Innovating sublimes unite musical visions

     (PNAN-CA) – When artistic director and violinist David Harrington of the Kronos Quartet first heard Black Angels on the radio, he thought it was “something wild, something scary” and “absolutely the right music to play.” Coming on stage in the Novellus Theater on Thursday, October 28 and Friday 29th at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) in San Francisco, begins a three-year partnership of the Quartet and YBCA with the premiere of a new staging of Black Angels, George Crumb’s musical response to the Vietnam War.

     The production comprises a vast array of sounds, such as shouting, chanting, whistling, whispering, gongs, maracas and crystal glasses that describes a three-part voyage of the soul: Departure (the fall from grace); Absence (spiritual annihilation); and Return (redemption).

     Also featured in the program and making its debut is a new work called, “A Threnody for Those Who Remain” by 29-year-old Iranian composer/pianist Sahba Aminikia, who is a student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The score informs goers of his childhood during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980’s that includes recordings of the iconic air raid alarm, as well as TV and radio propaganda from that era.

     The program continues with a performance of “All the Rage” written in 1993 for Kronos by San Francisco composer, performer, journalist and activist Bob Ostertag. The piece was developed from a recording he made of a riot in San Francisco in October 1991, which followed California Governor Pete Wilson’s veto of a bill designed to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination. Other works in the evening’s program are “Fog Tropes II” by Ingram Marshall and “Spell no. 4” by Aleksandra Vrebalov, for a changing world.

     Speaking about the new association, YBCA’s Executive Director Kenneth Foster said, “The Kronos Quartet is one of the world’s leading string quartets, pushing the boundaries of contemporary music and constantly reinventing themselves through their explorations with artistic partners. YBCA is thrilled to celebrate this new venture with an organization that shares our vision and commitment to innovation.”

     For more information and tickets, call 415.978.ARTS (2787) or see

Kronos Quartet/Black Angels photo by Rachel Bleckman

Published by on October 2010. Filed under Archives, Art-in-Performance Section, Art-to-Art Marketplace Guide. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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