For 30-some years, the quintessentially maverick Kronos Quartet has been redefining chamber music, roaming from classical music to the avant garde via jazz, rock, and a seemingly endless array of global sounds, both ancient and startlingly contemporary. Besides virtuoso performances by the four string players, including founder John Harrington, Kronos regularly commissions works from cutting-edge composers and collaborates with musicians from every corner of the globe, the mind-boggling stretch covering Jimi Hendrix to Ornette Coleman, Chinese pipa ace Wu Man, Argentinian Osvaldo Olijov, minimalist Terry Riley, and opera soprano Dawn Upshaw. That only scratches the surface. Kronos will perform two very different shows at the Walker: Friday's repertoire will be from its latest CD, Floodplain (Nonesuch), which includes works from fertile regions of Iraq, Serbia, India, Palestine, and beyond. Saturday's performance will emphasize Kronos's stylistic diversity, covering rock, jazz, and classical pieces from the likes of Gorillaz, Minnesota native Maria Schneider, Bryce Dressner of the National, and Missy Mazzoli. It's essential music from an iconic ensemble. $30 ($25 Walker members) single show; $45 both shows. (Photo by Jeppe Gudmundsen-Holmgreen)
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Feb. 4. Continues through Feb. 5, 2011
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