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KRONOS FESTIVAL 2019: Opening Night

  • SFJAZZ Robert N. Miner Auditorium 201 Franklin Street San Francisco, CA, 94102 United States (map)

Thursday, May 30, 2019, at 7:30pm
Robert N. Miner Auditorium at SFJAZZ Center

Kronos Quartet
San Francisco Girls Chorus

Valérie Sainte-Agathe, Artistic Director

SFGC’s Premier Ensemble joins Kronos Quartet and guests Rebecca Solnit, the Dragon String Quartet, and others, for the opening night of the 2019 Festival.


Rhiannon Giddens (arr. Jacob Garchik) / At the Purchaser’s Option with variations *
        Performed by Dragon String Quartet (Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts)

Mark Applebaum / Flashlight *  World premiere

Voices of a People’s History
        with Rebecca Solnit and other special guests

Michael Gordon / Exalted **
        with San Francisco Girls Chorus, conducted by Valérie Sainte-Agathe

Stacy Garrop / Glorious Mahalia **  Bay Area Premiere
    I. Hold on
    II. Stave in the ground
    III. Are you being treated right
    IV. Sometime I feel like a motherless child
    V. This world will make you think
        featuring the recorded voices of Mahalia Jackson and Studs Terkel

Jlin (arr. Jacob Garchik) / Little Black Book *

Kronos Festival 2019 kicks off with a program that features the Bay Area premiere of Glorious Mahalia, a work by Chicago-based composer Stacy Garrop that celebrates legendary singer Mahalia Jackson through the words and spirit of oral historian and activist Studs Terkel. To create the piece, Garrop scoured the Chicago History Museum and WFMT’s Studs Terkel Radio Archive). Glorious Mahalia highlights two of his broadcasts – a concert from 1957 and an interview from 1963 – that he recorded with Jackson. The San Francisco Girls Chorus, conducted by SFGC artistic director and Kronos Festival 2019 artist-in-residence Valérie Sainte-Agathe, joins Kronos to perform the requiem Exalted, composed for Kronos by Bang on a Can co-founder Michael Gordon.

Throughout the evening, writer Rebecca Solnit and others read selected testimonies – speeches, letters, poems, songs, petitions, and manifestos – that bring to life the extraordinary stories of Americans who helped shape the country’s social movements. These readings are part of Voices of a People’s History, a national project inspired by Voices of a People’s History of the United States, the companion volume to historian Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. Highlighting works from Kronos’ Fifty for the Future open access education initiative, the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts’ Dragon String Quartet opens the show with music by Rhiannon Giddens, and Kronos premieres Flashlight by Stanford University composer Mark Applebaum and performs Little Black Book by experimental electronic music producer Jlin. The score and parts, recording and other learning materials for Little Black Bookare being released on Kronos’ website during the Festival. More details to be announced. (from