I am distantly related to two titans of modern music:
The husband of my maternal grandfather's sister is a direct descendant of the brother of Lev (Leon) Theremin's father. I did not know this obscure fact when I met Theremin at a reception at Michael O'Donoghue's apartment during his visit to New York to appear in Steven Martin's film, Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey (probably in 1991.) I forced a copy of my CD, 100 of the World's Most Beautiful Melodies, into his hands -- tacky!
My maternal grandmother's brother's wife was Christian Wolff's mother's sister -- making us cousins of a distant sort. My longstanding passion for Wolff's music began in Alvin Lucier's excellent course I took first semester of my freshman year at Wesleyan. Home for Thanksgiving, I mentioned him to my parents. "Not little Christian Wolff?" asked my mother: when she was first in New York, far away from her home in Chile, she'd been invited to the Wolff's apartment for dinners, where she met the teenager, shortly before he began his legendary composition lessons with John Cage.
Sometimes I feel like a footnote...