David Ying, cello

Faculty Artist Series

December 4, 2016 | 3:00 PM Kilbourn Hall
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David Ying, cello
with Elinor Freer, piano

Cellist David Ying is well known to concert audiences as the cellist of the Grammy Award winning Ying Quartet.  With the Quartet he has performed worldwide in celebrated music venues from Carnegie Hall to the Sydney Opera House.  The quartet is also known for its enterprising view of concert performance, which has led to visits to the White House as well as correctional facilities, and to business schools as well as hospitals. In its collaborations, the quartet has performed with chamber music greats Menachem Pressler, Gilbert Kalish, and Paul Katz, as well as explored new musical territory with folk musician Mike Seeger, the Turtle Island Quartet, and even actors, dancers, chefs and magicians.

With the Quartet, David has created a wide range of recordings that have received consistent acclaim, as well as a Grammy Award and four Grammy nominations. Their recorded work ranges from traditional- Tchaikovsky’s three string quartets and his Souvenir de Florence- to contemporary- three albums of their LifeMusic commissions. It also includes unique collaborations with the Turtle Island Quartet, pianist Billy Childs, and Phish frontman Trey Anastasio. In October 2011, the quartet released the two string quartets and piano quintet of Anton Arensky (Sono Luminus).

David first pursued chamber music avidly as a teenaged student at the Eastman School of Music with his piano trio, which was awarded first prize at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition. Later he would also win the Naumburg Chamber Music Award, this time with the Ying Quartet.

David is also highly regarded as an individual artist, having been awarded prizes in the Naumburg Cello Competition and in the Washington International Competition.  As a solo cellist, he often performs with his wife, pianist Elinor Freer. Together they are also artistic directors of the Skaneateles Festival. Their imaginative view of music has helped to earn the festival a devoted following and national recognition, including a special ASCAP award for adventurous programming.

A graduate of both the Eastman School of Music and the Juilliard School, David owes a debt of gratitude to his many fine teachers, who include Leonard Rose, Channing Robbins, Paul Katz, Steven Doane, Robert Sylvester, and Nell Novak.

David presently serves on the cello and chamber music faculty at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester NY, where he and Elinor reside with their two children.

A native of Montana, Elinor Freer has built a versatile career as soloist, chamber musician, teacher, and artistic administrator. Praised for her “utmost sensitivity” (Harrisburg Patriot News) and “profound commitment and understanding” (Der General-Anzeiger, Bonn), Ms. Freer has performed throughout the U.S., Europe, Mexico, and China, including appearances in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Bonn, Prague, Moscow, Guangzhou, and Beijing. A prizewinner and laureate in the Joanna Hodges and American Pianists Association Competitions, she has been the recipient of numerous awards including fellowships at Ravinia and Tanglewood. Ms. Freer holds degrees with honors from the Cleveland Institute of Music, the University of Southern California, and the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht. She feels privileged that her teachers and coaches have included Paul Schenly, John Perry, Kyoko Hashimoto, Ferenc Rados, Leon Fleisher, Peter Serkin, and Gilbert Kalish. Committed to expanding audiences, she founded residencies in rural Kansas and Montana, bringing live music onto street corners and into schools, psychiatric hospitals, banks, grocery stores, and more. For these efforts, she was awarded multiple grants from the NEA.  Ms. Freer is currently on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music and lives in Rochester, NY, with her husband cellist David Ying and their two children.

The Faculty Artist Series is generously supported by Patricia Ward-Baker.


Lukas Foss Cappriccio
Kabalevsky Sonata in B-flat Major, Op. 71
Beethoven Sonata in F Major, Op. 5, No. 1