They may be 45 years old and counting, but apart from the odd grey hair Kronos Quartet (David Harrington and John Sherba, violins, Hank Dutt, viola, and cellist Paul Wiancko standing in for Sunny Yang who is on maternity leave) still feel as urgent and contemporary as ever. Meanwhile, the fact that they still put aside five months a year for touring means plenty of chances to hear what they have been up to. In the case of this Carnegie Hall concert it was an opportunity to catch a collection of works written for the San Francisco ensemble over the years by some of their most iconic collaborators – including Philip Glass, Terry Riley and Steve Reich – plus a handful of the fruits of their latest commissioning project, “Fifty for the Future”.

The latter is a visionary educational project that started in 2015. Over the course of five years, Kronos has commissioned 50 new works, 25 by men, 25 by women. As each piece is completed, scores and parts, plus supplementary materials including performance recordings, videos and interviews with the composers talking about their lives and music, are being...

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