The YouTube live-stream is interactive; you can post questions in the YouTube “chat,” which we will ask the Kronos Quartet’s second violinist John Sherba and violist Hank Dutt in the Q and A with at the end of the Zoom session on your behalf. Please share the YouTube link with your friends and fellow musicians.
This master class continues ACMP’s exploration of the Kronos Learning Repertoire: 50 for the Future. In celebration of the quartet’s 50th Anniversary, Kronos commissioned 50 new pieces which aim to be accessible to students of various levels, emerging professionals who are just beginning to delve into 21st-century repertoire, and now – through ACMP – to a growing worldwide community of passionate adult amateur chamber musicians. Kronos has created a stunning online library of all the commissioned works, where players can listen to recordings, watch video interviews with each composer and download scores and parts for all of the pieces for FREE.
Over the past 50 years, the Kronos Quartet has been a trailblazer in its commitment to the creativity of composers from all cultural and aesthetic backgrounds and all corners of the world. Personally, I remember the impact of hearing the Kronos CD Pieces of Africa as an undergraduate music student at Rice University in 1992. That album opened up a whole new world to me, at a time when so few of us even knew of the existence of string quartet repertoire from the continent of Africa.
Two of the three selections to be played for the April 15th master class are by composers from West Africa: Angélique Kidjo from Benin, and Fodé Lassana Diabaté from Mali. Both composers have a strong background in traditional music: Diabaté as a virtuoso balafon (22-key xylophone) player and Kidjo as a five-time Grammy winning vocalist/composer who fuses traditional West African music with elements of American R&B, funk and jazz, as well as influences from Europe and Latin America.
In this way, Diabaté and Kidjo share something in common with the Chinese composer, Wu Man, whose music will also be featured on this master class. Long-time Kronos Quartet fans may remember Wu Man as the pipa (Chinese lute) player in Tan Dun’s evening-length theatrical work, Ghost Opera, also commissioned by the Kronos Quartet and released on CD in 1997. Many years later, Wu Man is composing her own pieces for the Kronos Quartet. In fact there are two pieces by her in the 50 for the Future library!
I highly recommend that you click on the links for each composer, read their bios, watch the interviews, and download the scores (for free!) so you can follow along during the class. It’s going to be an inspirational and international musical adventure – see you all on Zoom or at the YouTube Live-Stream!
Kronos Quartet 50 for the Future Master Class Program
Angélique Kidjo: YanYanKliYan Senamido (2020)
Jonathan Wang – violin
Peter Aupperle – violin
Elliot Isaacson – viola
Evan Dunnell – cello
Fodé Lassana Diabaté: Sunjata’s Time (2015, arr. for saxophone quartet)
Gavin Martellotti- Soprano Saxophone
Ruben Gedlaman- Alto Saxophone
Jack Beatenhead- Tenor Saxophone
Kedrick Adams- Baritone Saxophone
Wu Man: Two Chinese Paintings (2015)
Paris Milane – violin
Robin Casey – violin
Aldo Ruiz-Alonso – viola
Veronika Alter – cello
Q and A with second violinist John Sherba and violist Hank Dutt of the Kronos Quartet