Saratoga Springs, NY (May 10, 2007) - The internationally acclaimed Ying Quartet will honor Yaddo’s composers with a performance at the 2007 Yaddo Summer Benefit to be held June 5 in the Music Room of the Yaddo Mansion.
Thanks to the generosity of the Capital Region community and the hard work of the members of the benefit committees, the event’s expenses can traditionally be kept to a minimum and more than 90 percent of the proceeds from the benefit are devoted to Yaddo’s artists’ residency program. This year’s committee chairs are Claudia Olsen, Patty HasBrouck, and Anne Palamountain. Yaddo composer George Tsontakis, a Director of The Corporation of Yaddo, is coordinating the benefit program with the Ying Quartet.
The Ying Quartet includes four siblings – Timothy and Janet on violin, Phillip on viola, and David on cello. Natives of Chicago, they began their career as an ensemble in 1992 in the farm town of Jesup, Iowa (population 2000) as the first recipients of a National Endowment for the Arts grant to support chamber music in rural America. Performing on countless occasions for audiences of six to 600 people, the quartet made themselves a part of the community. The residency was so successful that it was widely chronicled in the national and international media, including features in The New York Times and on CBS Sunday Morning, and won them the 1993 Naumburg Chamber Music Award.
In the years since, the Yings have established a reputation for excellence in performance with appearances in virtually every major American city; at numerous festivals, including Tanglewood, Aspen, and San Miguel; and in Europe, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Japan, and Taiwan. They have made a name for themselves with innovative programming drawing connections between chamber music and other art forms in ways that have great public appeal, including a program with folk musician Mike Seeger showing the influence of traditional folk music on contemporary American classical composition and Hyperscore, a revolutionary online graphic compositional application that allows amateurs as well as professional musicians to compose using a personal computer. Most recently, the quartet has celebrated their own cultural heritage with "A Musical Dim Sum," a series of performances held everywhere from a Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles to the Kennedy Center, featuring a selection of short works by Chinese American composers in the framework of a traditional concert, giving audiences a varied sampling of this music. To further the project, the quartet plans to commission new works by composers of Chinese background living around the globe to join existing pieces by Yaddo composers Chou Wen-Chung, Zhou Long, and Chen Yi, among others.
In 1999, the Ying Quartet introduced LifeMusic, a multi-year commissioning project supported by the Institute for American Music, designed to produce a distinctively American string quartet repertory. A pair of works each season by established and emerging composers is featured in the Yings' diverse performance activities. Participating composers thus far include Yaddo composers Ned Rorem and Michael Torke.
Frequent musical collaborations have included such artists as Menahem Pressler, Christopher Taylor, Paul Katz, Gilbert Kalish, and the St. Lawrence and Turtle Island String Quartets. The EMI Classics recording of works by Osvaldo Golijov on which the Ying Quartet appears with the St. Lawrence Quartet was nominated for a 2003 Grammy Award. 4 + Four, a Ying/Turtle Island recording, was released in the spring of 2005 on the Telarc label, and received a 2005 Grammy Award in the Best Classical Crossover Category. The Ying Quartet is currently Quartet-in-Residence at the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester. The quartet has also taught at Northwestern University and at the Interlochen and Brevard Music Festivals, and, since 2001, the members of the Ying Quartet have been the Blodgett Artists-in-Residence at Harvard University.
The performance begins at 8 p.m. and will be followed by a reception. Tickets for the June 5 event start at $150. For additional information contact Lynn Farenell (email@example.com or 518.584.0746). To purchase tickets online now, click here.