Star Struck with Kronos

It really does seem a small, small world when you discover that your Italian friend Vincenzo’s host mother’s son-in-law is Jeff Zeigler, the cellist of the famed Kronos Quartet. And then your jaws drop, your eyes widen, and you are suddenly overcome with spontaneous laryngitis. Or you stand in front of him, making small talk, trying to hide the fact that you are, from head to toe and back again, star struck.

Vincenzo invited me over for dinner after my good friend Francisco described my elation when I discovered this incredible, albeit distant, connection with the Kronos Quartet. Just a few minutes before I was due to leave for dinner, I frantically scavenged the house, desperately seeking an object on which he could put his John Hancock. What would be most memorable? My violin case? My metronome? My beaten part of Astor Piazzolla’s Kronos-Quartet-dedicated “Four, For Tango”?

Alas, I did not find an object worthy of such a prodigious autograph. But I did shake the hand that bowed the glorious cello parts of the last few years of the Kronos Quartet’s work. And I did get a picture with the famed Jeff Zeigler (even though I am not particularly fond of my bizarre formation of bangs in this picture…). They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Is that equivalent to a thousand autographs?

It took me an hour or so to get comfortable with the idea that I was talking to Jeff Zeigler. The Jeff Zeigler. But by the time we sat down to a wonderfully delicious home-cooked meal, Jeff Zeigler went from an untouchable celebrity to an awesomely cool guy: sweet caring, and bloody brilliant.

It makes me sad to say that this was the first time I had ever seen the Kronos Quartet (or a subset of the Kronos Quartet) in person. I have never been to a Kronos Quartet concert–I have only admired their work through the distant media of the internet. Again and again I have clicked “replay” to marvel at recordings posted on YouTube. Ahh, the Kronos Quartet. Why art thou so amazing?

After standing in awe before Jeff Zeigler, posing with him for a fabulous photo, and marking my calendar for his next performance, I still remember my first exposure to the glory of the Kronos Quartet. My quartet and I crowded ourselves around the speakers of my desktop and listened to their recording of “Four, For Tango.” It became the first piece we performed as the Amani String Quartet. We never got a fancy stage, let alone a magnificent audience of Kronos Quartet fans, but we had fun. Cool piece, I’d say. And I am not usually one for music written after the death of Brahms. Unless of course, it’s performed by the Kronos Quartet.

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~ by thechanster on 12:16 am, Thursday, May 29, 2008.

4 Responses to “Star Struck with Kronos”

  1. he’s my host mother’s son-in-law…

  2. Oops! Sorry, Vincenzo! I made the change so it should be okay now… =)

  3. Mindy, Chelsy, Brandy and I would give ANYTHING to have been standing next to Jeffery Zeigler for a picture too.You are soooooo lucky.
    Erica

  4. wow!! kronos quartet cellist!
    double wow for you having the sheet music of piazzolla’s four for tango!!

    btw, since you have awesome taste in music, def. go youtube libertango arranged/played by anderson and roe (juilliard pianists. freakin amazing.)

    also, check out the ahn trio. they rock my rosin off. =D

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