Jonathan Berger, composer
Harriet Scott Chessman, librettist

It was nearly 50 years ago that American soldiers massacred hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese villagers at My Lai. Kronos Quartet's fully staged collaboration with composer Jonathan Berger and novelist Harriet Scott Chessman revisits the horrors of that day and its aftermath, from the perspective of the heroic helicopter pilot who tried to intervene. Berger's "richly evocative" and "hauntingly beautiful" (San Francisco Chronicle) score blends Rinde Eckert's expressive voice with string quartet augmented by traditional Vietnamese instruments played by Vân-Ành Võ, and an electronic soundscape of helicopters, voices, and snippets of American blues.

Please note: this performance contains strong language.

The running time is expected to be approximately 80 minutes with no intermission.

A Berkeley RADICAL programming initiative. More information on
Berkeley RADICAL >>

Public Events

BAMPFA Film Series
Feb 28–Apr 29, 2018
Berkeley Museum of Art and Pacific Film Archive, 2155 Center Street, Berkeley

Documenting Vietnam: Self-Portraits of America at War. At the time the most documented conflict in history, the Vietnam War generated a torrent of brutal images, stories, and statistics disseminated daily in mass media, bringing Americans face to face with the carnage committed in the name of freedom and prosperity. Fifty years after the massacre of hundreds of Vietnamese civilians by American soldiers at My Lai, the Berkeley Museum of Art and Pacific Film Archive presents a series of innovative documentaries that reveal the impact of the conflict on the way Americans perceive themselves. Eschewing the drama, pathos, and pyrotechnics of conventional war movies, these films employ a straightforward, economical approach that nonetheless has a powerful and enduring impact.

For more information, please visit bampfa.org/program/documenting-vietnam

Public Forum
Sat, Mar 3, 2018, 4pm
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Osher Theater, 2120 Oxford Street, Berkeley
With the My Lai creative team: composer Jonathan Berger, librettist Harriet Scott Chessman, Drew Cameron of the Combat Paper Project, and performers Rinde Eckert, Vân-Ánh Võ, and David Harrington.

Free and open to the public. Presented in association with BAMPFA.


Post-performance "Catharsis Café"
Sun, Mar 4, 2018
Zellerbach Hall Mezzanine
Join us immediately following the performance upstairs on the Mezzanine for a reception and informal discussion about My Lai with fellow theatergoers. The conversation will be led by Prof. Patrick Lloyd Hatcher, author of The Suicide of an Elite: American Internationalists and Vietnam, David Joseph of Oakland Vet Center, and David Harrington of Kronos Quartet.

Free to ticket holders.

Pre-Performance Veterans Reception
Sun, Mar 4, 2018, 5pm
Alumni House, UCB campus
Ticket-holding veterans of any branch of service are warmly invited to a special discussion with members of the My Lai creative team.


Major support for public programs provided by Bank of America.


Berkeley RADICAL 2017/18 Season: Vaulting Walls

"Meet Kronos Quartet" directed by Sam Green

Kronos Quartet – "MY LAI"

Program Notes

Program notes are available online. [PDF]

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