(Posted November 2, 2009)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Two violins, a cello and a viola is the classic lineup for a string quartet, but the Kronos Quartet likes to use those instruments to reach beyond the classical to explore composers ranging from Bela Bartok to Jimi Hendrix. The group will perform at Juniata College at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 9 in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts.

For tickets and information about the Juniata College Presents series, please call (814) 641-JTIX (5849). General admission tickets for single performances are $20, except where otherwise noted. Single-show tickets for seniors over age 65 and children age 18 and under are $12. Juniata College students are admitted free with a student ID.

The quartet will perform a diverse program of works by renowned international composers such as Ramallah Underground, Sigur Ros, Amon Tobin and Aleksandra Vrebalov. The first half of the concert will be dedicated to mostly international selections, with the exception of "Aheym," by Bryce Dessner, an American composer and guitarist best known for working in the rock band The National.

The quartet will work its way through "Tashweesh," by a Ramallah, Palestine-based hip hop group Ramallah Underground, followed by "Flugufrelsarinn (The Fly Freer), by Sigur Rios. The first half of the concert will end with "Bloodstone," by Amon Tobin, a Brazilian composer known for compositions featuring sound manipulation, and "hold me neighbor, in this storm," by Aleksandra Vrebalov, a native of the former Yugoslavia whose piece is inspired by the civil wars that have plagued the Balkans for decades and the folk and religious music of the region.

The second half of the program opens with "Potassium," by Michael Gordon, a Florida native who grew up in Nicaragua. Gordon's work focuses on the interplay of rhythms.

The climax of the concert will be "Different Trains," written by American minimalist composer Steve Reich. Reich was inspired to base three separate movements based on a long train trip across America, the use of trains to facilitate the Holocaust and train trips survivors took after World War II." Reich created soundscapes on a recorded tape and the Kronos Quartet plays in unison with the tape.

Kronos quartet is comprised of violinists David Harrington and John Sherba, violist Hank Duff and cellist Jeffrey Zeigler. They have recorded more than 40 albums and received a 2004 Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance. The quartet has worked extensively with American contemporary composers such as Reich, Terry Riley and Philip Glass, as well as a variety of international musicians.

Kronos Quartet music has been used to score such films as "Heat," "21 Grams" and "True Stories" and choreographers Merce Cunningham, Twyla Tharp and Paul Taylor have staged pieces to Kronos' music.

The quartets albums include "Floodplain," "Kronos Quartet Plays Sigur Rios," "Night Prayers," "Short Stories" and "White Man Sleeps."

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.