There have been many screen versions of Bram Stoker’s classic tale of Dracula, but none more famous or enduring as the 1931 original. Starring Bela Lugosi as the world’s most popular vampire and directed by horror specialist Tod Browning, Universal Studios' Dracula creates an eerie, chilling mood that has rarely been realized since.
DRACULA: The Music and Film features new music by composer Philip Glass who was asked to create the first original musical score for the re-release of Dracula on video. In this early “talkie”, there was no musical score and few sound effects. Browning relied on Lugosi’s legendary Hungarian accent to give the film its distinctive sound. Glass composed the intense and sweeping Dracula score specifically for the Kronos Quartet. DRACULA: The Music and Film is a unique reinvention of an American cinematic classic-- the perfect marriage of the live and the undead.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Philip Glass is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the Juilliard School. In the early 1960s, Glass spent two years of intensive study in Paris with Nadia Boulanger and while there, earned money by transcribing Ravi Shankar’s Indian music into Western notation. By 1974, Glass had a number of innovative projects, creating a large collection of new music for The Philip Glass Ensemble, and for the Mabou Mines Theater Company. This period culminated in Music in Twelve Parts, and the landmark opera, Einstein on the Beach for which he collaborated with Robert Wilson. Since Einstein, Glass has expanded his repertoire to include music for opera, dance, theater, chamber ensemble, orchestra, and film. His scores have received Academy Award nominations (Kundun, The Hours, Notes on a Scandal) and a Golden Globe (The Truman Show). In the past few years several new works were unveiled, including an opera on the death of Walt Disney, The Perfect American (co-commissioned by Teatro Real, Madrid and the English National Opera), a song cycle entitled, Ifé, written for Angelique Kidjo, a new touring production of Einstein and the publication of Glass’s memoir, ‘Words Without Music’, by Liveright Books. In May 2015, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, performed the world premiere of a double piano concerto Glass wrote for Katia and Marielle Labèque.
In November 2016, the Washington National Opera premiered a revised version of Glass’s opera, Appomattox, created in collaboration with librettist Christopher Hampton. Glass celebrated his 80th birthday on January 31st, 2017 with the world premiere of his 11th Symphony.
For more than 40 years, San Francisco’s Kronos Quartet—David Harrington (violin), John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello)—has combined a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually re-imagining the string quartet experience. As one of the world’s most celebrated and influential ensembles, Kronos has performed thousands of concerts, released more than 50 recordings, collaborated with many of the world’s most intriguing and accomplished composers and performers, and commissioned more than 900 works and arrangements for string quartet. A Grammy winner, Kronos is also the only recipient of both the Polar Music Prize and the Avery Fisher Prize.
Integral to Kronos’ work is a series of long-running collaborations with many of the world’s foremost composers, including Americans Terry Riley, Philip Glass, and Steve Reich; Azerbaijan’s Franghiz Ali-Zadeh; Poland’s Henryk Górecki; and Serbia’s Aleksandra Vrebalov. Additional collaborators have included Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man, performance artist Laurie Anderson, Azeri vocalist Alim Qasimov, Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq, Beatles legend Paul McCartney, and rockers Tom Waits, Amon Tobin, and The National.
On tour for five months per year, Kronos appears in the world’s most prestigious concert halls, clubs, and festivals. Kronos is equally prolific and wide-ranging on recordings, including Nuevo (2002), a Grammy- and Latin Grammy–nominated celebration of Mexican culture; and the 2004 Grammy winner, Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite. Kronos’ recent releases (2014) include Kronos Explorer Series, a five-CD retrospective boxed set; and the single-disc A Thousand Thoughts, featuring mostly unreleased recordings from throughout Kronos’ career.