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Skidmore College

10th annual string fest to feature return of Ying Quartet

March 25, 2014
Ying Quartet
The Ying Quartet

Skidmore will welcome the Grammy Award-winning Ying Quartet as artists-in-residence during the college’s 10th annual string festival March 28-30 in the Arthur Zankel Music Center. This is the third time the Ying Quartet will participate in the festival, which is under the direction of Michael Emery, senior artist-in-residence at the college.

Festival activities include a public concert by the Ying Quartet at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 29, and a finale concert featuring festival participants, Skidmore faculty, and the Ying Quartet at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 30.

The Skidmore String Festival is offered as the College’s Elisabeth Luce Moore Chamber Music Residency. Emery reaches out to educators throughout the region to invite established high school string quartets to apply to participate.  Students have the chance to be coached by members of the acclaimed Ying Quartet, and to participate in the finale concert. In addition, the high school students get a taste of music study on a college campus.

Michael Emery
Michael Emery

Now in its second decade, the Ying Quartet occupies a position of prominence in classical music by combining brilliant performances with an imaginative view of chamber music in today’s world.  In 2003 he group received its first Grammy nomination in the Best Chamber Music Performance category for appearing on “Golijov: Yiddishbuk.” In 2005, the quartet’s collaboration with the Turtle Island Quartet, “Four + 4,” earned a Grammy Award for “Best Classical Crossover Album.” In 2007, the quartet was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Chamber Music Performance category for its release of the “Tchaikovsky: Three String Quartets and the Souvenir de Florence” (with James Dunham and Paul Katz). In 2010, the group’s release with the Billy Childs Chamber Jazz Ensemble, “Autumn: In Moving Pictures Jazz-Chamber Music, Vol. 2” earned the quartet another Grammy nomination. 

The Ying’s ongoing LifeMusic commissioning project, supported by the Institute for American Music, recruits both established and emerging composers to create music that reflects contemporary American life and the highest standards of musical excellence. Michael Torke, Kevin Puts, Paquito D'Rivera, Paul Moravec, Lowell Liebermann, Bernard Rands, Pierre Jalbert, Sebastian Currier, and Carter Pann are some of the renowned composers and musicians who have written for LifeMusic.

The quartet’s mission has always been twofold: to make classical music a relevant and vital part of American culture in all its diversity, and to do so with the highest standards of artistic integrity. Whether they are performing in Carnegie Hall or the White House, teaching at the Eastman School of Music or spending a week in Helena, Mont., quartet members are committed to exploring the many ways in which great music can transform lives.

At 2 p.m. Sunday, March 30, the String Festival Finale will include all festival quartets, with Skidmore faculty and the Ying Quartet joining onstage for a group performance. Finale admission is free and open to the public.

Admission for the 8 p.m. Saturday, March 29, Ying Quartet performance is $8 adults, $5 seniors and Skidmore community, and free for students and children. For advance reservations visit or call the Zankel box office (518) 580-5321 for more information.  The Zankel Music Center is wheelchair accessible and offers listening devices for the hearing impaired.

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