For the weekend of October 25-26th, Cairn University hosted the Grammy-nominated Ying String Quartet for a concert and two days of masterclasses, lectures, and workshops for Cairn students and the local community. While full-time faculty and quartet-in-residence at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, they continue to tour widely—performing in diverse venues ranging from universities to the workplace, juvenile prisons to the White House. Their performances also regularly take place in the world’s most famous concert halls, such as the Sydney Opera House and Carnegie Hall.
During the Friday evening concert, the Quartet performed three works: Quartet in A Major, Op. 18, No.5 by Beethoven, Quartet No. 8 by Shostakovich, and Quartet in A Minor, Op. 51, No. 2 by Brahms. The pieces were performed with deep commitment, discerning taste, moving expression, and imagination. Music professor Benjamin Harding described the performance as “life-changing,” while social work student Kristine Maxwell described the power of the Shostakovich performance: “He [Shostakovich] had been controlled and denounced by the Soviet government under Stalin, and his friends and family had been shot or imprisoned. His music can be very wistful, sad, intense—the [Quartet’s] performance tonight captured all of that. I cried.”
In addition to the concert, current and aspiring musical professionals in the Philadelphia region were invited to two lectures: “Audience Building in the 21st Century” on Friday and “Quartet Playing” on Saturday. The weekend was also filled with private lessons and coaching for Cairn undergraduate students, as well as masterclasses for Cairn students and members of the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County.
Learn more about the Ying Quartet at their official website: www.ying4.com.
Watch a series of video interviews with the Ying Quartet and Cairn’s Music faculty.
On Wednesday, November 15, Vietnam Veteran David Christian was invited to speak to Cairn University students. Christian, originally from Bucks County, is the youngest most decorated Vietnam War veteran, having