Ying Quartet in Concert at Gustavus Saturday

Posted on March 10th, 2009 by

Ying Quartet in Concert this Weekend

Ying Quartet in Concert this Weekend

The Ying Quartet, Eastman School of Music Quartet in Residence, brings its music to Gustavus Adolphus College and the Gustavus Artist Series Saturday, March 14. The quartet’s performance, “A Dim Sum Evening,” combines traditional western string quartets and contemporary Chinese works in one concert. The performance begins at 8:00 p.m. and tickets will be available at the door.

Now in its second decade as a quartet, the Yings have established themselves as an ensemble of the highest musical qualifications in their tours across the United States and abroad. Their performances regularly take place in many of the world’s most important concert halls, from Carnegie Hall to the Sydney Opera House. At the same time, the Quartet’s belief that concert music should be a meaningful part of everyday life has also drawn the foursome to perform in settings as diverse as the workplace, schools, juvenile prisons, and the White House. In fact, the Ying Quartet’s constant quest to explore the creative possibilities of the string quartet has led it to an unusually diverse array of musical projects and interests.

The Ying Quartet’s recordings reflect many of the siblings’ wide-ranging musical interests and have generated enthusiastic acclaim. Their 2007 Telarc release of the three Tchaikovsky Quartets and the Souvenir de Florence was nominated for a Grammy Award. In addition, their much-heralded collaboration with the Turtle Island Quartet, “Four + 4,” explored the common ground between the classic string quartet tradition and jazz and other American vernacular styles, and won a Grammy Award in 2005. “Dim Sum” (Telarc) is the Yings’ most recent recording, featuring music by Chinese-American composers that merges the Western string quartet with the aural world of traditional Chinese music.

Saturday’s program reflects the diverse nature of interests of the Ying Quartet. The performance includes works by Giacomo Puccini and Giuseppe Verdi before moving to the contemporary Chinese composers Chen Yi, Vivian Fung and Lei Liang. Following intermission, the quartet returns to present Claude Debussy’s Quartet in G minor, Op. 10.

The Ying Quartet first came to professional prominence in the early 1990s during their years as resident quartet of Jesup, Iowa. Playing before audiences of six to six hundred, the Quartet had its first opportunities to enable music and creative endeavor to become an integral part of community life. The Quartet considers its time in Jesup the foundation of its present musical life and goals. The residency, supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, was widely chronicled in the national media. Toward the end of the residency, the quartet and several of the townspeople were invited to Capitol Hill to testify before Congress on behalf of the NEA.

Tickets for Saturday’s performance may be ordered by calling the Gustavus Ticket Center at 507-933-7590 or may be purchased at the door one hour prior to the 8:00 p.m. concert.


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