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February 28, 2013

Kronos Quartet Welcomes New Cellist, Sunny Jungin Yang

The Kronos Performing Arts Association announced today that the Kronos Quartet will welcome a new cellist, Sunny Jungin Yang, to the ensemble this June. Yang will succeed Jeffrey Zeigler, who has performed with the quartet for the past eight seasons and will step down from the group this May.

Sunny Jungin Yang  Jeffrey Zeigler

Born in Incheon, South Korea, Yang emigrated at a young age with her family to Pretoria, South Africa, where she resided until attending Michigan’s Interlochen Arts Academy. She holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the Royal Northern Conservatory of Music in Manchester, England, where she studied with eminent cellist Ralph Kirshbaum. She completed her studies with Kirshbaum at USC’s Thornton School of Music, where she earned a Masters of Music. She has served on the faculty of the Young Artist Program at the Yellow Barn Chamber Music School and Festival in Putney, Vermont.

“I’m unbelievably thrilled to be joining Kronos!” Yang says. “The Quartet has always been an inspiration to me, and I never dreamed that one day I would be part of this fantastic and unique ensemble. I’m looking forward to creating and sharing exciting music with my new colleagues.”

Says Kronos’ Artistic Director David Harrington, “Sunny Yang will bring incredible artistry and energy to Kronos as we continue our exploration of today’s music.  Each of our three line-ups over the past 35 years has had its own special character. I’m really excited to hear how our sound evolves with Sunny in the group.

“At the same time, I’m reflecting on the amazing musical adventures that we’ve had with Jeffrey Zeigler over these past eight years. We will miss his own unique musicianship — and we’re looking forward to our remaining concerts with him this winter and spring.  We wish Jeff the very best as he moves on to new artistic projects.”

Zeigler’s departure is motivated by his desire to work on solo projects and new collaborations, and to begin teaching at Mannes College The New School For Music. He is relocating to Brooklyn, where his wife, the composer Paola Prestini, has become the Creative Director of the heralded new music venue OMW (Original Music Workshop).

Zeigler said of Kronos, “I am deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to create music with some of the world’s most exciting artists in many of the world’s most prestigious venues. It has been an honor and a joy for me to share the stage with David, John and Hank. They are wonderful colleagues and will continue to be my friends. I would like to thank them and the entire organization for their tireless work and support over these past eight years.”

Ziegler’s last performances with Kronos will be May 10 + 11 at Peak Performances in Montclair, NJ, where the group will perform with violinist/performance artist/composer Laurie Anderson in Landfall, an evening-length collaboration. Yang will take the stage with Kronos for the first time on June 22, inaugurating the quartet’s 40th-anniversary season with a free concert featuring Chinese pipa player Wu Man at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, CT.  The new season will continue with premiere performances of Kronos-commissioned works by Philip Glass, Aleksandra Vrebalov, Terry Riley, Karin Rehnqvist, and Amon Tobin, among several other composers.

Says Kronos’ long-time, Grammy-winning record producer Judith Sherman, who brought both Zeigler and Yang to the group’s attention, “Sunny truly embodies her name. Her playing is joyful, beautiful, and meaningful. I think she’s going to be a fabulous addition to Kronos.”

Photo credits:
Sunny Jungin Yang: Photo courtsey of Music@Menlo/Tristan Cook
Jeffrey Zeigler: Photo by Jay Blakesberg

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