Kronos Quartet

The Kronos Quartet is an American string quartet founded by David Harrington in 1973 in Seattle. Since 1978 it is located in San Francisco.

Current occupation

  • David Harrington, violin
  • John Sherba, violin
  • Hank Dutt, viola
  • Sunny Yang, cello

Former members

  • Jim Shallenberger, violin (founding member, 1973-75 )
  • Roy Lewis, violin ( 1975-76 )
  • Tim Killian, Viola (founding member, 1973-76 )
  • Walter Gray, cello (founding member, 1973-78 )
  • Joan Jeanrenaud, cello ( 1978-99 )
  • Jennifer Culp, cello (1999-2005)
  • Jeffrey Zeigler, cello (2005-2013)


The Kronos Quartet performs on mainly contemporary music. The musicians worked with many composers, including Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Kaija Saariaho, Terry Riley, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Roberto Carnevale, and play pieces from different musical genres, such as old music, film music, jazz and surf rock. Kronos has also recorded an adaptation of Jimi Hendrix's Purple Haze and supports the Dave Matthews Band for two songs.

Became known to a wider audience the Kronos Quartet by the album Kronos Quartet Plays Music of Thelonious Monk in 1985. It was produced by Monks former producer Orrin Keepnews and published by that label Landmark.

At the time of his 25th birthday in 1999, the quartet had a repertoire of over 600 works, including 400 specially written for the ensemble pieces, more than 3,000 performances, seven first ASCAP awards, Edison Awards for both classical and popular music, and it had sold more than 1.5 million records.

Under 30 Project

In its 30th year of existence in 2003, Kronos began an assignment process for composers under 30 to make known to a wider audience in the hope of talented young composers. The program runs now in collaboration with Carnegie Hall, Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Montalvo Arts Center.


  • Polar Music Prize, together with Patti Smith, 2011
  • Chamber Music America - Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award, 2007 USA
  • California Arts Council 2006 Certificate of Achievement, USA
  • Grammy Award - Best chamber music recording; Kronos Quartet with Dawn Upshaw, Alban Berg's Lyric Suite ( USA) 2003 USA,
  • Musical America Musician of the Year, 2003 USA
  • Association of Performing Arts Presenters 2003 Award of Merit ( Merit Award )
  • San Francisco Bay Guardian 28th Annual Best of the Best Bay local classical ensemble in 2002
  • National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences San Francisco Price of the Governor 2002
  • San Francisco Bay Guardian 27th Annual Best of the Best Bay local classical ensemble in 2001
  • Edison Award for Chamber Music for Caravan (The Netherlands ) 2001
  • Prize of the German Record Critics' Award for Alfred Schnittke: The String Quartets ( Germany ) 1999
  • Rolf Schock prize, the Royal Swedish Academy 1999 ( Sweden)
  • Bessie Award for River, composer Somei Satoh and performed by Eiko and Koma, 1998 USA
  • San Francisco Chronicle Reader's Choice Award Best Classical performers, second place in 1998 & 1999, USA
  • Best New Music Ensemble Global Classical Music Poll ( 60 countries) in 1997, USA
  • Best concert performance in Mexico 1997 - ViceVersa, 1997, Mexico
  • Certificate of Excellence 1997 - The American Association of Graphic Arts for Howl, CD Cover 1997 USA
  • Diapason d'Or de Osvaldo Golijov May 1997 The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind 1997 France
  • Australian Broadcasting Company Classic FM - Best International Recording of the Year for Howl, 1996 Australia
  • National Public Radio New Horizon Award for her significant contribution to classical music in America with the recordings 1985-1995; 1996 USA
  • ASCAP / Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming First Place Prize: 1999, 1997, 1995, 1993, 1991, 1989, 1987, and 1985, USA
  • San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Arts Excellence Award, 1995, USA
  • Chamber Group of the Year, Kenwood Classical Music Awards, 1994, GB
  • Edison Prize for Popular Music Pieces of Africa, 1993, The Netherlands
  • Bay Area Music ( BAMMIE ) Award Nomination - most outstanding jazz album for Black Angels, 1991, USA
  • Edison Award for Classical Black Angels, 1991, The Netherlands
  • Australian Broadcasting Company Classic FM - Best International Recording of the Year: Black Angels, 1991, Australia
  • International Record Prize for Black Angels Frankfurt, Germany 1991
  • Prix ​​Caecilia for Black Angels, 1991, Belgium
  • Allmusic Award, Ensemble of the Year, 1989, GB
  • New Music America Best New Music Award for Steve Reich's Different Trains, 1989, USA
  • Western Alliance of Arts Administrators Distinguished Service Award, 1989, USA
  • Sony Walkman Commemorative Award, 1989, USA
  • American Music Center letter of appreciation, 1987, USA
  • San Francisco Focus Award for Contemporary Music, 1984, USA


Music DVD