The Center for the Performing Arts has presented Kronos Quartet four times, most recently in 2020 at Eisenhower Auditorium. In this recorded presentation, the lauded quartet performs Testimony, a musical reflection on this moment in our nation’s history.
The filmed performance features a Jimi Hendrix-inspired performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” Rhiannon Giddens’ “At the Purchaser’s Option with variations,” “The President Sang Amazing Grace,” and other selections. The music is paired with poignant spoken word poetry by young San Francisco Bay area poets. Meklit, a California singer-songwriter, provides vocals.
John Stafford Smith, arr. Prutsman: “Star Spangled Banner”
Rhiannon Giddens, arr. Garchik: “At the Purchaser’s Option with variations”
Abel Meeropol: “Strange Fruit” (inspired by Billie Holiday)
John Coltrane: “Alabama”
Charlton Singleton: “Testimony”
Irving Berlin, arr. Gordon: “God Bless America”
Zoe Mulford, arr. Garchik: “The President Sang Amazing Grace”
Original spoken word poetry:
Darnell “DeeSoul” Carson: “Hood Proverbs”
Zouhair Mussa: “Problem Child”
Cecilia “CeCe” Jordan: “Untitled”
Anouk Yeh: “back porch: a response to andrew yang’s op-ed on the pandemic”
Jarvis Subia: “This Poem is a Riot”
“Kronos Quartet remains a living, breathing world-heritage site for music,” writes an NPR Music reviewer. For almost half a century, the San Francisco-based quartet has combined a spirit of exploration with a commitment to continually reimagine the string quartet experience.
In the process, Kronos has become one of the world’s most influential ensembles, performing thousands of concerts, releasing more than sixty recordings, collaborating with many of the most accomplished composers and performers, and commissioning more than 1,000 works and arrangements for string quartet.
Kronos appears at the most prestigious concert halls, clubs, and festivals. The ensemble is equally prolific and wide-ranging on recordings, including three Grammy-winning albums—Sun Rings by Terry Riley (2019), Landfall with Laurie Anderson (2018), and Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite featuring Dawn Upshaw (2003).
The quartet includes violinists David Harrington and John Sherba, violist Hank Dutt, and cellist Sunny Yang.
Meklit Hadero, who goes by the stage name Meklit, was born in Ethiopia and raised in the United States. She’s known for a soulful vocal style that combines elements of folk, jazz, and East African influences.
Testimony was recorded October 2, 2020, at Stanford University’s Bing Concert Hall.
Watch the event beginning at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 14. It will be available for streaming until 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 21.
How to Watch
The performance will be streamed on this page for free. When streaming becomes available, a "Watch" button will appear.
The program run time is approximately 45 minutes.
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