Timothy Ying performed for over 20 years as first violinist of the Ying Quartet. With the group he appeared in every major city in North America, and made tours abroad to Europe, the Far East, and Australia. He performed at Carnegie Hall and the White House, and at numerous festivals including Aspen, Bowdoin, Caramoor, Hollywood Bowl, Norfolk, Ottawa, Ravinia, San Miguel, and Tanglewood. During this time the Ying Quartet also made a reputation for an unusually wide range of performance activities. At Symphony Space in New York City, they presented a multi year series which included collaborations with artists from a wide range of disciplines including dancers, actors, musicians from folk, world music, and jazz backgrounds, video, computers and acoustic technology, a magician, and even a Chinese noodle chef. In addition to their performances in concert halls, the quartet regularly presented programs at less formal sites in the community including schools, hospitals, workplaces, and prisons.
A winner of the prestigious Naumburg Chamber Music Award, he has also won a Grammy Award for Best Classical Crossover Recording and two Grammy Nominations for Best Chamber Music Recording. A collaboration with pianist and composer Billy Childs was nominated for a Grammy in the jazz ensemble category. He has also been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and from Chamber Music America.
Although as a young person he was attracted to chamber music by the historic repertoire at the heart of the genre—the quartets of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert—he developed a strong interest in the music of our time. In addition to regular performances of the works of living composers, he has commissioned and premiered new compositions by composers including Michael Torke, Kevin Puts, Carter Pann, Paquito D’Rivera, Ned Rorem, Daniel Kellogg, Augusta Read Thomas, Chen Yi, Jennifer Higdon, Patrick Zimmerli, Ralph Shapey, Bernard Rands, Sheila Silver, Tod Machover, Lei Liang, Lowell Liebermann, Sebastian Currier, Pierre Jalbert, and Paul Moravec.
In addition to his performing activities, Timothy has been committed to the academic study of music. He holds degrees from the Juilliard School (BM), Western Illinois University (MA), and the Eastman School (DMA). He was a tenured faculty member at the Eastman School, where he served as chair of the Chamber Music Department, and was for seven years a Blodgett Artist-in-Residence at Harvard University. His violin studies were with Dorothy DeLay, Sonja Foster, Hyo Kang, Paul Kantor, William Preucil, Roland and Almita Vamos, and Donald Weilerstein. Chamber music studies were with the Cleveland, Emerson, Juilliard, and Tokyo String Quartets, and with Felix Galimir and Eugene Lehner. He currently teaches at the University of Toronto and at The Royal Conservatory of Music.