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Press Release – The Smith Quartet at Kettle’s Yard 24/04/2012

Acclaimed Electronic String Quartet celebrate centenary of Nancarrow at Kettle’s Yard

The Smith Quartet – amplified string quartet/electronics Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street, Cambridge | Tuesday 24th April 2012, 8pm “How long before the Kronos is labelled the ‘American Smith Quartet’? … they are ahead of the curve at generating new repertoire and taking the experimental backcatalogue seriously.” (Classic FM Magazine)

Hailed by Ligeti as “the greatest discovery since Webern and Ives” 1, Conlon Nancarrow (1912-1997) is now considered one of the most significant voices in late 20th century composition. In 2012 concerts, festivals and symposia are being held all over the world to celebrate the centenary of his birth. Kettle’s Yard is delighted to host the Smith Quartet as they mark the occasion. Now into its third decade, the Smith Quartet remains at the forefront of the new music world. It has championed the works of the world’s most celebrated composers, commissioning over 150 new pieces during its career including recent works by Donnacha Dennehy and Joe Cutler and pieces by Michael Nyman, Kevin Volans, Gavin Bryars, Graham Fitkin, and Howard Skempton. The Quartet will be celebrating the Nancarrow centenary by beginning the programme with his Quartet No.1, before venturing into the boldly-coloured soundscapes of Graham Fitkin’s A Small Quartet and Michael Nyman’s Quartet No.3. The evening will continue with Digital, by genre-crossing multiinstrumentalist Elliott Sharp, followed by British composer and jazz bassist Gavin Bryars’ Between the National and Bristol. George Crumb’s wild, Vietnam-war inspired parable Black Angels completes the evening. Conlon Nancarrow - Quartet No.1 [100th Anniversary of his birth] Graham Fitkin - A Small Quartet Michael Nyman - Quartet No.3 Elliott Sharp - Digital Gavin Bryars - Between the National and Bristol George Crumb - Black Angels

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Quoted in Kyle Gann, The Music of Conlon Nancarrow, p.2.


Press Release – The Smith Quartet at Kettle’s Yard 24/04/2012

Tuesday 24th April 2012, 8pm Tickets £10/6 (conc.), available from: Online: http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk/newmusic By phone: 01223 748100 Or in person, during gallery opening hours, or on the day (subject to availability) There will be a bar available during the interval. For more information on this and the rest of the season’s concerts, go to: http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk/music/newmusic/

Editor’s Notes Kettle’s Yard is a beautiful house with a distinctive collection of 20th century art and a gallery showing exhibitions of contemporary and modern art. http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk/ The Smith Quartet Ian Humphries – violin, Darragh Morgan – violin, Nic Pendlebury – viola, Deirdre Cooper - cello

The Smith Quartet is one of the world’s leading new music ensembles, with an extensive list of commissions and recordings stretching back to the late ‘80s. Several of their recordings have become benchmark editions of contemporary classical repertoire, including Philip Glass’ Complete Quartets, released on Signum Classics in 2008. The quartet have also collaborated with a broad range of artists outside the classical world, from rock group Pulp to Malian singer Rokia Traore. Kettle’s Yard New Music 2012 American composer Stephen Montague, the Kettle’s Yard/University of Cambridge Faculty of Music New Music Associate 2010-12, presents the 2012 New Music series at Kettle’s Yard, a unique art gallery and concert venue in Cambridge. Stephen Montague is an Anglo/American composer, pianist and conductor born and educated in the USA but living in Europe since 1972, first as a Fulbright Scholar in Warsaw, Poland (1972-74) and since 1974 in London where he works as a freelance composer. His works cover a wide spectrum of interests from music for the concert hall to large outdoor, multi-media events using hundreds of performers. His music is published by United Music Publishers. http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk/music/associate/

Kettle’s Yard Castle Street, Cambridge CB3 0AQ | tel +44 (0)1223 748100 | mail@kettlesyard.cam.ac.uk

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PR– The Smith Quartet at Kettle’s Yard 24/04/2012