The Kronos Quartet – concert

Kronos Quartet
Kronos Quartet, fot. Jay Blakesberg

The Kronos Quartet is a legendary ensemble. Music today would not be the same if it had not been for David Harrington’s string quartet, with a career spanning nearly 40 years of incessant quest for novelty in music. On 16 November, the Kronos Quartet will stage a unique concert at POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, performing pieces written for the ensemble by various composers of Jewish origin. Among many others, the Quartet will perform pieces by Steve Reich, Michael Gordon and Bryce Dessner.

  • 16 November (Wednesday), 7 PM

The repertoire of the Kronos Quartet is a musical portrayal of the entire planet. The greatest masters of our time – including John Adams, Philip Glass, Steve Reich or Henryk Mikołaj Górecki – have written music for the Kronos Quartet. The styles covered on their albums include jazz, tango and folk music. Many eminent artists such as David Bowie, Paul McCartney or Björk have benefited from their talents. Their contributions to the soundtrack for “Requiem for a Dream” soared their popularity far beyond the 20th-century classical music scene.

At POLIN Museum, the Kronos Quartet will present a programme consisting of various pieces composed for the ensemble by Jewish composers.

– We want POLIN Museum to show how incredibly rich and diverse the world of Jewish music actually is. It is an honour to be able to embark upon a journey through this world together with the Kronos Quartet – said Kajetan Prochyra, curator of the POLIN Museum music scene.

– We are going to listen to music deeply rooted in Jewish tradition, such as the “Sim Shalom” hymn by Alter Yechiel Karniol – a hazzan born in the Kielce region – arranged by the American composer Judith Berkson, or the iconic “Different Trains” by Steve Reich. It will, however, be equally exciting to hear various pieces by less known artists, such as the Israeli composer Aviya Kopelman or Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky from Azerbaijan. The fact that the Kronos Quartet commissioned these artists to write music for them constitutes a guarantee of the highest musical and conceptual quality of these works – Mr Prochyra added.

The programme will also include pieces by other artists: Bryce Dessner – an eminent composer whose fame in the world of contemporary music is now beginning to match his achievements as the guitarist of the band The National, or Michael Gordon – the co-founder of the Bang On A Can collective; the quartet is also expected to play a piece composed by Osvaldo Golijov and Gustavo Santaolalla.


  • Aviya Kopelman / Widows & Lovers, White Widow, Lovers, Black Widow
  • Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky / Awakening
  • Bryce Dessner / Aheym (Homeward)
  • Michael Gordon / Clouded Yellow
  • Osvaldo Golijov & Gustavo Santaolalla / Darkness 9/11 from the film 11’09”01
  • Alter Yechiel Karniol (arr. Judith Berkson) / Sim Sholom
  • Steve Reich / Different Trains, America—Before the war, Europe—During the war, After the war

Patronate of the concert:


In 2016, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews purchased a sound, lighting and multimedia system which allowed it to extend its cultural offer and make it more attractive to our audiences; the project was co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.