The Kronos Quartet played Mazzoleni Hall last night along with the three young string quartets they have been working with this week.  First up was the Dior Quartet (Noa Sarid, Tobias Elser, Caleb Georges and Joanne Yesoi Choi); the Glenn Gould School’s Quartet in Residence, with Soon Yeon Lyuh’s Yessori.  They were followed by the Taylor Academy Quartet (Nicholas Vasdilakoupolos-Kostopoulos, Ophit Strumpf, Angelina Sievers and Ethan Jeon) with Yotam Haber’s rather meditative From the Book.  The Glenn Gould School Quartet  (Tiffasny Tsai, Tiffany Yeung, Tristan Macaggi and Shun-Nin Yand) closed out the student part of the evening with Aleksandra Vrebalov’s semi-improvisatory My Desert, My Rose.  The standard of playing by all three groups was really high.

UK- Roskilde Festival in Denmark

Kronos Quartet perform at the Roskilde Festival.

Then it was time for the Kronos Quartet (David Harrington, John Sherba, Hank Dutt and Sunny Yang) themselves.  They opened with Peni Candra Rini’s Maduswara; a sort of homage to traditonal Javanese female vocal music featuring gamelan instruments and recorded ocean? and other ambient sounds.  It’s an evocative piece especially once one gets used to the electronics!  This was followed by Missy Nazzoli’s Enthusiasm Strategies.  Typical Mazzoli in many ways; a kind of shimmering minimalism combined with something more ecstatic.  Good stuff.  inti figgis-vizueta’s branching patterns was a change of pace.  It’s busy and buzzy and quite dissonant though not as in-you-face as Jlin’s Little Black Book which featured Sunny Yang energetically doubling on cello and bass drum.

For the two closing pices the Kronos Quartet was augmented by some of the students.  Three members of the Diors joined for a septet version of Paul Wiancko’s conversational Only Ever Us.  The final number featured all sixteen musicians in a version of Philip Glass’ Quartet Satz which was basically Philip Glass, Philip Glass, Philip Glass.

So a cool evening featuring lots of pieces from the Kronos project Fifty for the Future; a series of commissions intended to get more musicians, especially younger ones, to engage with contemporary composers and their music.

There’s one more chance to catch the Kronos Quartet this week.  It’s tonight at Koerner Hall where they will be joined by Tanya Tagaq  and Aruna Narayan for some unique sounds.

No photographs from last night so one from Roskilde courtesy of the RCM.


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