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Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
TODAY IS
February 6
Can You Guess? The Kronos Quartet has performed many types of music with many types of musicians.  Once they performed with an instrument Mr. Harrington first heard on the streets of Mexico City.  A high-pitched whistling sound was produced.  Can You Guess what instrument Mr. Harrington heard?

Look at the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
What Else
Happened
Today?
1727 - Premiere of Bach's Sacred Cantata No. 157 ("Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich denn") at a funeral service in Leipzig

1838 - Mendelssohn finished his String Quartet in Eb, Op. 44, no. 3.  (disc 2 tracks 5-8 in sample)

1851 - Premiere of Schumann's Third Symphony.

1941 - Premiere of Paul Hindemith's Cello Concerto.  Serge Koussevitzky and the Boston Symphony. Gregor Piatigorsky was the soloist.

1961 - Dedicated To The One I Love, by the Shirelles, was released.

1971 - Have You Ever Seen The Rain, by Creedence Clearwater Revival, was released.
Kronos Quartet
February 6, 2004 marked the premiere of Julia Wolfe's My Beautiful Scream.  It is a piece written for orchestra and string quartet. The premiere featured the French National Orchestra and the Kronos Quartet.
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"I've always wanted the string quartet to be vital, and energetic, and alive, and cool . . . and be absolutely beautiful and ugly if it has to be.  But it has to be expressive of life.  To tell the story with grace and humor and depth.  And to tell the whole story, if possible."

Those are the words of David Harrington, founder of the Kronos Quartet . . . one of the most enduring, vibrant string quartets in the world today.  And that is exactly what it has become. 
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Did You Guess?
It was a leaf!  A street musician had a leaf stretched between his fingers and was blowing across it.  David heard the sound and was so intrigued that they incorporated its sound into one of their recordings!
Click Here and Listen. It's the first sound you hear.
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Although group members are classically trained, they tossed aside the traditional image of a string quartet.  Tuxedos and dresses gave way to casual clothing.  The staid, traditional atmosphere was infused with the kind of energy typically thought of in rock music.  And the composers?  Well, they play classical music, but also play music by people like Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington.  Jazz, might work with a string quartet, you think, but what about rock? Jimi Hendrix's Purple Haze is in the group's repertoire.  They have performed live with the likes of icons Allen Ginsberg, the Modern Jazz Quartet, and David Bowie, and have appeared on recordings by Dave Matthews, Nelly Furtado, and Texas yodeler Don Walser.

Over their more than thirty years, the Kronos Quartet has premiered more than 450 new works.  They now commission about a dozen new works each season, and they perform more than 100 concerts a year.  They tour for 22 weeks a year.  During this time they visit an average of 15 countries.

They have more than 40 albums, and their concerts are eagerly anticipated.  Reviews have ranged from raves to questionable, but nobody ever accuses the group of being boring. Click the MP3 widget, listen to the FREE samples, page and YOU decide.
The quartet was founded in 1973.  The first members were:  David Harrington (Violin I) John Sherba (Violin II) Hank Dutt (Viola) and Joan Jeanrenaud (Cello).  When Jeanrenaud left the group in 1999, she was replaced by cellist Jennifer Culp, who was succeeded by Jeffrey Zeigler in 2005.
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