Over 40 years ago, violinist David Harrington dreamed up the idea to create a string quartet devoted primarily to performing contemporary music. Music that had never been heard before and that was created by living composers. This later expanded to include world music, jazz legends, rock artists, and contemporary classical composers who were no longer living.
What resulted was the Kronos Quartet: a fearless group that broke boundaries and redefined what the string quartet could do...influencing countless ensembles still to come. Kronos has commissioned and premiered nearly nine hundred works...an astonishing feat to say the least. They've recorded fifty-eight albums, toured and performed around the world, mentored emerging performers and composers, and have led masterclasses, workshops and other educational programs.
Committed to continually evolving, creating, and finding new forms of expression, the group has collaborated with many of the world's foremost composers, including Terry Riley, Henryk Gorecki, Steve Reich, and many more.
The Kronos Quartet is the artist-in-residence at the Big Ears Festival this year, which begins Friday, March 27th and runs through Sunday, March 29th. In its three years, Big Ears has hosted many of the leading composers and artists from our time. It's a weekend of world class performances, talks and discussions, interactive workshops, exhibitions, film screenings, surprise collaborations and more...and it all takes place in various venues locate in our own backyard...beautiful downtown Knoxville.
In this interview, Morning Concert host, Melony Dodson, talks with David Harrington, the founder of the quartet, about their residency, with whom they will be performing, the music that we may expect to hear, and about the philosophy behind what the Kronos Quartet does.