Jeffrey Zeigler is one of the most innovative and versatile cellists of our time. He has been described by The New York Times as “fiery” and a player who performs “with unforced simplicity and beauty of tone.” Acclaimed for his independent streak, Zeigler has commissioned dozens of works, and is admired as a potent collaborator and unique improviser. As a member of the Kronos Quartet he is the recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize, the Polar Music Prize, the President’s Merit Award from the Recording Academy (Grammys), the Chamber Music America National Service Award and The Asia Society's Cultural Achievement Award.
Zeigler received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music/University of Rochester and his Master of Music degree from the Shepherd School of Music/Rice University. Following two years of study at the Jacobs School of Music/Indiana University, he went on to be a resident artist in the Lisa Arnhold String Quartet in Residence Program at The Juilliard School as a member of the Corigliano Quartet.
Following his eight-year tenure as the cellist of the Kronos Quartet, his multifaceted career has led to collaborations with a wide array of artists from Philip Glass and Tanya Tagaq to Yo-Yo Ma and Foday Musa Suso, from Laurie Anderson and John Corigliano to Hauschka and the Pulitzer Prize winning scientist Siddhartha Mukherjee. He has also performed as a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Toronto Symphony, the Royal Danish Radio Symphony and the Ulster Orchestra under the batons of Peter Oundjian, JoAnn Falletta, Dennis Russell Davies and Dmitry Sitkovetsky.
In the Fall of 2021 Zeigler released his latest album, Houses of Zodiac: Poems for Cello by Paola Prestini, a multimedia experience that combines spoken word, movement, music, and imagery into a unified exploration of love, loss, trauma, and healing. The project takes its title from the twelve houses of the zodiac as facets of the self and draws inspiration from explorations of the subconscious including Anaïs Nin’s House of Incest and the poetry of Pablo Neruda, Brenda Shaughnessy, and Natasha Tretheway. Filmed by Murat Eyüboglu at MASS MoCA and Studio Polygons in Tokyo, Japan, the digital experience features the performances and original choreography of New York City Ballet soloist Georgina Pazcoguin and Butoh dancer Dai Matsuoka, a member of the acclaimed troupe Sankai Juku.
Other upcoming highlights include being featured in a new cello opera entitled The Old Man and the Sea directed by Karmina Silec with music by Paola Prestini and libretto by Royce Vavrek. He will also give performances of Mark Adamo's Cello Concerto with the American Composers Orchestra and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, having premiered the work with New Century Chamber Orchestra last season.
Zeigler was the Music Director for two eco-documentaries that exist at the intersection of art, science, and community. Directed by Murat Eyüboglu, part one was entitled The Colorado and premiered at the Metropolitan Museum, the Kennedy Center, and Stanford Live and at over 30 film festivals. An excerpt of Part two, The Amazon, was presented at the Margaret Mead Festival at the American Museum of Natural History.
Zeigler is the Label Director of National Sawdust Tracks, the non-profit, in-house record label of National Sawdust, an artist-led, multidisciplinary new music venue in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. National Sawdust Tracks releases content that reinterprets genre, facilitates provocative collaboration, and encourages new ways of listening. Recent releases include albums by Du Yun, Kamala Sankaram and music by the winners of the Hildegard Competition for Female, Trans, and Non-Binary Composers.
Mr. Zeigler has released dozens of recordings for Nonesuch Records, Deutsche Grammophon, Cantaloupe, Smithsonian Folkways and National Sawdust Tracks and has appeared with Norah Jones on her album Not Too Late on Blue Note Records. Zeigler can be heard on the film soundtrack for Paolo Sorrentino’s Academy Award winning film, La Grande Bellezza, as well as Clint Mansell’s Golden Globe nominated soundtrack to the Darren Aronofsky film, The Fountain. Zeigler can also be seen making an on-screen cameo performing the music of Paola Prestini in Season 4 of the Amazon Prime’s Golden Globe Award winning series Mozart in the Jungle.
Zeigler is assistant professor of Chamber Music and Innovation at Frost School of Music at the University of Miami and Director of the Frost Chamber Music Series. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Chamber Music America and CelloBello, and is on the Honorary Committee of the Sphinx Organization.