The Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State will welcome the virtual return of the groundbreaking Kronos Quartet in a presentation of the string ensemble’s performance film “Testimony.”
The free concert recording features music and spoken-word artists reflecting on current events in the United States. “Testimony” will be available to watch from 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 14, until 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 21 at cpa.psu.edu/events/kronos-2021.
The program is part of the Center for the Performing Arts 2020–2021 “Up Close and Virtual” season.
“Testimony” was recorded in October in an empty Bing Concert Hall at Stanford University. The musical reflection of modern history features a nod to Jimi Hendrix’s version of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” as well as new works by Rhiannon Giddens, Charlton Singleton, Meklit and others. Kronos also performs to audio clips by up-and-coming California spoken-word artists, including Jarvis Subia, Zouhair Mussa and Anouk Yeh.
“Kronos then breaks into the classic Irving Berlin tune ‘God Bless America,’ ” wrote a reporter on MetroActive.com. “Berlin’s music comes alive against footage of multilingual voting signs and the long overdue removal of confederate monuments to white supremacy.”
The performance of “Testimony” is part of “50 for the Future,” the Kronos Learning Repertoire. The project, started in 2015 and ending this year, includes 50 composition commissions by artists mentored by the quartet.
Kronos Quartet—David Harrington and John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola) and Sunny Yang (cello)—has released more than 60 recordings, collaborating with many of the most accomplished composers and performers, and commissioning more than 1,000 works and arrangements.
Watch “The President Sang Amazing Grace” sung by Meklit and performed by Kronos:
Kronos, with Iranian vocalist Mahsa Vahdat, most recently performed at Eisenhower Auditorium in January 2020 in “Music for Change: The Banned Countries.”
For more information about upcoming “Up Close and Virtual” events, visit cpa.psu.edu/events.