I’ve had the immeasurable pleasure of representing the Ying Quartet since its inception nearly twenty years ago. The group’s wonderful imagination and impeccable taste is reflected in their programming ability, incorporating and combining traditional repertoire and commissioning at least two new works each year as part of the LifeMusic project. Last night at Carnegie Hall, I experienced not just the best performance I’ve ever heard by the Ying Quartet, but also a real musical transformation.
Three and a half years ago, Timothy Ying decided to leave the Quartet for a different kind of life with his family in Toronto. The Quartet found an excellent violinist to join the ensemble, who just a year later, was stolen away as concertmaster for a major orchestra.
Despair would be a mild expression of how the Quartet felt. However, a year ago, they found an absolutely exceptional first violinist, Ayano Ninomiya, and, together with her yesterday, they presented great string quartet playing aurally, musically, and collaboratively – a result that left the full house delighted and thrilled. As I said to the Quartet after the performance, isn’t it interesting how what was seemingly a low point has turned into an ultimate triumph?