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The Ying Americans
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This project is funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

+ About the Performance
This program was recorded 03/09/2006 at Symphony Space.

The Ying Americans – The family-based Ying Quartet puts the focus on new American music for string quartet through commissioned work. The program features the Samuel Barber String Quartet, the 75-year-old icon of American string quartets, and bright new commissioned works by Michael Torke and Patrick Zimmerli.




“Sixth Avenue in the Afternoon” excerpt, Michael Torke

String Quartet, Movement 1. Molto Allegro e Appassionato, excerpt, Samuel Barber

“Simple Gifts” excerpt from Appalachian Spring, Aaron Copland

String Quartet, Movements 2. Adagio and 3. Molto Adagio-Presto, Barber

“Sixth Avenue in the Afternoon”, Torke

“Houston Street in the Morning”, Torke

“American Spiritual for String Quartet”, Patrick Zimmerli

+ About the Artists

Now in its second decade, the Ying Quartet continues to develop ways of making artistic and creative expression an essential part of everyday life.  Their current projects in this direction include an innovative visiting residency at Symphony Space in New York City connecting music with other art forms, including dance, poetry, and film; an exploration with the Turtle Island String Quartet of jazz, improvisation and the classical string quartet tradition; and a variety of visiting residencies on campuses and in communities across the United States.

Natives of Chicago, the Ying siblings began their career as an ensemble in 1992 in the farm town of Jesup, Iowa (population 2000) as the first artists involved in the National Endowment for the Arts Chamber Music Rural Residencies Program.  The Quartet participated fully in the community, performing on countless occasions for audiences of six to six hundred people in a residency so successful that it was widely chronicled in the national and international media, including features in The New York Times and STRAD magazine and on CBS Sunday Morning.

While the Quartet was in Jesup, its exceptional musical qualities earned it the 1993 Naumburg Chamber Music Award.  In the years since, the Yings have established an international 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.  The Yings’ enthusiasm for performing in diverse settings has led to concerts in Carnegie Hall, the White House, hospitals and juvenile prisons. Frequent musical collaborations have included such artists as Menahem Pressler, Paul Katz, Gilbert Kalish, Jon Nakamatsu, 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.

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