Kronos Quartet Residency Begins This Month

Kronos Quartet: John Sherba, Sunny Yang, Hank Dutt, David Harrington. Photo: Jay Blakesberg © .

Kronos Quartet Residency Begins This Month

As previously announced, the Kronos Quartet will be in Seattle from February 20 to 24. They will lead a two-day interdisciplinary residency on campus with Cornish students that extends well outside of the music department. There will also be a number of free off-site events for students.

Cornish students from all departments will have an opportunity to interact with the famed Kronos Quartet when they arrive on campus later this month. Discussions and demonstrations will occur in both the visual arts and performing arts departments. While many such residencies focus on one particular discipline, such as music, this residency was structured so the entire Cornish community would have a chance to interact with the artists and be inspired, said Dr. Nancy J. Uscher, President. “We plan to have this be the beginning of a five-year residency program built along these lines.”

Please note that only the events noted as such are open to the public. Most of these events are restricted to students, faculty, and staff (as space allows). A complete schedule is listed below. Times and locations subject to change without notice.


OFFSITE: Saturday, Feb 20
5:00pm – 6:00 pm at Moore Theater
Kronos at the Moore Theater, presented by STG, for a project for Quartet and film. Dress rehearsal open to all Cornish students (all disciplines) or other music students on a first come, first serve basis. Sign up online. RSVP for music students to observe the sound check this Saturday is required. Please use this form:


Monday, Feb 22: Day One on campus at Cornish College of the Arts

10:00 am – 11:30 am, Main Gallery, MCC: Kronos + Visual Arts

Kronos Quartet will discuss its past collaborations with visual artists. This event is moderated by Dawn Gavin, Interim Chair of Visual Arts. Open to all members of the Cornish community.

Noon – 1:00 pm at Nellie’s Cafe: Lunch with interested students.

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm at PONCHO: ”What is David Listening to?”
Open to public and all members of the Cornish community. Kronos founder and Artistic Director David Harrington plays recordings from his extensive personal music collection. His choices are eclectic, with past playlist selections ranging from the sounds of Weddell seals in Antarctica to a Tuareg band from Timbuktu. Don’t miss this chance to gain insight into his creative process and the expansive world of sounds by which he is influenced!

3:00 pm – 4:20 pm at Kerry Hall, classroom 313: Composing for String Quartet;
Kronos Quartet discusses performance techniques; discusses successful compositional techniques in writing for strings; evaluates some student(s) preliminary sketches. This event is for Cornish students and seating is limited. This event is full and no more reservations can be taken by the Music Department. Please contact them about a waiting list if interested.


OFFSITE: 7:30 pm at Meany Theater at UW: Music of Today: Garth Knox, viola.

This concert is open to all Cornish students and community. Knox is one of the composers selected by Kronos for for the group's project Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire *NOTE - Free tickets are available at UW Meany Hall Box Office with Cornish ID. Kronos Quartet will not be performing.


OFFSITE: Tuesday, Feb 23

3:00 pm at Brechemin Auditorium at UW: Kronos Quartet Workshop
Open to the public. A reading of new works by violist Garth Knox and UW emeritus professor Ken Benshoof, commissioned by Kronos for the group's project Fifty for  the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire. More information at UW Music website.


Wednesday, Feb 24: Day Two on campus at Cornish College of the Arts

12:15 pm – 1:15 pm at Cornish Commons: Conversation Q&A about careers; The Kronos Story – Past, Present, and Future.
Kronos Quartet discussion and cupcake reception; arranged with Student Affairs/Resident Life/Career Services, and moderated by Tom Baker. This event is for Cornish students and community only.

2:30pm – 4:30pm at Kerry Hall, classrooms 114, 119, 223 and 313: Individual Sessions
Meetings and lessons with individual Cornish students as scheduled by Music Department. This event is for Cornish students only.

7:00pm – 8:30pm at Notion 1: Kronos + Film
Open to public and all members of the Cornish community. Moderated discussion with the Kronos Quartet and Film+Media program leader Lyall Bush. A discussion with the Quartet about their experience working with film and media and how they approach scoring. Seating is limited and no late seating may be possible.

More On The Kronos Quartet 2016 Residency

The Kronos Quartet—David Harrington, John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello)—began their fearless exploration and re-imagining of the string quartet experience in 1970s Seattle. Since then, Kronos has become one of the most celebrated and influential groups of our time, performing thousands of concerts worldwide, releasing more than 50 recordings of extraordinary breadth and creativity, collaborating with many of the world's most intriguing and accomplished composers and performers, and commissioning more than 800 works and arrangements for string quartet.

Cornish became a legacy partner of Kronos Quartet/Kronos Performing Arts Association’s program, Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire, in 2015. With a lead partner, Carnegie Hall, Kronos’ Fifty for the Future commissions 10 new works per year devoted to the most recent approaches to the string quartet and suitable for training of students and emerging professionals. The works are being commissioned from an eclectic group of composers, and the collection will represent the truly globe-spanning state of the art of the string quartet in the 21st century. By the end of the program, 50 new works will have been created.

Cornish College was one of the first institutions of higher education to take advantage of this exciting new initiative and is a legacy partner of the program. “We were delighted to be a partner in Kronos’ Fifty for the Future,” said Uscher. “Creating new music and new ways of teaching music is very much a part of Cornish's pioneering spirit and legacy.” In addition, Uscher wanted to create a residency that moved outside of the music classrooms and involved students from the visual arts as well as the performing arts.

On February 20, students will have an opportunity to attend a dress rehearsal of "Beyond Zero" at the Moore Theater. This new work matches archival film with a newly commissioned music to commemorate the start of World War I. By watchng the dress rehearsal, the students will learn how Kronos prepares for an mixed media concert. Later in the week, Cornish students can attend for free a related program of new and improvised music by internationally renowned violist Garth Knox at Meany Theatre.

On February 22 and 24, members of Kronos will work with students in the visual arts at the College’s South Lake Union campus as well as lead master classes with individual student composers in Cornish’s Kerry Hall on Capitol Hill. Lunchtime gatherings will allow students from all departments to meet and discuss careers in the arts with members of Kronos.  A special evening discussion of composing for film will take place on February 24 on campus and be open to the public. This discussion will be moderated by Lyall Bush, Cornish’s program leader for Film+Media.

According to Kronos’s  artistic director Harrington, the quartet’s relationship with Cornish goes back to their very first year. They performed at Cornish College of the Arts in 1973 and they have returned to campus many times since. Most recently, Kronos received honorary doctorates from Cornish in 2012 and headlined the 2013 Cornish gala.

See Kronos in Seattle

The Kronos Quartet performs “Beyond Zero” at the Moore Theatre on February 20, 8:00 pm. Tickets are $20 to $75 and available online at

“Beyond Zero” is a recently commissioned work created to commemorate the centennial of the outbreak of World War I. Longtime Kronos collaborator, Aleksandra Vrebalov, a Serbian composer and native of the former Yugoslavia (the site of WWI’s outbreak), brings new music composed specifically for the piece. Drawing on seldom-seen WWI footage from the Library of Congress, a film by Bill Morrison will be integrated in the “Beyond Zero” performance. This deeply moving works offers reflection and solace in the wake of one of modern history’s most profound events.

The public also is invited to a reading of new works by violist Garth Knox and UW emeritus professor Ken Benshoof, commissioned by Kronos for the group's project Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire. This will take place February 23, 3:00 p.m., at Brechemin Auditorium at the University of Washington. For more information, see this calendar listing. This event is free.

The Kronos Quartet residency at Cornish College of the Arts is made possible through the generous support of The Boeing Company.