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A New Partnership for Kronos Quartet and Kaufman Music Center

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“Kronos at Kaufman” residency reflects new focus for pre-college music education

Beginning in September 2013, four young string quartets from Kaufman Music Center’s Face the Music youth ensemble will have the unprecedented opportunity to develop a close mentoring relationship with Kronos Quartet, the Grammy-winning ensemble known for its adventurous approach, diverse repertoire and in-depth collaborations with many of the world’s foremost composers. The Quartet is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

The members of Kronos Quartet will coach four Face the Music string quartets, who will perform music from Kronos’s vast repertoire and participate in innovative multi-media concert experiences – including a shared performance at Carnegie Hall on March 28, 2014 – that will advance Kronos’s mission to continually re-imagine the string quartet. The partnership will include coaching, master classes, backstage access to Kronos performances and workshops with the Kronos Performing Arts Association. The student quartets, whose members range in age from nine to 18, will premiere several works composed by Face the Music players.

Since its founding in 2005, Face the Music has achieved renown in its own right, performing frequently at prominent NYC venues such as Merkin Concert Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center and BAMCafé. The only student ensemble in the U.S. dedicated to the creation and performance of music by living classical composers, Face the Music has been featured in the New York Times and Daily News, broadcast multiple times on New York Public Radio and profiled on National Public Radio.

“The Kronos at Kaufman Program is a big step forward as we attempt to imagine and re-imagine the future,” says Kronos Quartet founder and artistic director David Harrington. “By welcoming young players into the musical world Kronos has helped to shape, we hope to demonstrate that the string quartet is a vital, potent and incredibly fun force in our society alive with a vast array of expressive possibilities. I am personally thrilled to get to work with these four young groups as we explore ways of thinking that can be useful for the growth of this next generation of players.”

“The Kronos Quartet and Face the Music share a commitment to fearless exploration and collaboration with contemporary composers and performers that make this partnership a natural fit,” says Face the Music’s founder and director, Dr. Jenny Undercofler. “We are thrilled that Kronos is recognizing the importance of new music and pre-college education by engaging in a direct mentoring relationship with Face the Music students.”

The partnership between Kronos Quartet and Kaufman Music Center reflects a major shift in pre-college music education: Teen musicians are more often taking on challenging pieces by living composers – works students have traditionally been discouraged from exploring until grad school or later – as well as writing their own compositions at a much younger age. This focus on new music has engaged and empowered a much more diverse group of young people than traditional classical music, says Undercofler, and has brought together a whole new community.

About Face the Music
Face the Music is the only student ensemble in the U.S. dedicated to the creation and performance of music by living classical composers. In residence at Kaufman Music Center, Face the Music has taken its place as a full-fledged player in New York City’s vibrant contemporary classical scene, rapidly becoming what Allan Kozinn of the New York Times has called “a force in the New York new-music world.” Highlights from recent seasons include performances on the Bang On A Can Marathon, Ecstatic Music Festival and the River to River Festival, where Face the Music opened for the Philip Glass Ensemble. Face the Music players have collaborated with many professional artists, including most recently, the JACK Quartet, with whom they performed Steve Reich's Triple Quartet at the Baryshnikov Arts Center. In 2011, the ensemble and its director, Dr. Jenny Undercofler, were honored with the ASCAP Aaron Copland Award. Founded in 2005 by Dr. Undercofler, Face the Music has grown from an after-school club of eight kids to a massive group of 136 students from over 40 elementary, middle and high schools from all over the tri-state area.

Advanced musicians between the ages of 10 and 18 are eligible to audition for Face the Music and Kronos at Kaufman. For more information, please email facethemusicnyc@gmail.com or call 212 501 3393.

About Kronos Quartet
For nearly 40 years, San Francisco's Kronos QuartetDavid Harrington, John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola) and Sunny Yang (cello) – has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually re-imagining the string quartet experience. In the process, 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. This year Kronos celebrates its 40th anniversary and launches a fifth decade of innovation and exploration with an impressive array of projects and special events during its 2013-14 season. The milestone will be marked by coast-to-coast birthday concerts, a host of premieres, a Nonesuch CD boxed set and performances around the globe. The non-profit Kronos Performing Arts Association manages all aspects of Kronos’ work, including the commissioning of new works, concert tours and home-season performances and education programs.

Press Information:
Joan Jastrebski
212 501 3386


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Joan Jastrebski
212 501 3386

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