The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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April 13, 2012

Ying Quartet to perform in Joplin home; concert to be broadcast on Internet

JOPLIN, Mo. — The Ying Quartet has performed in famed opera houses including Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House. But the quartet has a history of playing in many non-traditional places, such as schools, workplaces, churches, banks and juvenile prisons.

They have even changed performance styles of chamber music -- they have performed with actors, dancers, non-classical musicians, magicians and a Chinese noodle chef.

So a performance in a Joplin home will be no problem for the quartet. In fact, that’s the way chamber music got its start, said Cynthia Schwab, founder of Pro Musica Joplin.

“Chamber music recreates music as it was played, and it started in homes, castles and manor houses,” Schwab said. “Places where the listeners are up close to the source of the music, and there’s a huge amount of interaction.”

The Ying Quartet will perform Monday night at the home of a Joplin resident. Tickets to the home concert can be bought from Pro Musica, but anyone with a high-speed Internet connection can watch the concert live on The Joplin Globe’s Web site, joplinglobe.com

Though Pro Musica has hosted house concerts before, a live broadcast is a first for the group, Schwab said. The broadcast team of KCGS-TV, on the campus of Missouri Southern State University, will record and stream live every stanza, phrase and movement. Jeffrey Skibbe, general manager of MSSU’s KXMS-FM, will serve as the concert’s master of ceremonies.

“We’ve never done anything like this before,” Schwab said. “We’re enormously grateful for everyone that will stream this across the country.”

The quartet has not yet announced the program for Monday’s concert.

The Ying Quartet started as a resident quartet in Jesup, Iowa -- a farm town of about 2,000 people, according to the quartet’s biography. They played crowds of anwhere from six to 600 in homes, schools, churches and banks.

The quartet gave its first performance for Pro Musica Joplin during the group’s ’92-’93 season, and has retured several times. They last performed in Joplin in February 2011.

Now quartet-in-residence at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., they teach a sequentially designed chamber music program and perform around the world, including Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House.

Comprised of violinists Ayano Ninomiya and Janet Ying, violist Phillip Ying and cellist David Ying, the quartet has made an effort to expand its horizons and reimagine concert experiences.

The quartet also has recorded a variety of albums filled with music written by established and emerging composers.

The quartet started as three brothers and a sister in 1988; the three Yings were joined by violinist Timothy Ying, according to a review in the New York Times. They performed in Jesup as part of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Rural Residency Initiative.

According to a review in the New York Times, the quartet played “with exceptional unity” through passages composed by Bartok and Debussy known for their intricate, precise arrangements.

Timothy Ying left the quartet and was replaced by Frank Huang in 2009; Ninomiya replaced Huang in 2010 after he was named concertmaster of the Houston Symphony.

Want to hear?

To see the Ying Quartet’s performance, go to joplinglobe.com by 7:45 p.m. Monday. A link to the concert will be on the front page.

Tickets to attend the Ying Quartet, performing in the home of a Joplin resident, are $85. Call 417-625-1822 for tickets, location details.

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