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Release: April 2, 2002

(NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Chiara is pronounced "key-ARE-uh.")

(NOTE TO EDITORS: At the time of this release, fewer than 100 tickets remain available for the April 19 Ying Quartet concert. Please check with the box office before publication so that you can provide your audience with up-to-date information on ticket availability.)

(Top photo: Ying Quartet; Bottom photo: Chiara Quartet)

Hancher's Ying Quartet residency includes a dozen Iowa schools

The Ying Quartet has already completed two weeks of a staggered three-week residency at the University of Iowa, through the Arts Across the Curriculum project. By the time they complete the final week, April 15-19, and present a Hancher-sponsored concert at
8 p.m. Friday, April 19, in Clapp Recital Hall, they will have visited a dozen schools and eight communities in eastern Iowa, and interacted with music students throughout the state on the Iowa Communications Network.

The young Chiara String Quartet (the name comes from the Italian word meaning "clear," "pure" or "light") will join the Ying Quartet for the final week of the residency, and they will present a free concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, in the Lisbon Public Library, featuring Beethoven's String Quartet in D Major, opus 18, No. 3; Charles Ives' String Quartet No. 1; and Debussy's String Quartet in G Minor, opus 10.

Two members of the Chiara Quartet will be featured with the Ying Quartet in the Friday-night Clapp Hall concert, in a performance of the Brahms Sextet in B-flat Major, opus 18. Other works on the Ying concert are William Bolcom's Three Rags and new quartets by Augusta Read Thomas and Daniel Kellogg.

The Kellogg and Thomas quartet are part of the Ying Quartet's multi-year commissioning project, supported by the Institute for American Music, designed to produce a distinctively American string quartet repertoire. Each season of the project the Ying Quartet will introduce two new American compositions, by established and emerging composers.

The 2002 Arts Across the Curriculum residency involves institutions in Iowa City, West Branch, Cedar Rapids, Wellman, Kalona, Columbus Junction, Mt. Vernon and Lisbon, and features a Stage Door matinee for area school groups on April 18.

For additional information about the residency activities contact Emily Hansen at Hancher, 319-335-0009 .

The Ying Quartet is celebrating its tenth anniversary this season, and Iowa has played an important role in the career of this quartet of siblings from Winnetka, Ill. They began their career in

1992 in the farm town of Jesup (population 2000) as the first recipients of a National Endowment for the Arts grant to support chamber music in rural America.

The quartet participated fully in the community, performing on countless occasions for audiences of six to 600 people in a residency so successful that it was widely chronicled in both the national and international media. Winners of the 1993 Naumburg Award, America's top honor for young chamber ensembles, the Yings have continued to focus not merely on performing, but also on developing ways of making artistic and creative expression an essential part of everyday life.

As faculty members of the Eastman School of Music, they not only instruct the college's students and coach its chamber music ensembles, but also teach Eastman students to build community music programs based on the Ying Quartet experience in Jesup.

The Yings made their Iowa "homecoming" in 1997, in a Hancher-sponsored residency that included a return visit to Jesup and focused primarily on the UI medical campus, in collaboration with the Project Art program of the UI Hospitals and Clinics.

In a busy performance and residency schedule that has taken them throughout North America, Europe and Asia, the Ying Quartet has won notice for the striking unity and commitment of their performances. The critic of the Milwaukee Sentinel wrote, "The three brothers and a sister who are literally conquering music audiences around the world epitomize the glory of the art form with their seamless ensemble playing and the disciplined character of their musical expression."

Learn more about the Yings at

The Chiara String Quartet -- Rebecca Fischer and Julie Yoon, violins; Jonah Sirota, viola; Gregory Beaver, cello -- is following the path pioneered by the Ying Quartet. They are in the final year of a Chamber Music America Rural Residency in Grand Forks, N.D., an experience they chronicle in a monthly column for Strad magazine.

They have performed live on NPR's "Performance Today," taken Second Prize in the International Young Concert Artists Auditions and premiered several new works. The quartet performed interactive concerts throughout New York City at nursing homes, hospitals and public schools under the support of the Gluck Foundation's Community Service Fellowship.

As part of their residency in Grand Forks, the Chiara Quartet serves as faculty at the University of North Dakota, appears as teaching artists in public schools, and performs frequent concerts throughout the area.

The Chiara website -- -- which has been recognized by the New York Times as an exemplary artist website, has a link to their diary columns in Strad, a magazine and website published in the U.K.

A few tickets remain for the Ying/Chiara concert on April 19. Ticket prices are $26 for non-students, $10 for UI students, $20.80 for senior citizens, and $13 for audience members 17 and younger.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website:

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail: <>.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact

The corporate sponsor of the concert is Gilda Imports, through the University of Iowa Foundation. Arts Across the Curriculum is supported by the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, Alliant Energy Foundation and Hills Bank and Trust Company. The concert and residency are also supported by Chamber Music America.

Arts Across the Curriculum project is organized by Hancher, with the cooperation with the UI Arts Share program. Arts Share is a UI program that provides artistic expertise from the Iowa Center for the Arts to schools, local arts councils, community arts associations, museums, senior citizen centers and other organizations throughout Iowa and the surrounding region. The Arts Share roster of touring artists includes more than 70 faculty members, ensembles, and graduate students.