lennette, Andrea Abernethy Lunsford, Mai Family Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, Marjorie Randolph,Telluray Foundation, Ann Hatch - Tin Man Fund, and Gottfried and Janet Tittiger.

KPAA is grateful for the generous support of Kronos' Fifty for the Future Lead Partner, Carnegie Hall, and Legacy Partners Aga Khan Music Programme, 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, String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam, Texas Performing Arts Association at the University of Texas at Austin, and Washington Performing Arts.

A complete listing of funders and partners may be found here.