| 03.20.2018

Giving musicians a sound to strive for — World-class string ensemble to visit UI January 24-28


Every January, the Auditorium Chamber Music Series (ACMS) welcomes a major string quartet for a residency at the University of Idaho. In the 2018 season, ACMS will host the Ying Quartet from Jan. 24 through Jan. 28.

“The Yings are one of the world’s best string quartets,” ACMS Director Leonard Garrison said.

The Ying Quartet is currently in residence at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. From humble beginnings as a resident group in Jesup, Iowa, the Ying Quartet is now recognized as a world-class chamber music group. They have been nominated for four Grammy awards and took home the Best Classical Crossover Album title in 2005.

“They’re excellent for residency,” Garrison said. “That’s how they developed their career.”

Garrison won’t be wasting a minute of the group’s time during its stay in Idaho.

“We have a whole schedule for them set up,” Garrison said. “They’ll be really busy.”

Some of their activities while in Moscow include teaching at the Palouse Chamber Music Workshop Jan. 27, playing a pop-up concert at the Moscow Public Library and performing for children in a “Rug Concert” Jan. 26 at the 1912 Center.

At the core of the Ying Quartet’s visit is their performance as part of the ACMS at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25 in the University of Idaho Auditorium in the Administration Building.

“It’s typical of an ACMS concert that we have two standard works and a new work,” Garrison said.

The concert will feature traditional chamber music pieces by Mozart and Dvorak in addition to a new piece composed specifically for the Ying Quartet by Christopher Theofanidis called “The Conference of the Birds.”

In addition to its community outreach concerts, the Ying Quartet will also work with UI students in master classes, where they will listen and give feedback on select individual student performances.

Veronica Murtaugh, a freshman and cellist in the UI Lionel Hampton School of Music, will be playing in one of the Ying Quartet’s master classes.

“You can pick up some great tips,” she said.

This won’t be Murtaugh’s first master class experience as she has been playing the cello since she was in fifth grade.

“I’m always looking for a new perspective,” Murtaugh said. “The cellist that’s coming is known for being a super expressive person when he plays the cello.”

Murtaugh said most of all, she is looking forward to “getting exposure to somebody at that level.”

“It gives you such a thrill too, to see people doing your dream,” Murtaugh said. “It gives you a sound to strive for.”

Beth Hoots can be reached at arg-arts@uidaho.edu

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