Kronos Quartet | Five Decades

Celebrating a remarkable 50 years of ceaselessly imaginative and innovative music making, Kronos Quartet have completely reimagined what a string quartet can be, introducing new audiences to the world of “classical” music while simultaneously expanding the repertoire by commissioning a staggering 1000 new works from a extraordinary range of dynamic young composers.

Of course, Kronos needs no introduction to the Big Ears’ audience, as their wide-open, Big Ear-ed embrace of the limitless possibilities of musical expression has always been an inspiration. Their first visit to the festival came in 2015, when they performed a staggering array of concerts with guests including Laurie Anderson, Wu Man, Bryce Dessner, Tanya Tagaq, Nels Cline,Rhiannon Giddens, Olivia Cheney, Sam Amidon, and others. They returned in 2022, performing Terry Riley’s iconic piece written for them, Candenza on the Night Plain, as well as presenting A Thousand Thoughts, their moving collaboration with filmmaker Sam Green.

How will they celebrate 50 Years at Big Ears? That’s still in discussion. But while we wait formore details, these reviews from Carnegie Hall and the Barbican in London offer us a taste ofwhat’s in store. We’re thrilled to have them join us for Big Ears 2024.

Jon Batiste Documentary, American Symphony, Streams on Netflix

In 2022, Jon Batiste is nominated for 11 Grammy Awards in recognition of his extraordinary artistic achievements, as he embarks on his most ambitious project to date, composing an original symphony. At the same time, Batiste’s wife, the best-selling author Suleika Jaouad learns that her long dormant cancer has returned necessitating an aggressive treatment regimen. Academy Award-winning filmmaker Matthew Heineman documents an extraordinary seven months in the life of an extraordinarily creative couple grappling with the most exuberant highs and daunting lows of their lives together in this powerful and triumphant story of the power of love and capacity of the human heart.

American Symphony premiers on Netflix this Wednesday, November 29.

Daily Lineups and Single-Day Passes Info

For those unable to experience all four days of Big Ears, we’ll be offering a limited quantity of single-day passes to each day of the 2024 festival. These passes will be available to purchase beginning Tuesday, December 5 at 9:00 AM Eastern. Ahead of December 5, we’ll be sharing the festival’s daily lineups. Beginning this Thursday, we’ll share Thursday, March 21, then on Friday, we’ll share March 22, and so on. 

This year, due to popular demand, Big Ears is introducing a Premier-level daily pass in addition to standard day passes. All daily passes options allow patrons access to all publicly announced events in all official Big Ears venues, subject to capacity. Similar to Premier Weekend passes, these upgraded daily passes will allow priority access to festival venues and advance notice of unannounced secret shows. 

There is still so much to share, including films, talks & panels, exhibitions, and more. For more details, including full lineup, pass options, travel guidance, and more, head to our website or follow us on social media. We’re less than four months away and look forward to seeing you in March! 

Knoxville, TN · USA



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