The Ying Quartet
David Ying is cellist of the Grammy award winning Ying Quartet. With the group he has performed widely, in traditional venues from Carnegie Hall to the Sydney Opera House. In addition, the quartet’s interest in making music a part of everyday life has led to performances in schools, hospitals, restaurants, correctional facilities and the White House. From its earliest years in an NEA residency in Jesup, IA, the quartet has explored every opportunity to share music, and sought to communicate music’s expression of shared humanity.
The quartet also shares music through its recording activities. The Ying Quartet’s recording projects range from standard string quartet repertoire to its Lifemusic commissions to unusual collaborations with distinguished artists. Its recording of the Tchaikovsky Quartets was nominated for a Grammy award and a collaboration with the Turtle Island Quartet won a Grammy. In addition three volumes of their LifeMusic commissions have received praise including an Editor’s Choice commendation from Gramophone magazine.
Apart from the Ying Quartet, David was a prizewinner in both the Naumburg International Cello competition and the Washington International Competition. In addition to performances with orchestra, he has played numerous recitals with pianist Elinor Freer, also his wife. In addition to concertizing together, for ten years they also were artistic directors of the Skaneateles Festival. The Festival received an ASCAP award for adventurous programming as well as the Chamber Music America Acclaim award during these years. David is presently co-artistic director of the Bowdoin International Music Festival.
As a faculty member at the Eastman School of Music, David enjoys working with cellists and chamber music groups. His students and former students include members of orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic and the Utah Symphony, teachers, string quartet players, lawyers, and the cellist Alisa Weilerstein. David resides in Rochester NY, with Elinor and their children Alina and Nathaniel.
Violin, Founding Member
Janet Ying is a founding member of the Ying Quartet, now in its third decade of performing and teaching across the United States and abroad. A recipient of both a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1992-1994 and the Naumburg Chamber Music Award in 1993, Ms. Ying has been recognized throughout her career for presenting concert music in diverse settings, from Carnegie Hall to hospitals in Iowa City to juvenile prisons in Los Angeles, making connections from everyday life to the art of the string quartet. Her interest in extending the reach of the string quartet has led to collaborations with a range of artists including Menahem Pressler, Billy Childs, Mike Seeger, and Matt Flinner, as well as an ongoing commissioning project of American composers writing about contemporary life.
Ms. Ying can be heard on these recordings: 2 cello quintets by Schumann and Beethoven: Re: Imagined, The 3 string quartets of Robert Schumann, American Anthem: The Music of Samuel Barber & Howard Hanson, Anton Arensky: 2 String Quartets and the Piano Quintet, Three Tchaikovsky Quartets and the Souvenir de Florence, a series of three Life Music albums featuring American commissions, 4 + Four, a Grammy award winning collaboration with the Turtle Island String Quartet, and Dim Sum, a collection of shorter works melding Eastern and Western sounds.
Principal violin studies have been with Donald Weilerstein, William Preucil, Almita and Roland Vamos, Sonja Foster, and Yuko Nasu. Currently, Ms. Ying is an Associate Professor of Chamber Music at the Eastman School of Music.
Phillip Ying, as violist of the Ying Quartet, has performed across the United States, Europe, and Asia. He is a recipient of the Naumburg Award for Chamber Music, has been awarded a Grammy for a collaborative recording with the Turtle Island String Quartet, and has been nominated for three additional Grammys. He maintains a vital interest in collaborative multi-disciplinary projects and new music with recent premieres of works by Chris Theofanidis, Lera Auerbach, Billy Childs, Kenji Bunch, Richard Danielpour, John Novacek, Sebastian Currier, and Paul Moravec. During the summers, he is the Co-Artistic Director of the Bowdoin International Music Festival, and has performed at the Colorado College, Skaneateles, Music in the Vineyards, Aspen, Norfolk, Tanglewood, Marlboro, and Caramoor music festivals. He has been recorded on the Sono Luminus, Telarc, Albany, Elektra, and EMI labels.
Mr. Ying is an Associate Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at the Eastman School of Music and Co-Chair of the Strings, Harp, and Guitar Department. From 2001-2008, the Ying Quartet additionally served as Blodgett ensemble in residence at Harvard University. He served as president for six years of Chamber Music America, a national service organization for chamber music ensembles, presenters and artist managers, and has been published by Chamber Music magazine. He also is a frequent speaker, panelist, and outside evaluator on subjects such as arts-in-education, advocacy through performance, and chamber music residencies. Mr. Ying received his education at Harvard University, the New England Conservatory, and the Eastman School of Music, and studied principally with Martha Katz, Walter Trampler, and Roland Vamos.
Violinist Robin Scott is the 1st violinist of the Ying Quartet, and as such, is an associate professor at the Eastman School of Music. He has won 1st prizes in the California International Young Artists Competition and the WAMSO Competition, and 2nd Prizes in the Menuhin, Klein, and Stulberg International Competitions. Scott has soloed with the Minnesota Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de Lille (France), and many others. He has performed in America and Europe as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician, and has appeared in Boston’s Jordan Hall, New York’s Weill Hall and Town Hall, and The Kennedy Center and Library of Congress in Washington. His last few summers have been spent at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, Marlboro Music, the Ravinia Festival, and the Yellow Barn Festival. Scott possesses a Bachelor’s Degree from the New England Conservatory and an Artist Diploma from Indiana University, and he has been a pupil of Donald Weilerstein, Kim Kashkashian, Miriam Fried, and Mimi Zweig.