The Kronos Quartet was formed in San Francisco in 1973 and is now comprised of David Harrington on first violin, John Sherba on second violin, Hank Dutt on viola, and Jennifer Culp on cello. Founding member and cellist Joan Jeanrenaud left the quartet in 1999. From the outset, they dispensed with the formalities of the world of classical music in dress and in their performances of chamber music exuding energy usually associated with rock.
Since their beginning, the Kronos Quartet has been commissioning arrangements and new work to be written for the group and today they have received more than 450 pieces. The works Kronos commissions are from today-s most innovative composers coming from countries such as Zimbabwe, Poland, Australia, Japan, Argentina and Azerbaijan. The Quartet's wide-ranging repertoire also includes pieces by Shostakovich, Bartok, Ives, Astor Piazzolla, John Cage, and Howlin' Wolf. Over the years they also have forged ongoing creative relationships with modern masters such as Terry Riley, Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Osvaldo Golijov and Henryk G-recki.
Along with their extensive list of composers they have collaborated with numerous diverse artists including Dawn Upshaw, Wu Man, Caf- Tacuba, Zakir Hussain, Allen Ginsberg, Throat Singers of Tuva, Eiko and Koma, Pandit Pran Nath, Don Walser, and the Taraf de Haidouks.
The Kronos Quartet have been nominated six times for a Grammy award. The releases are: Kronos Quartet plays Alfred Schnittke: The Complete String Quartets (1998), Early Music (Lachrymae Antiquae ) (1997), Black Angels (1990), White Man Sleeps (1987), Salome Dances For Peace (1989),and Different Trains (1989).
- Harold Cane