The Kronos Quartet is to replace current cellist Jeffrey Zeigler with 28-year-old University of Southern California graduate Sunny Jungin Yang. Zeigler, who has performed with the quartet for eight years, will step down in May to devote more time to solo projects and new partnerships, and to take up a teaching post at Mannes College The New School For Music in New York.
A relative unknown, Yang was born in South Korea and studied at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York and the Royal Northern College of Music in the UK, where she was taught by cellist Ralph Kirshbaum. She continued her studies with Kirshbaum at USC’s Thornton School of Music where she earned a Masters degree.
‘I’m unbelievably thrilled to be joining Kronos,’ said Yang. ‘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.’
Kronos artistic director and violinist David Harrington added, ‘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.'
Yang’s first public performance with the Kronos will be a free event on June 22 to launch the quartet’s 40th anniversary season, featuring Chinese pipa player Wu Man at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, Connecticut. The season will continue with premiere performances of Kronos-commissioned works by Philip Glass, Aleksandra Vrebalov, Terry Riley, Karin Rehnqvist and Amon Tobin.