Last Friday, St. Andrew’s had the pleasure of welcoming the Ying String Quartet to Engelhard Hall, for the school's annual Haroldson Music Concert. Formed thirty years ago, three of the quartet's members—David Ying, Janet Ying, and Phillip Ying—are siblings, and are made a quartet by fourth member Robin Scott. They currently serve as quartet-in-residence at the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.
The group’s performance ranged from classic works by Haydn and Dvorak and to more recent works from contemporary Chinese composers Zhou Long and Vivian Fung. During the concert, violist Phillip Ying graciously explained the significance and stories behind each piece. For instance, Long’s “The Old Fisherman” takes inspiration from ancient Chinese instruments, including the zither, and requires plucking on the violin, viola, and cello. Similarly, Vivian Fung’s “Pizzicato for String Quartet” incorporates tapping and plucking on the respective instrument consistently throughout. At the end of the concert, the Ying String Quartet answered questions from students and shared advice on the creative and musical process. The Quartet also revealed that their performance at St. Andrew’s was their first performance ever in the state of Delaware.
“The quartet was amazing, and they in turn were amazed by the enthusiastic response from the audience,” said Director of Instrumental Music Fred Geiersbach. “Their choice of repertoire was also inspired, and they were also excited to answer some excellent questions from students after their performance. It was a shot of adrenaline for all of us!”
The quartet’s visit to campus was made possible by the endowed Haroldson Music Fund, established in 2012 by Katherine and John Haroldson in honor of their daughters, Sarah '09 and Katherine '12; the fund provides students with an annual masterclass and guest performance by renowned string ensembles, with a goal of enhancing the skill and understanding of our student musicians and to broaden appreciation for music among all students.