Strings Attached: A conversation between David Harrington and Brooke Gladstone (VIDEO)

On October 22, 2014, Kronos Quartet’s founder David Harrington joined with NPR’s Brooke Gladstone for a stimulating conversation about Kronos’s contributions to the modern string quartet.

Harrington and Gladstone discussed Kronos’s origins in depth, including Harrington’s earliest influences and the state of the contemporary chamber music/quartet scene at the time Kronos was founded in 1973, as well as the legacy that Harrington and Kronos have left to the string quartet in the 21st century.

The talk was a great success and filled with insightful anecdotes, but the show was stolen by our young musical guests, two quartets from the Kaufman Center’s Face the Music project—a true testament, indeed, to the ever growing contribution that Kronos has made not only to the contemporary string quartet repertoire, but to modern music education. Harrington, like most musicians, started young, but he notes that comprehensive, public arts educations for teens were a thing unheard of in his own youth. Today, there are public youth arts programs around the country, just one of which is Face the Music, with whom Harrington and Kronos have a mentoring relationship.

Our first quartet, the Pannonia Quartet, performed the work from which they took their name, Pannonia Boundless (Vrebalov), which was originally commissioned by Kronos Quartet. The second group, Quartet: This Side Up, performed a work by their own (13 year old!) 1st violinist, Paris Lavidis. Bravo, everyone!

Please enjoy the talk, and quartets’s great performances, below:


An audio-only recording is also available here.