Kronos Quartet

Composers

Biography

Active: 1973 - ; United States
The Kronos Quartet has for years cultivated a chimeric image: is it a highbrow ensemble with pop leanings, or a crossover group with classical expertise? Yet whatever its methods and motivations may be, the Kronos Quartet has blurred musical categories for decades and attracted interest from audiences who might never have otherwise encountered a string quartet. Respected for its charisma and innovation, Kronos was founded at Mills College in 1973 Read more by violinist David Harrington. By the end of the 1970s, violinist John Sherba, violist Hank Dutt, and cellist Joan Jeanrenaud rounded out the group's original personnel. Since then, Kronos has aggressively commissioned new music, including over 450 of its repertory of 600 pieces. This unprecedented zeal for commissioning has been credited with reviving and revitalizing the otherwise stagnating medium of the string quartet.

The ensemble made a strong impression with guest appearances on recordings by Warren Benson, Dane Rudhyar, and David Grisman before cutting its own debut on the Sounds Wonderful label in 1982. Since then, Kronos has recorded over 30 albums for Nonesuch, receiving six Grammy nominations and one award for Best New Composition, (Different Trains by Steve Reich). Kronos specializes in performing modern and contemporary music, music by jazz pioneers Ornette Coleman and John Zorn, and artists as varied as Jimi Hendrix, Anton Webern, and Béla Bartók. The group has devoted entire albums to such diverse figures as Thelonious Monk (Monk Suite, 1985), Bill Evans (Music of Bill Evans, 1986), Alfred Schnittke (The Complete String Quartets, 1998), and Philip Glass (on several discs, including Dracula, 1999). For its recording of Black Angels (1990), the quartet provided spirited, effective accompaniment to a scratchy, decades-old recording of American iconoclast composer Charles Ives singing one of his own songs.

Kronos has been profiled on the television show CBS Sunday Morning, has produced its own syndicated radio program that combined interview and performance segments, and has been consistently nominated for Grammy awards.

In 1999 Jeanrenaud began a sabbatical leave, and before it was over she had resigned, no longer wishing to maintain Kronos' active travel, performance, and rehearsal schedule. Jeanrenaud was replaced by Jennifer Culp, who remained with the quartet until 2005, after which Jeffrey Zeigler joined as Kronos' cellist. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 57 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Parry: Music For Heart & Breath
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002105802 Release Date: 07/15/2014  
    Composer:  Richard Reed Parry
    Performer:  Nico Muhly,  Brian Snow,  Arthur Sato,  Caroline Shaw  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ymusic,  Kronos Quartet
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  • 2.
    A Thousand Thoughts / Kronos Quartet
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 536952 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Blind Willie Johnson,  Omar Souleyman,  Getatchew Mekurya  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
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  • 3.
    Explorer Series: Kronos Quartet
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 536951 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Dumisani Maraire,  Hassan Hakmoun,  Foday Musa Suso,  Lawrence JKS Tamusuza  ... 
    Performer:  Dumisani Maraire,  Joan Jeanrenaud,  Hank Dutt,  John Sherba  ... 
    Conductor:  Terrence Kelly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet,  Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir,  Tuvan Singers  ... 
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  • 4.
    Kotche: Adventureland / Kronos Quartet, Eighth Blackbird
    Label: Cantaloupe   Catalog: 21098 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Glenn Kotche
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet,  Eighth Blackbird
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  • 5.
    Aheym / Kronos Quartet
    Label: Anti   Catalog: 87296 Release Date: 11/05/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bryce Dessner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet,  Brooklyn Youth Chorus
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  • 6.
    Essential Phillip Glass
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 191720 Release Date: 01/24/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Philip Glass
    Performer:  Janice Pendarvis,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Philip Glass,  Douglas Perry  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Riesman,  Michael Reisman,  Dennis Russell Davies,  Robert Shaw  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philip Glass Ensemble,  Stuttgart State Opera Chorus,  Stuttgart State Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 7.
    Music Of Vladimir Martynov / Kronos Quartet
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 529776 Release Date: 01/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vladimir Martynov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
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  • 8.
    Uniko / Pohjonen, Kosminen, Kronos Quartet
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 707108 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Kimmo Pohjonen
    Performer:  Kimmo Pohjonen,  Samuli Kosminen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
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  • 9.
    Steve Reich: WTC 9/11 / Kronos Quartet
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 528236 Release Date: 09/20/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Steve Reich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet,  So Percussion,  Steve Reich and Musicians
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  • 10.
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 520 Release Date: 07/01/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Anthony Lennon,  Sheila Silver
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet,  Atlantic String Quartet
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  • 11.
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 433 Release Date: 03/01/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Warren Benson
    Performer:  Frederick Hemke
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet,  Chester String Quartet,  Eastman Quartet
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  • 12.
    Uniko / Samuli Kosminen, Kimmo Pohjonen, Kronos Quartet
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1185-2 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Kimmo Pohjonen
    Performer:  Kimmo Pohjonen,  Samuli Kosminen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
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  • 13.
    Floodplain / Kronos Quartet
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 518349 Release Date: 05/19/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Anonymous,  Ram Narayan,  Said Rustamov  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
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  • 14.
    Kronos Plays Holmgreen
    Label: Dacapo   Catalog: 6220548 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pel Gudmundsen-Holmgreen
    Performer:  David Harrington,  Hank Dutt,  John Sherba,  Jeffrey Zeigler  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Dausgaard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National Symphony Orchestra,  Kronos Quartet
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  • 15.
    Riley: The Cusp Of Magic / Wu Man, Kronos Quartet
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 360508 Release Date: 02/05/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Terry Riley
    Performer:  Wu Man
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
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  • 16.
    Golijov: Oceana, Etc / Spano, Atlanta SO & Chorus
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000906902 Release Date: 07/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Osvaldo Golijov
    Performer:  Luciana Souza,  Jeffrey Zeigler,  David Harrington,  Hank Dutt  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Spano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Kronos Quartet,  Gwinnettt Young Singers  ... 
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  • 17.
    Henryk Górecki: String Quartet No 3 / Kronos Quartet
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 104380 Release Date: 03/20/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
    Performer:  David Harrington,  Hank Dutt,  John Sherba,  Jeffrey Zeigler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
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    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 18.
    Best Of Philip Glass
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 705119 Release Date: 02/20/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Philip Glass
    Performer:  Philip Glass,  Paul Esswood,  Douglas Perry,  Linda Ronstadt  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Riesman,  Dennis Russell Davies,  Christopher Keene,  Robert Shaw
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philip Glass Ensemble,  Stuttgart State Opera Orchestra,  Stuttgart State Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 19.
    Lou Harrison: Chamber & Gamelan Works
    Label: New World Records   Catalog: 80643 Release Date: 05/30/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lou Harrison
    Performer:  Machiko Kobialka,  Patricia Jennerjohn,  Don Marconi,  Jerome Neff  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Hughes,  Paul Price
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gamelan Sekar Kembar,  Kronos Quartet,  Manhattan Percussion Ensemble
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  • 20.
    Terry Riley: Cadenza On The Night Plain / Kronos Quartet
    Label: Hannibal   Catalog: 1509 Release Date: 01/31/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Terry Riley
    Performer:  David Harrington,  John Sherba,  Hank Dutt,  Joan Jeanrenaud
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
    CD: $14.99
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  • 21.
    You've Stolen My Heart - Songs From R. D. Burman's Bollywood / Bhosle, Kronos Quartet
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 79856 Release Date: 08/23/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  R.D. Burman
    Performer:  Jennifer Culp,  John Sherba,  Hank Dutt,  David Harrington  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
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  • 22.
    Ali-azadeh: Mugam Sayagi / Kronos Quartet
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 79804 Release Date: 01/11/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franguiz Ali-Zade
    Performer:  Franguiz Ali-Zade
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
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  • 23.
    Saariaho: Du Cristal...a La Fume, Etc / Kronos Quartet
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1047 Release Date: 08/24/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Kaija Saariaho
    Performer:  Petri Alanko
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
    CD: $17.99
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  • 24.
    Monk Suite - Kronos Quartet Plays Music Of Thelonious Monk
    Label: Savoy Jazz   Catalog: 17404 Release Date: 07/06/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thelonious Monk,  Cootie Williams,  Edward "Duke" Ellington
    Performer:  John Sherba,  Hank Dutt,  David Harrington,  Joan Jeanrenaud  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
    CD: $13.99
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  • 25.
    Music Of Bill Evans / Kronos Quartet, Et Al
    Label: Savoy Jazz   Catalog: 17405 Release Date: 07/06/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bill Evans
    Performer:  Jim Hall,  Joan Jeanrenaud,  John Sherba,  Hank Dutt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
    CD: $13.99
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