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David Ying

David Ying


Ying Quartet; Eastman School of Music;
2005 Grammy Award 

Cellist David Ying is well-known to concert audiences as a member of the Ying Quartet. The Quartet’s professional life began in the small farming community of Jesup, Iowa where the four siblings lived and worked for two years as recipients of a grant from the NEA. During that time they won the Naumburg Chamber Music Award and embarked on a national and international performing schedule. From New York to Sydney, they continue to present concerts in many of the world’s important musical centers. In addition, they have appeared in many notable festivals, including Aspen, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Caramoor, Norfolk and the Festival de Musica de Camera in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Because of their unusually wide performing interests, they also play at unexpected concert sites: factories, schools, prisons, and many other non-traditional venues. The Quartet has also performed at the White House at the invitation of President and Mrs. Clinton.

With the Ying Quartet, Mr. Ying has pursued many innovative projects designed to bring string quartet music to a wide, diverse audience. Their LifeMusic commissions have created a new and distinctively American repertoire for the string quartet by commissioning music from both established and emerging composers, specifically reflecting contemporary American life. A series of concerts entitled “No Boundaries” held at Symphony Space in New York City explored the Quartet’s work alongside the work of many other artists, including actors, dancers, folk and world musicians, and even a chef and a magician.

Mr. Ying can be heard on the Ying Quartet’s first recording of its noteworthy LifeMusic commissions, released on the Quartz label and named “Editor’s Choice” by Gramophone magazine. He is also winner of a Grammy Award for “4 + Four,” the Ying Quartet’s enthusiastically received collaboration with the Turtle Island Quartet on Telarc. On the heels of these critically acclaimed recordings are two 2007 issues: the three Tchaikovsky String Quartets and the “Souvenir de Florence” (Telarc), recently nominated for a Grammy Award, and “The United States: LifeMusic 2” (Quartz). They released “Dim Sum,” a collection of works by Chinese-American composers in January 2008, also on Telarc.

As a solo cellist, Mr. Ying has appeared with such orchestras as the Oakland East-Bay Symphony, the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the String Orchestra of the Rockies, and the Rochester Chamber Orchestra. He also performs duo recitals with his wife, pianist Elinor Freer, across the United States. In addition, they are artistic directors of the Skaneateles Festival. Their imaginative musical leadership there was recently recognized by the 2008 CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming.

The numerous awards Mr. Ying has won as a solo cellist include prizes in the Naumburg International Cello Competition and the Washington International Competition. He holds degrees from the Juilliard School and the Eastman School of Music where his teachers were Leonard Rose, Channing Robbins, Ardyth Alton, Paul Katz, Steven Doane, and Robert Sylvester. A dedicated and active teacher himself, Mr. Ying is currently on the chamber music and cello faculty of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. With the Ying Quartet, he is also presently Blodgett artist in residence at Harvard University.

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