The Ying Quartet

The renowned Ying Quartet, accompanied by acclaimed pianist Menahem Pressler, will perform compositions of classical music at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5, in the Music Recital Hall on the Southern Oregon University campus, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland.

The quartet features siblings David Ying on cello, Phillip Ying on viola and Janet Ying on violin, along with first violinist Frank Huang who joined the quartet during the 2009-2010 season in place of the quartet's original first violinist and brother Timothy Ying.

Haung, an orchestral soloist and chamber musician, won the 2003 Naumburg Violin Competition and the 2000 Hannover International Violin Competition.

The ensemble will perform Haydn's String Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 33 no. 4; Barber's String Quartet, Op. 11; and Dvorak's Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81.

The quartet acquired its professional identity more than two decades ago as the resident quartet of Jesup, Iowa, a farm town with a population of 2,000. The residency was supported by a National Endowment for the Arts grant that was widely reported by the media, and the quartet was later asked to testify before Congress on the behalf of the grant.

From 2001 to 2008, the Ying Quartet was the Blodgett Artists-in-Residence at Harvard University.

Now the quartet-in-residence at Eastman School of Music in New York, the Yings teach in the string department and lead the chamber music program.

Members of the group have established themselves as accomplished musicians and continue to tour nationally and internationally from Carnegie Hall to the Sydney Opera House, as well as at low-profile venues such as schools, workplaces and juvenile prisons.

The group's 2007 release of three Tchaikovsky quartets and the "Souvenir de Florence" was nominated for the Grammy's Best Chamber Music Performance category. In 2005, the ensemble's collaborated with the Turtle Island Quartet, "Four + 4," and explored the common ground between classical string quartet, jazz and American vernacular arrangements, which resulted in a Grammy Award. "Dim Sum," the Ying Quartet's newest album, features music by Chinese-American composers.

The quartet is actively involved in the LifeMusic project, supported by the Institute for American Music. The group commissions work by established and emerging artists whose compositions reflects contemporary American life. The newest, "The United States," was released in 2007.

Pressler, who will be joining the quartet for its SOU performance, is a founding member and pianist of Beaux Arts Trio.

He is a recipient of numerous international awards for his leadership in music and education. Pressler was appointed Honorary Fellow of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance in 2007, and he received the German president's Deutsche Bundesverdienstdreuz (Cross of Merit) First Class and France's Cammandeur in the Order of Arts and Letters award in 2005.

Pressler, 85, has received honorary doctorates from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the North Carolina School of the Arts and the University of Nebraska and has been nominated for five Grammy Awards. He holds the title of distinguished professor at Indiana University, where he teaches.

In addition to the concert, the quartet will present for the SOU chamber music class and interested community members at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, in the Music Recital Hall.

Tickets to Friday's SOU performance cost $35 and $40, and $5 for ages 22 and younger. Visit or call 541-552-6154.

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