Freer Ying - SKARTS Creative Conversations 2014

Award-wining musicians Elinor Freer and David Ying, currently serving their last year as co-artistic directors of the Skaneateles Festival, will be featured speakers in the next Creative Conversations, presented by the Skaneateles Area Arts Council (SKARTS).

The program will run from 6 to 8 p.m. April 25 at The Loft at 42 Genesee St., Skaneateles. SKARTS president Holly Gregg will moderate.

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The event, featuring an open discussion with questions from the audience, “will provide an opportunity for the audience to learn more about how this husband-and-wife team discovered their musical gifts and blossomed in a highly competitive field,” says Gregg. It will not include a performance.

Ying, cellist in the Grammy Award-winning Ying Quartet, has also won recognition as an individual artist, including prizes in the Naumburg Cello Competition and the Washington International Competition. With the quartet, he has performed worldwide at such diverse venues as the White House, Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House. He earned degrees from the Juilliard School and the Eastman School of Music, where he is on the cello and chamber music faculty.

Freer, a pianist, has built a versatile career as a soloist and chamber musician, performing across the United States and Europe. She was one of two American pianists selected to perform throughout China in tours designed to promote cultural relations. For her efforts to bring classical music to new audiences, she has received multiple grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. She, too, is on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music.

Their imaginative view of music has helped earn the Skaneateles Festival a devoted following and national recognition, including a special ASCAP award for adventurous programming.

“Our community owes a debt of gratitude to this wonderful couple,” Gregg says. “The work they did for the Skaneateles Festival illustrates their excellence and much-deserved accolades.

“SKARTS launched Creative Conversations last year with the intent of featuring local artists who could help us understand the importance of art in our lives,” he says. “Elinor Freer and David Ying are perfect examples of this mission. We expect the program to sell out quickly.”

Gregg is a member of the Dean Brothers band, and owned and operated World Media Communications, a television production company with offices in seven Northeastern cities and Canada, from 1985 to 2002. In addition to SKARTS, he holds leadership positions with Citizens to Preserve the Character of Skaneateles and the Finger Lakes Land Trust. He also is chief operating officer of Patience Brewster Inc., a worldwide ornament and gifts company that he and his wife established in 2002.

The Loft at 42 Genesee St., owned by Dr. Robert Kiltz, was recently renovated to include five levels of meeting and living space. The space features architectural lighting, original brick walls and a glass elevator. Hors d’oeuvres will be served on the street level; the presentation will be held one floor down, on the lake level.

Sponsors include Dr. Robert Kiltz, The Loft at 42 Genesee St., Group M Communications and Skaneateles Talk. Freer, Ying and Gregg have graciously contributed their time to the event, as have other local groups and individuals.

Tickets may be purchased for $25 at Attendance is limited and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations are requested by April 20.

SKARTS, a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization, works to celebrate the visual and performing arts by creating an environment where cultural activity thrives in our community. The council presents cultural programming, offers free concerts at the gazebo in Clift Park, and issues grants to artists and arts organizations in the Skaneateles area.

For more information, contact Jean Vincent at or visit