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

Just announced!  Face the Music and Kaufman Music Center is excited to be a Partner in Kronos Quartet's "Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire." To learn more about the program Click here.  Please check back for updates regarding Face the Music's role as a Partner and general "Fifty for the Future" news!

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 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 violinist 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.

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 or call 212 501 3393.