Kronos Quartet with Mahsa Vahdat


Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 8 p.m.

Schwartz Center for Performing Arts
Emerson Concert Hall

"It’s hard to imagine a time when the Kronos Quartet was not emphatically crossing musical boundaries, from its early days covering Jimi Hendrix to its most recent collaborations with Malian griots. But its latest project responds cogently to an era of increasingly policed and politicized borders." —New York Times

Grammy Award-winning Kronos Quartet performs Music for Change: The Banned Countries. Featuring Iranian vocalist Mahsa Vahdat, the program highlights the rich diversity of artistic voices from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.  "My goal for Kronos has always been to be a revolutionary force," says Kronos Quartet Artistic Director David Harrington, "not just in making music, but in exploring the ways that music can increase our understanding of our times and our connection to people around the world."

Schwartz Center for Performing Arts
1700 North Decatur Road
Atlanta, GA 30322


Artist Bios

Kronos Quartet
For 45 years, San Francisco’s Kronos Quartet – David Harrington (violin), John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello) – has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually reimagine the string quartet experience. In the process, Kronos has become one of the most celebrated and influential groups of our time, performing thousands of concerts worldwide, releasing more than 60 recordings of extraordinary breadth and creativity, collaborating with many of the world's most accomplished composers and performers, and commissioning more than 1,000 works and arrangements for string quartet. Kronos has received over 40 awards, including both the Polar Music and Avery Fisher Prize, two of the most prestigious awards given to musicians. In 2018, the group became the first US-based musicians to receive the WOMEX (World Music Expo) Artist Award. Read More ››

Mahsa Vahdat
Mahsa Vahdat is a prominent performer of Persian vocal music and strong advocate of freedom of expression in music ,a dedicated singer and musician  in her musical path and artistic cause. Her career has given a deeper knowledge about Iranian poetry and music to large audiences in Europe, America, Asia, Oceania and Africa. Read More ››


Emory Concert Program

View or download a PDF of the program now.

About Music for Change: The Banned Countries

Kronos Quartet has always looked to music as a model for how to move through the world. A creative and cohesive force that doesn’t heed or recognize borders, music provides an irrefutable response to those seeking to divide and demonize peoples. Music for Change: The Banned Countries came about in direct response to the 2017 Executive Orders severely restricting access to the United States, a policy that targeted citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations, many of which are represented in this program. From its inception some 45 years ago as a vehicle for George Crumb’s epochal anti-war cri-de-coeur “Black Angels,” through extraordinary works like Steve Reich’s haunted “Different Trains” and the excavation of Cold War anxiety on the album Howl, USA, Kronos has embraced the imperative that music must illuminate the present moment. The Banned Countries builds on that legacy. Drawn from throughout the far-flung Muslim world, the concert features newly commissioned arrangements, such as Dooyo by Somalia’s Dur-Dur Band and Ya Mun Dakhal Bahr Al-Hawa (Hey, Who Enters The Sea of Passion?) by Yemen’s Fatimah Al-Zaelaeyah, as well as pieces gleaned from Kronos’ long-standing repertoire. The Banned Countries concerts often feature guest artists and tonight’s is the incandescent, Iranian artist and vocalist Mahsa Vahdat, a regular part of the Kronos constellation since she settled in the San Francisco Bay Area.

-Program note by Andrew Gilbert

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