Kronos Quartet

Profile

relentless performance schedule and shared disregard for musical borders has earned them a permanent place in the spotlight. The quartet — currently made up of David Harrington (violin), John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola) and Sunny Yang (cello) — has released more than sixty albums, won numerous awards and commissioned more than 900 works for string quartet from some of classical music’s most important composers, including Terry Riley, Missy Mazzoli, Arvo Pärt, Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Steve Reich, Sofia Gubaidulina, and Philip Glass. Their collaborative partners and musical selections from the worlds of jazz, pop, rock and other genres have been just as progressive, and include names such as Thelonious Monk, Jimi Hendrix, Björk and Sigur Rós. They have also recorded the soundtracks to several films, among which was Clint Mansell’s score for Requiem for a Dream. The Kronos Quartet are renowned for their interest in and engagement with music of non-Western origin. Many of the composers involved in the quartet’s ambitious education and legacy project, Fifty for the Future, are from a variety of non-Western countries and cultures, and include artists like Wu Man, the Chinese pipa player and Tanya Tagaq, the Inuit throat singer. The quartet are a cherished favourite of visitors to the Holland Festival. They accompanied the Nederlands Dans Theater for a performance at the festival in 2014, and returned two years later to perform at the Holland Festival Proms, during which they played some of the commissioned works for Fifty for the Future.  The three members of Trio Da Kali are exponents of southern Mali’s Mandé culture. Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté is the trio’s vocalist, Lassana Diabaté plays the balafon, a West African xylophone, and Bassekou Kouyaté plays the bass n'goni, a West African lute. The trio aims to lend a contemporary twist to ancient and neglected repertoires. Trio Da Kali was formed in 2014, originally to develop a collaborative project with the Kronos Quartet. David Harrington, first violinist of the Kronos Quartet, described their work together as one of the most beautiful collaborations of the quartet’s 40-year career. The trio and quartet had their debut live performance at the Clarice Smith Center for Performing Arts in Maryland, and came together again in 2015 to perform at the Montreux Jazz Festival. The studio recording of their collaboration, Ladilikan, was chosen by several publications as one of the best releases of 2017. Since their formation, Trio Da Kali have performed at several major venues and festivals across the world, including the Royal Albert Hall, Théâtre de la Ville and the London Jazz Festival. Besides their success as a trio, the three musicians also maintain independent careers, and each has several recordings to their name. Following the successful collaboration with the Kronos Quartet, Lassana was invited to contribute a new composition to the quartet’s Fifty for the Future project, a library of works consisting primarily of compositions from non-Western countries and cultures.