David Harrington

Sonic Immersion: An Exploration of Eclectic and Unusual Sounds and Musics

Date 12/7/09

Affiliation Artistic Director, Kronos Quartet, San Francisco


Through more than three decades of work with the Kronos Quartet, David Harrington has had a major impact on contemporary music. He has imported a wide array of musical and sonic influences into the string quartet repertoire of Western classical music. Kronos commissions works from composers who re-envision what a string quartet is able to do, develops concert experiences that expand the definition of what a string quartet performance can be, and assembles recording projects that challenge established ideas of how a string quartet can sound. For the ATC series, Harrington will play a diverse selection of recordings drawn from his extensive recording collection amassed over three decades. In previous presentations Harrington's selections have ranged from the sounds of Weddell seals in Antarctica to a Tuareg band from Timbuktu.


David Harrington is the Artistic Director and founder of San Francisco's Kronos Quartet, which for more than 35 years has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to expanding the range and context of the string quartet. In the process, Kronos has become one of the most celebrated and influential ensembles of our time, performing thousands of concerts worldwide, releasing more than 45 recordings, and commissioning more than 650 new works and arrangements for string quartet. Integral to Kronos' work is a series of long-running, in- depth collaborations with many of the world's foremost composers, including Americans Terry Riley, Philip Glass, and Steve Reich; Azerbaijan's Franghiz Ali-Zadeh; Poland's Henryk Górecki, and Argentina's Osvaldo Golijov. Additional collaborators have included Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man; the legendary Bollywood "playback singer" Asha Bhosle; the renowned American soprano Dawn Upshaw; Mexican rockers Café Tacuba; the Romanian gypsy band Taraf de Haďdouks; and Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq. Kronos' work has garnered many awards, including a Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance (2004) and "Musicians of the Year" (2003) from Musical America.


-- As of 12/7/09