String quartet leader is arrested after ‘naked rampage at Manhattan hotel’

String quartet leader is arrested after ‘naked rampage at Manhattan hotel’


norman lebrecht

March 30, 2015

The New York Post reports this morning that the leader of the Leipzig String Quartet ran amok at the Hudson Hotel at Columbus Circle in the early hours of Friday, forcing his way into a fellow-guest’s room.


Police sources told the paper that a 64-year-old woman from North Carolina ‘heard a knock and opened her door slightly’ to find a wild-eyed, ‘completely naked’ intruder. The cops arrived soon after.

Stefan Arzberger, 42, was arrested and spent a night in jail. He was charged with strangulation and burglary and released Saturday morning on $100,000 bail.

Sources close to the musician say he has no recollection of the incident. ‘He’s an upstanding member of society without a criminal record who has devoted his life to the arts,’ his lawyer told the Post.


Friday’s last Fb post from the Leipzig Quartet reported ‘a nice evening walk in New York City’.

UPDATE: The Leipzig String Quartet have shared the following message: We have to announce that Stefan became on Sat. 26th victim of a serious crime in New York City. Things are in clearance now. At this time the lawyers do not allow to divulge more information. We feel great solidarity and hope for a sudden end of that nightmare! Stefan, we are with you!

More here.

UPDATE 2: ‘He was drugged’. Here.


  • Nigel says:

    From their schedule

    it looks like they should be flying back to Leipzig about now

  • T-arafanboy says:

    Well, strange things happen in NYC…
    Have heard the Leipzigers on several occasions and they are an excellent string quartet;a true jewel, especially in Mendelssohn and Schubert. I can only assume that Stefan was absolutely not responsible for his actions, probably some drug slipped into his drink. I hope this gets resolved as quickly and as painlessly as possible, for both sides, so the great music making can go on.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Opus 95 by Beethoven sometimes does have that effect.

  • dar says:

    hmmm, sounds like another possible manifestation of…
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    However, there is recent concern over possible addictive Ambien side effects and sleep-related eating, walking, cooking and driving. Alleged [sic] side effects range from Ambien sleepwalking episodes to hallucinations,
    violent outbursts and driving while asleep. There are in increasing number or reports of people have woken up to find themselves in jail, driving cars while in a hypnotic state and binge eating…
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  • MWnyc says:

    The “someone must have slipped something into his drink” theory is never very convincing, except perhaps in cases of (alleged) date-rape. And notwithstanding the fact that Stefan Arzberger isn’t bad-looking, a date-rape drug doesn’t seem likely: those drugs knock you out, they don’t hype you up to run around halls and accost people.

    But Dar is right: Ambien is a definite possibility. That medication has helped many people sleep, but there have been many cases of people engaging in incredible behavior while asleep under the influence of Ambien and remembering none of it afterward. I took Ambien for a few months some years ago, and that happened to me a few times; fortunately, it seems I never left the house.

  • Anon says:

    The string quartet states on their Facebook site, that he got drugged in a bar, robbed, all credit cards stolen and high amounts withdrawn from the credit cards.

    • MWnyc says:

      That could very well be true.

      It could also be a story they came up with the try to save their colleague’s reputation and their own future engagements.

      If it is true, the authorities will probably make some statement to that effect when they release him.