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December 15, 2010

Ying Quartet, alumnus Bill Cunliffe nominated for Grammys

The Ying Quartet, quartet in residence at the Eastman School, has received a Grammy nomination for Autumn: In Moving Pictures, a chamber jazz album from the Billy Childs Ensemble on which the quartet is featured.

Also, Eastman School alumnus Bill Cunliffe, who received a Grammy Award last year for Best Instrumental Arrangement, is a nominee for Best Instrumental Composition.

The Ying Quartet is up for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. The group received a 2006 Grammy Award for Best Classical Crossover Album for its work with the Turtle Island String Quartet on the album 4 + Four and was nominated for Best Chamber Music performance in 2007 for its album Tchaikovsky: Three String Quartets.

Acclaimed around the world for its communicative performances, the Ying Quartet appears in concerts and festivals such as Aspen, Tanglewood, San Miguel De Allende, and many others. The ensemble is also known for its view of chamber music as a meaningful part of everyday life, which has fueled its diverse array of collaborative projects and audience outreach.

Cunliffe, a jazz composer, pianist, and arranger, was nominated for his work “fourth stream . . . La Banda.” The 16-minute concerto for trumpet and orchestra combines elements of classical, jazz, and world Latin percussion.

Cunliffe received his master of music degree at Eastman in 1981. While a student at Eastman, Cunliffe won several DownBeat Awards. He was a pianist and arranger with Buddy Rich, touring Europe with Frank Sinatra, and later performed with Ray Brown, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson, Woody Shaw, and James Moody. The winner of the 1989 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Award, Cunliffe has also received nominations for Emmy Awards as a composer and arranger.

Grammy Award winners will be announced on Feb. 13, 2011.

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