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Mystery Medicine

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Approaching four decades of high-profile commissions, crossover success and avant-garde overachievement, the genre-busting Kronos Quartet still hasn't figured it out. "Nobody knows anything about music," says David Harrington, the group's founder and artistic director. "It's a total mystery. I don't feel like I know more than the next guy. My thing is, at a certain point I decided I was going to call myself a musician, and the world was going to have to get used to it, and that meant I could be involved with music day and night. But there's a responsibility because most people don't get to call themselves a musician." Three others who do: Kronos' John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola) and Jeffrey Zeigler (cello). Harrington, first violinist for the quartet, says the four players share an ethos familiar to any punk band: "The thing about being in Kronos is, when we get onstage together, it feels like us against the universe and the four of us are molding something together." For the group's 7:30 p.m. concert tonight at the University of Kansas' Lied Center (1600 Stewart Drive in Lawrence, 785-864-2787), expect a thematically rich program with three pieces by Kronos touchstone Terry Riley and the prayerful "... hold me, neighbor, in this storm," by Serbian composer Aleksandra Vrebalov. And expect another sliver of that rock-band ethos: lighting effects and encores. See lied.ku.edu for more information.
Tue., April 13, 7:30 p.m., 2010

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