Butler School of Music

After Fifteen Years, Sandy Yamamoto Announces Departure from Miró Quartet – April, 2011

Austin, April 27, 2010 –After fifteen exhilarating and triumphant years as a violinist with the Miró Quartet, Sandy Yamamoto has decided to step aside in order to focus on her family. Sandy's final performance with the quartet will be on May 8th, 2011 at the University of Texas Butler School of Music. The Miró Quartet will continue to tour actively while an international search is undertaken to locate Sandy's successor.

"After much thought and heartfelt consideration, it is bittersweet to announce my departure from the Miró Quartet," Sandy stated. "I have learned so much from working with my wonderful colleagues, and I was truly blessed to be able to play so many of the wonderful works of the string quartet genre. I cannot explain in words the joy and inspiration I felt performing with the Quartet. I will miss it deeply, but I now look forward to the next chapter of my life."

Over the course of her remarkable fifteen-year tenure, the Miró Quartet has risen to the top of the international chamber music scene. With Sandy, the quartet won first prizes at the Banff and Naumburg competitions, received the Cleveland Quartet Award, and became the first ensemble ever to be awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant.

"Sandy is one of the most versatile violinists out there performing today," violist John Largess stated. "She is able to make her violin sound like the cello, like my viola, like a first violin, and at the same time create a solo sound all her own. This is one of the secrets to her brilliance as a second violinist, and one of the talents that most challenged and inspired me during our fifteen years together in the Miró Quartet. There is a special subtlety, an inner voice ‘magic' if you will, that she and I have shared, which was always so rewarding on stage. She will be missed!"

Cellist Joshua Gindele states: "Sandy has been an inspiration to me for fifteen years. Her unwavering dedication to the group, her compassion for the three of us, and the standard in which she holds herself has helped make the Miró Quartet what it is today. She has become my mentor, my colleague and my friend and I will dearly miss working and traveling with her. While she does not need it, I wish her nothing but luck in this next chapter of her life. I look forward to locating a new colleague and beginning this new chapter for the Miró Quartet."

Sandy is the wife of Miró Quartet violinist Daniel Ching and together they have two sons. Sandy's future plans include continuing to teach and perform regularly at the University of Texas Butler School of Music. In addition to her professional plans, Sandy looks forward to "spending the rest of my ‘free' time being a soccer mom and a supportive quartet wife to Daniel."

The Miró Quartet, one of America's highest-profile chamber groups enjoys its place at the top of the international chamber music scene garnering praise from audiences and critics alike. Founded in 1995 at the Oberlin Conservatory, the Miró Quartet met with immediate success winning first prizes at the Coleman, Fischoff, and Banff competitions as well as the prestigious Naumburg Chamber Music Award. The Miró Quartet was also a recipient of the Cleveland Quartet Award and was the first ensemble ever to be awarded the Avery Fisher Career Grant. Regularly invited to perform at the world's most celebrated concert halls, the Miró Quartet has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Berlin Philharmonic's Kammermusiksaal, and Amersterdam's Concertgebouw among many others. A favorite of summer music festivals, the Quartet has frequently appeared at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, and the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival. Deeply committed to music education, the Miró Quartet is currently the Faculty String Quartet-in-Residence at the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin. For more information, please visit www.miroquartet.com