Kronos Quartet set to deliver a trio of shows during encore residency

The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi welcomes back one of the world’s most influential string quartets.

Press Release

:  The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) is delighted to welcome back Kronos Quartet this February, all part of a residency from Thursday, February 15 to Thursday 22, including a family matinee, Middle East premieres, and a live cinema concert with acclaimed filmmaker Sam Green.

After dazzling audiences at the recent Sundance Film Festival in Utah, USA, Kronos Quartet has made their way to the capital to perform three different shows: one of recent works featuring Wu Man and Sirojiddin Juraev, a family friendly musical journey around the world, and a live cinema documentary with Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sam Green, co-commissioned by The Arts Center, which recently premiered at Sundance to broad acclaim. (“Watching it was the most joyous experience you could have at Sundance this year... an ever-spreading grin and a warmth as elusive as perfume” - Slate).

Kronos’ four current members—violinists David Harrington, John Sherba, violist Hank Dutt, and cellist Sunny Yang – comprise one of the world’s most influential and celebrated ensembles. The quartet has released more than 60 recordings, performed thousands of concerts, commissioned over 900 works for string quartet and received over 40 awards, all in their illustrious 45 year career. And here’s what guests can expect to see at The Red Theater at The Arts Center:

For the Future

The opening show on Thursday, February 15 at 8pm, is For the Future. This concert is a collection of new works never before heard in the Middle East by composers such as Philip Glass and Egypt’s Islam Chipsy, plus collaborations with Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man, as well as Tajikistan’s Sirojiddin Juraev, a master of Central Asian long-neck lutes, on dutar. 

Many of the compositions come from the Quartet’s education and legacy initiative, Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire. This initiative is from the Kronos Performing Arts Association, and is made possible by generous support from a group of partners, including Carnegie Hall, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi, and many others.

And what’s more, these arrangements were commissioned for the Kronos Quartet, Sirojiddin Juraev, and Wu Man by the Aga Khan Music Initiative – a program of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, and the Kronos Performing Arts Association. Additional support was provided by Asia Society.

The Learning Repertoire is the first library of its kind for contemporary string quartet, and The Arts Center is a Legacy Partner that supports this free distribution of material. For further details on this expansive concert, visit:

Around the World with Kronos

The following afternoon on Friday, February 16 at 4pm is a show ideal for the entire family. Be sure to bring your children to watch one of the world’s most influential string quartets, as this concert boasts an eclectic and energetic mix of music styles from across the globe.

This 60-minute show is suitable for children aged 7 and up, with a program filled with artists from across the globe, including India, Egypt, Syria, Scotland, USA, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to name a few. This international collection of sounds is also thanks to Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire as several pieces will feature in this Friday afternoon performance. For the full program of the event, visit:

A Thousand Thoughts: A Live Documentary by Sam Green and Kronos Quartet

Hot off the back of its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, A Thousand Thoughts arrives in Abu Dhabi for yet another exclusive performance. Developing a form called ‘live documentary’, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sam Green combines documentary footage – in this case that of Kronos – with live music accompaniment (by Kronos) and live narration (by Green himself). This ensures that the music is the story, making it more concert than film. Green explores the multi-decade journey the quartet has been on, as he documents the exploration of late 20th and early 21st century music. 

Bill Bragin, executive artistic director at The Arts Center at NYUAD, is looking forward to the return of the Quartet, saying: “Kronos Quartet has had an enormous impact on contemporary music, and the way we think about what a string quartet can be. They’ve expanded the size and scope of the canon for over 40 decades, reinvented how their instruments are played, and expanded the notion who is thought of as a composer for string quartet. They also had an enormous impact on the UAE when they helped open our inaugural season, and defined the role of The Arts Center in the process. We’re thrilled to have been a Legacy Partner of the 50 for the Future initiative and a co-commissioner of A Thousand Thoughts, and even more thrilled to have them back on our campus along with Sam Green, coaching students, visiting classes, and sharing their unparalleled artistry.” 

Tickets are now on sale, with performances on Thursday, February 15 at 8pm, Friday, February 16 at 4pm and Thursday, Feb 22 at 8pm.

The Arts Center at NYUAD is an internationally renowned performing arts center that presents distinguished professional artists from around the world alongside student, faculty, and community productions.

For more information please visit:

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About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective undergraduate curriculum across the disciplines with a world center for advanced research and scholarship. The university enables its students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and arts to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from over 115 countries and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.