With so many innovative composers now edging into the mainstream, navigating the forms and structures of the new musical landscape can seem a daunting task, for listeners and young composers alike. To be sure, modern works have enjoyed an increase in visibility, but while there is no shortage of outlets for these pieces to be judged, there are precious few opportunities for them to be studied. Forever straddling the "cutting-edge" or the "ultra-contemporary", much of the 21st Century repertoire has been anxiously awaiting induction into the western---if not, global---music canon. To remedy this, David Harrington, Artistic Director of the Kronos Quartet, has recently flung open a new door, embarking on a project that has the potential to fundamentally transform the way music is taught in the 21st Century. Welcome to the Fifty for the Future Project.
The Kronos Quartet/Kronos Performing Arts Association, in partnership with Carnegie Hall, has announced “Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire.” Beginning with the 2015-16 season, the project will commission a collection of 50 new works, 10 per year over five years, devoted to the most recent approaches to the string quartet.