Acclaimed classical music group Kronos Quartet have switched cellists for only the fifth time in their 40-year history.

Sunny Jungin Yang, 28, will replace Jeffrey Zeigler in the San Francisco, California-based group as he embarks on a solo career and becomes a lecturer at the New School for Music in New York.

South Korea-born musician Yang grew up in South Africa and studied under top cellist Ralph Kirshbaum at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where she earned a master's degree in music.

Yang became a fan of the Kronos Quartet when she first heard them perform live in Michigan when she was 16 and she admits becoming part of the group is a dream come true.

She tells the Los Angeles Times, "I'm thrilled, just so honoured. Contemporary music has been my passion for so many years and I really admire what they do, which is bringing something new to the audience."

She will officially join the quartet in June (13).