Two Members of the Kronos Quartet to Retire
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(PC: Lenny Gonzalez)

Two Members of the Kronos Quartet to Retire

After almost 50 years with the quartet, violinist John Sherba and violist Hank Dutt will retire in June 2024

 

As announced by the Kronos Performing Arts Association (KPAA), longtime members of the Kronos Quartet, violinist John Sherba and violist Hank Dutt, will retire from the ensemble at the end of June, following Kronos’s historic 50th-anniversary season.

After joining Kronos in 1977, Dutt and founding violinist David Harrington appointed Sherba to the group in 1978. In the following 46 years, Dutt and Sherba made indelible impacts on the ensemble.

Until their retirements, Sherba and Dutt will perform more than 20 shows with the quartet in cities and venues around the world. They will give their final performances with the group at the ninth annual Kronos Festival from June 20–23, 2024, at San Francisco’s SFJAZZ Center. 

Their successors are violinist Gabriela Díaz and violist Ayane Kozasa, who will join Harrington and cellist Paul Wiancko, who joined the quartet in 2023.  

Since its founding, the Kronos Quartet has performed thousands of concerts internationally and sold over 4 million recordings on Nonesuch and other record labels — more than any other string quartet in history.

Additionally, the group has commissioned over 1100 new works and arrangements to date and garnered 12 GRAMMY nominations — winning three. KPAA also inaugurated the Kronos Fifty for the Future project, commissioning 50 works designed expressly for learning and distributing them for free. 

“It is a dream come true to have been involved in the birth of so many important compositions, to have experienced all the major halls and their audiences, to have performed with an astonishing array of guest artists, to have worked with our amazing manager, Janet Cowperthwaite, our staff, and our KPAA board, to have made many recordings, and most importantly, to have been surrounded by the incredible Kronos players, past and present,” Sherba said in the press release. “I can’t believe I am approaching 70! I have decided, with a lot of contemplation, to free up my calendar, retire from Kronos, spend more time with my family, and spontaneously pursue my many other passions.”

“I cannot imagine a career more artistically rewarding than the past 47 years I have spent with the Kronos Quartet,” Dutt added. “Every day has been an adventure with a steady stream of collaborations with new composers, new musicians, and old friends. But for every thing there is a season. Having celebrated Kronos’ 50th anniversary, I feel now is the moment for me to step back and let a violist from the next generation further the Kronos tradition. I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life in music.”

“Words can hardly express the depth of gratitude and appreciation I feel for the immense energy, dedication, and single-minded devotion Hank and John have given Kronos every day during all of these years,” Harrington said. “Their expertise, good cheer and friendship have been at the heart of all of our work. I wish them everything good in their onward journeys.

“And now Paul and I happily welcome Gabriela and Ayane to the Kronos family!” he added. “We are inspired and thrilled by the imagination, skill, and bold ideas that they will bring to the future work of Kronos. This next chapter will be full of big adventures–stay tuned!”

 

A champion of contemporary music, Gabriela Díaz has worked with composers, including Pierre Boulez, Jessie Montgomery, Unsuk Chin, Joan Tower, Steve Reich, and Tania León. She is the concertmaster of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and a member of the International Contemporary Ensemble and A Far Cry. She also teaches at Wellesley College and the Longy School of Music at Bard College.

Ayane Kozasa is a founding member of the award-winning VC Artist Aizuri Quartet, which she played in for 11 years. A former winner of the Primrose International Viola Competition, she is currently part of the duo Ayane & Paul with Wiancko. Additionally, she teaches at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and has been guest faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Northwestern University.

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