|HOUSTON -- On Friday, April 29, the 2011 Houston International Festival honoring “The Silk Road: Journey Across Asia” is proud to present Kronos Quartet, widely considered to be the premier contemporary classical string quartet in the world, headlining a special East Meets West opening night concert on the festival’s Bud Light World Music Stage in Sam Houston Park.|
Kronos Quartet – comprising David Harrington and John Sherba on violins, Hank Dutt on viola and Jeffrey Zeigler on cello – has spent the past 30 years broadening the scope of contemporary chamber music to include musical traditions from around the globe while at the same time upholding the highest standards of the European classical repertoire.
Kronos Quartet shares the billing with Afghan rubab player Homayun Sakhi – the rubab is an Afghan cousin to the Indian sitar and the Middle Eastern oud -- and his virtuoso trio featuring Afghan tabla drummer Salar Nader and Uzbek percussionist Abbos Kosimov. The groups will perform separately and together, only the third time this collaboration has been presented live. (The previous two were at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and Carnegie Hall in New York .) The evening’s final piece, “Rangin Kaman,” is a spectacular 30-minute raga composed by Sakhi and recorded by his trio and Kronos Quartet for the album Rainbow, released in 2010 on the Smithsonian Folkways Label in cooperation with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.
The Houston Grand Opera opens the evening at 7 p.m., presenting arias from two new works with Asian-American themes developed for HGO’s East Plus West community outreach program. One piece, “Courtside,” is set in Houston and involves a Chinese-American basketball player. The other piece, as yet untitled, is being composed by Azerbaijani composer Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, who has also written for Kronos Quartet
The concert is produced by the iFest Concert Series and co-presented by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, the Aga Khan Council for the USA , the Houston Arts Alliance and the Houston Grand Opera. Tickets are available exclusively online at www.ifest.org. Advance prices are $20 general admission lawn seating and $35 reserved seating. Tickets sold at the gate will be $30 general admission and $50 reserved. Gates open at 6 p.m., with the concert starting at 7 p.m. and ending at 10 p.m.
For more information on the 2011 Houston International Festival celebrating “The Silk Road: Journey Across Asia,” call 713-654-8808 or visit the festival’s official website at www.ifest.org. Currently celebrating its 41st year, the festival returns to downtown Houston April 29 through May 8 with continuous music, dance and cultural performances on ten stages. This year’s lineup showcases performers representing the nations of the Silk Road, from China and India to Turkey and the Middle East , and also features the most impressive lineup of headliners we have ever had. Advance tickets are on sale at the festival web site, with weekend passports and group discount rates available, as well as seating in the iFest Lounge.