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At 5 years old, Janet Ying started taking violin lessons. It wasn’t particularly remarkable.

“It was one thing among many that I did growing up—going to school, taking swimming lessons, things like that,” she explains.

Today, her Ying Quartet, which includes two of her brothers, is in its second decade of performing. The ensemble, which in 2006 won a Grammy Award for Best Classical Crossover Album, is in residence at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.

The quartet has performed at the White House, the Sydney Opera House and even a small farming town in Iowa, says Ying, who trains at CrossFit Rochester. CrossFit, she adds, was just about getting in shape—at first.

“I think I discovered that there’s more to it than simply fitness.”

Music, too, is multi-dimensional for Ying.

“Classical music is about trying to express yourself,” she continues. “So things are like despair or frustration—those things are in classic music, as well as sort of ecstatic and joyful and overcoming things.”

Video by Jordan Gravatt.

7min 23sec

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Additional reading: Classical CrossFit by Craig Nelson, published April 12, 2012.

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3 Comments on “Capturing the Human Experience”


wrote …

I was so taken by this video and the young lady in it. Good for her!



wrote …

Me too. I've just downloaded three albums from Rhapsody and look forward to listening to them. If you're out there, Janet, are these all original compositions?


wrote …

Most of our repertoire are original compositions by the composer listed.

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