Joan Jeanrenaud was for twenty years the cellist of the Kronos Quartet. Kronos, of course, is the San Francisco based string quartet which specializes in contemporary music and has created and commissioned hundreds and hundreds of new pieces for the string quartet repertoire from such luminaries as Arvo Pärt, George Crumb, Henryk Górecki, Morton Feldman, Steve Reich, Elliott Carter, Philip Glass, Terry Riley, Osvaldo Golijov and anyone who is anyone in the contemporary composing world. In 1999, Joan left Kronos to start a solo career, first as a performer of modern music and now more and more as a composer.
She just released a CD with percussionist PC Munoz, Pop-Pop, from which she'll draw the material for a performance tonight in the upper lounge at Davies symphony hall, as part of the Davies After Hours series. It's free but there's a catch: it's only open to attendees of the symphony concert, a French affair with Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique and Henri Dutilleux's cello concerto, Un Monde Lointain, with Charles Dutoit conducting, and Gautier Capucon as the soloist. Everyone seems to have a typically French name, but Joan married into hers, she's really from Memphis, TN. The cello concerto was written for Rostropovich, the late great who was no slouch either in the creating new music department, so it all ties nicely together. We chatted on the phone with Joan earlier this week.