2019 Competing Quartets

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Callisto Quartet (USA)

Callisto Quartet. Photo by Josef Samuel

Biography and Competition Repertoire

Paul Aguilar, violin
Rachel Stenzel, violin
Eva Kennedy, viola
Hannah Moses, cello

Grand prize winners of the 2018 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the Callisto Quartet was formed in 2016 at the Cleveland Institute of Music and brings together four dedicated and passionate musicians who share a love for chamber music. Highlights of their achievements include recognition as a top prize winner at the 2018 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition where they were also the only North American quartet selected to compete. Additionally, they were prizewinners at the 2018 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition and are one of six quartets in the world selected to compete in the 2019 Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition. Beginning in the fall of 2019 they will serve as the Graduate String Quartet in Residence at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. They have also been invited to study with Günter Pichler of the Alban Berg Quartet at the Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain.

Highlights of their recent performances include appearances at Ravinia Festival, ChamberFest Cleveland, and on the Schneider Concert Series. They look forward to performing at the La Jolla Music Society SummerFest this summer as well as at the Heidelberg String Quartet Festival in January 2020. The quartet has participated and performed in many renowned chamber music festivals such as the Prussia Cove International Musicians Seminar, Jeunesses Musicales International Chamber Music Campus, McGill International String Quartet Academy, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and the Shouse Institute of the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival.

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Recital Round
Franz Joseph Haydn: String Quartet in G Major, Op. 77 No. 1
György Ligeti: String Quartet No. 1, ‘Métamorphoses nocturnes


Romantic Round
Antonín Dvořák: String Quartet No. 14 in A-flat Major, Op. 105

Canadian Commission Round
Matthew Whittall: Bright Ferment (String Quartet No. 2)

Schubertplus Round
Franz Schubert: String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, ‘Death and the Maiden’, D. 810 - Allegro
Thomas Adès: The Four Quarters, Op. 28: ii – Serenade: Morning Dew
Béla Bartók: String Quartet No. 6, Sz. 114 - Mesto - Burletta
Maurice Ravel: String Quartet in F Major - Vif et agité

Finals
Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet No. 8 in E minor, Op. 59 No. 2

Eliot Quartett (Germany/Russia)

Eliot Quartet. Photo by Thomas Stimmel

Biography and Competition Repertoire

Maryana Osipova, violin

Alexander Sachs, violin

Dmitry Hahalin, viola

Michael Preuß , cello

 

The Eliot Quartett was founded in 2014 and has become one of the most engaging and promising string quartets of its generation.  Hailing from Canada, Germany and Russia, the quartet’s members formed the group in Frankfurt am Main and have since gone on to win prizes at major national and international music competitions.

 

In 2018 the Eliot Quartett completed a tour-de-force of the music competition world,  becoming the first quartet in 14 years to win the Prize of the German Music Competition as well as three additional special prizes, winning second prize at both the Mozart International Competition in Salzburg and the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, and capping it off by winning first prize and the special prize for the best interpretation of a piece by Karol Szymanowski at the inaugural International Karol Szymanowski Competition in Katowice, Poland.

 

Highlights of the Eliot Quartett’s current concert season include performances at the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg, Austria, the Bachfest Leipzig, and at the Holzhausenschlösschen in Frankfurt. The Eliot Quartett has received valuable musical guidance from Günter Pichler, Tim Vogler, Hubert Buchberger, Valentin Erben, Oliver Wille and Martin Beaver, and enjoys a close working relationship with the esteemed pianist Alfred Brendel. The Eliot Quartett is named after the American poet T. S. Eliot whose famous work “Four Quartets” was inspired by the innovative late Quartets by Ludwig van Beethoven. Eliot, like Beethoven, attempted to establish a connection between past, present and future by breaking away from the accepted classical forms of the time.

 

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Recital Round
Franz Joseph Haydn: String Quartet in C Major, Op. 20 No. 2
Karol Szymanowski: String Quartet No. 2, Op. 56

Romantic Round
Felix Mendelssohn: String Quartet No. 6 in F minor, Op. 80

Canadian Commission Round
Matthew Whittall: Bright Ferment (String Quartet No. 2)

Schubertplus Round
Franz Schubert: String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, ‘Death and the Maiden’, D. 810 - Allegro
Sergei Prokofiev: String Quartet No. 2 in F Major, Op 92 – Adagio, Allegro
 

Finals 
Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132

 

Marmen Quartet (UK)

Marmen Quartet. Photo by Marco Borggreve

Biography and Competition Repertoire

Johannes Marmen, violin
Ricky Gore, violin
Bryony Gibson-Cornish, viola
Steffan Morris, cello

Winners of the Grand Prize at the 2019 Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition, the Marmen Quartet is emerging as one of the most interesting voices on the chamber music scene. Additional accolades include winning the 2018 Royal Over-Seas League Competition and Second Prize at the 8th International Joseph Joachim Chamber Music Competition, as well as the Special Prize for the best interpretation of a contemporary work (Four Quarters by Thomas Adès). Founded in 2013 at the Royal College of Music, London, the Marmen Quartet consists of Johannes Marmen, Ricky Gore, Bryony Gibson-Cornish and SteffanMorris.
 
As the current holders of the Guildhall School of Music String Quartet Fellowship, they are based in London where they study with Simon Rowland-Jones and John Myerscough. They are also completing a Master of Chamber Music with Oliver Wille at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover. During 2015-17, they were the inaugural winners of Music In The Round's 'Bridge' Scheme, which supported concerts in the north of England and mentoring with the late Peter Cropper.
 
The Marmen Quartet has appeared on ‘Deutschlandfunk Kultur’, ‘Swedish Radio’ and ‘BBC Radio 3’. They are the Young Quartet in Residence at Wiltshire Music Centre and they have received awards from the Musicians Company/Concordia Foundation, the Hattori Foundation, Help Musicians, as well as the Royal Philharmonic Society Albert and Eugenie Frost Prize. Festival highlights include performances in Hitzacker, Lockenhaus, Edinburgh Fringe, North Norfolk and Lake District. In the upcoming season, they are looking forward to a Beethoven Cycle in Sweden, debut in the Berlin Philharmonie, Cruise to Norway, tour to Japan, and octet performances with the Doric String Quartet.

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Recital Round
Franz Joseph Haydn: String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 50 No. 1
György Ligeti: String Quartet No. 1, ‘Métamorphoses nocturnes

Romantic Round
Felix Mendelssohn: String Quartet No. 6 in F minor, Op. 80

Canadian Commission Round
Matthew Whittall: Bright Ferment (String Quartet No. 2)

Schubertplus Round
Salvatore Sciarrino: String Quartet No. 7
Franz Schubert: String Quartet No.15 in G Major, D. 887 - Allegro molto moderato

Finals
Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131

Omer Quartet (USA)

Omer Quartet. Photo by Matt Dine

Biography and Competition Repertoire

Mason Yu, violin
Erica Tursi, violin
Jinsun Hong, viola
Alexander Cox, cello

Described as “poised, mature and ebullient” by the New York Times and an “astounding ensemble” by The Strad, the Omer Quartet recently gave their Washington DC and New York City debuts as first prizewinners of the Young Concert Artists Auditions. The quartet came into prominence in 2013 when it received Grand Prize at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. They later received the top prizes at the Premio Paolo Borciani Competition, the Trondheim International Chamber Competition, and the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition.

The Omer Quartet has performed with renowned artists David Krakauer, Kim Kashkashian, Clive Greensmith, Soovin Kim, Cho-Liang Lin, the Assad Brothers and the Borromeo String Quartet. It currently serves as the 2018-19 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence at New York’s Caramoor Center for Music and Arts, and was Chamber Ensemble in Residence at the 2018 Bravo! Vail Music Festival and the 2019 Chamber Music Abu Dhabi. Their upcoming season includes program collaborations with accordionist Hanzhi Wang.

Committed to community engagement, the quartet inaugurated a Music for Food concert series in the Washington DC area with the mission to support local hunger relief with a Tarisio Trust Young Artists Grant. Following study at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Omer Quartet completed a graduate residency at the New England Conservatory, working closely with Paul Katz, Donald Weilerstein, Kim Kashkashian, and Soovin Kim. The quartet is currently the Doctoral Fellowship String Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Maryland, working with Katherine Murdock and David Salness.

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Recital Round
Franz Joseph Haydn: String Quartet in C Major, Op. 20 No. 2
Béla Bartók: String Quartet No. 3, Sz. 85

Romantic Round
Johannes Brahms: String Quartet No. 3 in B-flat Major, Op. 67

Canadian Commission Round
Matthew Whittall: Bright Ferment (String Quartet No. 2)

Schubertplus Round
Anton Webern Six Bagatelles for String Quartet, Op. 9 
Robert Schumann: String Quartet No. 1 in A minor, Op. 41 - Adagio
György Kurtág: Aus der Ferne III
Franz Schubert: String Quartet No.15 in G Major, D. 887 - Allegro molto moderato

Finals 
Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132

Quatuor Agate (France)

Quatuor Agate. Photo by Neda Navaee

Biography and Competition Repertoire

 

Adrien Jurkovic, violin
Thomas Descamps, violin
Raphael Pagnon, viola
Simon Iachemet, cello

After studying at the CNSMDP and the Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler" Berlin, the Agate Quartet moved to Paris at the start of 2018 to study under the guidance of Mathieu Herzog,   former violist with the Ebène Quartet. The quartet studies also with Luc-Marie Aguera at the Conservatoire de Paris. They have joined renowned chamber music academies such as Verbier Festival Academy, the Montreal International String Quartet Academy (MISQA), the Aix-en-Provence Academy with acclaimed teachers such as Günter Pichler, Gerhard Schulz, Valentin Erben, Tabea Zimmerman, Christoph Poppen, the Ysaye, the Talich and the Vogler Quartets.

To share this unique and wonderful repertoire, the Agate Quartet organized the first CorsiClassic Festival in 2016. Based around Corsica, its mission is to promote chamber music in areas of the country where classical music is rarely available.
The quartet has been invited to perform in several international festivals and venues : Hamburg International Chamber Music Festival, Les Vacances de Monsieur Haydn, Festival La Brèche, Konzertverein Schwerin, Quatuor à l’Ouest, Cité de la Musique de Marseille, with partners such as Florent Héau, Mathieu Herozg, Ivan Karizna and Raphaël Chrétien.

2019 will see them perform in the Verbier Festival Academy, Les Rencontres Musicales d’Evian, La Brèche Festival and Casale Monferrato Festival in Italy among others.
Since 2018, The Agate Quartet is in residence at the Fondation Singer-Polignac and has been selected to take part in the Le Dimore del Quartetto project.
In 2019, the quartet will become a resident of ProQuartet and associate-artist at the Festival La Brèche.

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Recital Round
Franz Joseph Haydn: String Quartet in D Major, Op. 76 No. 5
Béla Bartók: String Quartet No. 3, Sz. 85
    
Romantic Round
Claude Debussy: String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10

Canadian Commission Round
Matthew Whittall: Bright Ferment (String Quartet No. 2))

Schubertplus Round 
Franz Schubert: String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, ‘Death and the Maiden’, D. 810 – Allegro
Franz Joseph Haydn: String Quartet in C Major, Op. 54 No. 2 – Adagio
Wolfgang Rihm: String Quartet No. 2

Finals
Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet No. 8 in E minor, Op. 59 No. 2
 

Quatuor Elmire (France)

Quatuor Elmire. Photo by Sébastien Brod

Biography and Competition Repertoire

Cyprien Brod, violin
Khoa-Nam Nguyen, violin
Issey Nadaud, viola
Rémi Carlon, cello

Created in December 2016, the Quatuor Elmire has performed throughout Europe and participated in several competitions.  The Quatuor was granted the 2nd Prize at the FNAPEC European competition in France, the 2nd and special Prize ‘Adolfo Betti’ at the Concorso Virtuoso&Belcanto in Italy and the Rheingau Music Festival Prize at the Jeunesses Musicales International Chamber Music Campus in Germany.

The Quatuor Elmire has also played concerts with prestigious artists such as Julien Gernay, Victor Metral, Claire Désert, Philippe Graffin, Trio Atanassov and has worked with composers Eric Tanguy and Doryan E. Rappaz with whom they created the ‘ClassicArte Festival’.

The Quatuor Elmire is mentored by Luc-Marie Aguera and Philippe Bernhard. The Quatuor has also received advice and guidance from the members of the Quatuor Ebène, Quatuor Modigliani, Quatuor Danel as well as Heime Muller, Tim Vogler, András Keller. It is helped and advised by the Proquartet, an association that promotes young ensembles in France, and by the Dimore del Quartetto Association in Italy. For 2019, the Quatuor Elmire will be ensemble in residency at the Festival des Arcs and at the Aix-en -Provence Academy.

The Quatuor Elmire is supported by the Moreno and Adelus family and the Luthier Christophe Destannes. 

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Recital Round
Franz Joseph Haydn: String Quartet in D Major, Op. 76 No. 5
Béla Bartók: String Quartet No. 2, Sz. 67

Romantic Round
Felix Mendelssohn: String Quartet No. 6 in F minor, Op. 80

Canadian Commission Round
Matthew Whittall: Bright Ferment (String Quartet No. 2)

Schubertplus Round
Franz Schubert: String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, ‘Death and the Maiden’, D. 810 - Allegro
Henri Dutilleux: Ainsi la nuit

Finals 
Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132

Ruisi Quartet (UK)

Ruisi Quartet. Photo by Mike Terry

Biography and Competition Repertoire

 

Alessandro Ruisi, violin
Oliver Cave, violin
Luba Tunnicliffe, viola
Max Ruisi, cello

Winners of the Royal Philharmonic Society award for Young British String Players, the critically-acclaimed Ruisi Quartet has established a reputation as a charismatic and expressive ensemble that is emerging as one of the leading British string quartets of its generation. Founded in 2013 by brothers Alessandro and Max, the quartet perform regularly throughout the UK and Europe and were winners of the Kirckman Concert Society Artists award for 2018/19, as well as being invited on the prestigious Belcea Quartet Young Artists Scheme.

Based in London, the group has given concerts at many leading venues and festivals, including the Wigmore Hall, plus appearances in Spain, Germany and Austria. Dedicated to continually exploring and developing, they have studied with a wide-range of leading musicians, including a 2018 Aldeburgh Residency with David Watkin and the IMS Prussia Cove masterclasses, working with Thomas Adés in 2018 and Ferenc Rados & Rita Wagner in 2015. They completed the Artist Diploma in Chamber Music at London’s Royal College of Music and in the same year were selected as Tunnell Trust Award winners. Recent highlights have included a debut at the prestigious St John’s Smith Square in London and live broadcast performances on BBC Radio 3.

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Recital Round
Franz Joseph Haydn: String Quartet in F minor, Op. 20 No. 5
Béla Bartók: String Quartet No. 2, Sz. 67

Romantic Round
Felix Mendelssohn: String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 13

Canadian Commission Round
Matthew Whittall: Bright Ferment (String Quartet No. 2)

Schubertplus Round
Henry Purcell: Four Part Fantasias – Z. 737, Z. 739, Z. 741
Igor Stravinsky: Three Pieces for String Quartet
Franz Schubert: String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, ‘Death and the Maiden’, D. 810 – Allegro

Finals
Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet No. 8 in E minor, Op. 59 No. 2

 

Ulysses Quartet (Canada/USA/Taiwan)

Ulysses Quartet. Photo by Matthew Holler

Biography and Competition Repertoire

Christina Bouey, violin
Rhiannon Banerdt, violin
Colin Brookes, viola
Grace Mei-En Ho, cello

The Ulysses String Quartet has been praised for their “textural versatility,” “grave beauty,” and “gentle blanket of colour,” (The Strad) as well as “avid enthusiasm ... [with] chops to back up their passion” and a “vibrant sonority” (San Diego Story). Founded in the summer of 2015, the group won first prize in the 2018 Schoenfeld International String Competition and the grand prize and gold medal in the senior string division of the 2016 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Ulysses also finished first in the American Prize and won second prize at the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in 2017. In 2019, they were named Graduate Quartet in Residence at the Juilliard School. Ulysses is very pleased to have recently signed with Judson Management Group, Inc. for exclusive worldwide representation.

Recent season highlights have included appearances at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, La Jolla Music Society Summerfest, debuts at Premiere Performances Hong Kong, Harbin Grand Theatre, Taiwan National Recital Hall, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and the Vietnam Connection Festival, as well as a quartet residency for the Zukerman Young Artist Program. Upcoming engagements include a debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Buffalo Chamber Music Society, Eastman School of Music, and a return to Jordan Hall. The members of Ulysses hold degrees from the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory and Yale University. The musicians perform on instruments and bows graciously on loan from the Canada Council of the Arts Instrument Bank and the Maestro Foundation.

 

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Recital Round
Franz Joseph Haydn: String Quartet in B Minor, Op. 33 No. 1
Béla Bartók: String Quartet No. 5, Sz. 102

Romantic Round
Maurice Ravel: String Quartet in F Major

Canadian Commission Round
Matthew Whittall: Bright Ferment (String Quartet No. 2)

Schubertplus Round
Franz Schubert: String Quartet No.15 in G Major, D. 887 - Allegro molto moderato
Dmitri Shostakovich: String Quartet No.10 in A-flat Major, Op. 118 - Adagio
Pavel Haas: String Quartet No.2 “From the Monkey Mountains”, Op. 7 - Landscape ( Andante)

Finals 
Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132
 

 

Vera Quartet (Spain/USA)

Vera Quartet. Photo by Ryan Brandenberg

Biography and Competition Repertoire

Rebecca Anderson, violin
Pedro Rodríguez Rodríguez , violin
Inés  Picado Molares, viola
Justin Goldsmith, cello

The Vera Quartet shares the uniquely democratic dynamic of a string quartet with diverse audiences within and beyond the concert hall.
Winners of the 2018 Astral Artists National Auditions, the Vera Quartet is currently the String Quartet in Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music. The quartet received Grand Prizes at recent Plowman and Yellow Springs chamber music competitions, top prizes from the M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition, and the St. Lawrence award from the Wigmore Hall String Quartet Competition.

Formed in 2015, the quartet has held residencies at the Beethovenhaus in Bonn, Aspen Music Festival, Norfolk Festival, McGill International String Quartet Academy, and Banff Centre, and has embarked on tours of Spain and South Korea. In April 2017, they were selected as Young Artist in Residence at NPR’s Performance Today.

Highlights of the 2018-19 season include residencies at the Rockport Chamber Music Festival and the Intimacy of Creativity Festival in Hong Kong, as well as a faculty residency at the San Juan Music Academy in San Juan, Argentina.
The quartet has worked with the Pacifica Quartet as the Graduate Quartet in Residence at the Jacobs School of Music. They have also been mentored by members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Cleveland, Brentano, Orion, and Tokyo quartets, as well as Atar Arad, Mauricio Fuks, and Peter Stumpf. The ensemble firmly believes in the power of chamber music to transform people, and to ultimately contribute towards a just, egalitarian, and inclusive society. 

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Recital Round
Franz Joseph Haydn: String Quartet in G Major, Op. 76 No. 1
Béla Bartók: String Quartet No. 3, Sz. 85

Romantic Round
Maurice Ravel: String Quartet in F Major

Canadian Commission Round
Matthew Whittall: Bright Ferment (String Quartet No. 2)

Schubertplus Round
Franz Schubert: String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, ‘Death and the Maiden’, D. 810 - Allegro
Alfred Schnittke: String Quartet No. 3 - Andante
Lera Auerbach: Sonnet for String Quartet No. 3 “Cetera desunt” - No. 6 
Beethoven: String Quartet No. 11 in F minor, Op. 95 Larghetto espressivo Allegretto agitato – Allegro

Finals
Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet No. 8 in E minor, Op. 59 No. 2

 

Viano String Quartet (Canada/USA)

Viano String Quartet. Photo by Jeff Fasano Photography

Biography and Competition Repertoire

Lucy Wang, violin
Hao Zhou, violin
Aiden Kane, viola
Tate Zawadiuk, cello 

Praised for their “huge range of dynamics, massive sound, and spontaneity” (American Record Guide), the Viano String Quartet won Third Prize at the 2018 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition along with the Sidney Griller award for best performance of the compulsory work, "The Four Quarters" by Thomas Adès, and the Haydn Prize for the best performance of a Haydn string quartet. 

The Viano String Quartet was formed in 2015 at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles and have since performed with world-class musicians such as Emanuel Ax, Elisso Virsaladze, Paul Coletti, and Martin Beaver. As firm believers in community engagement, in recent years the quartet has participated in the “Play It Forward” Residency in Bellingham, WA, a residency at the North Michigan University, and repeat performances of “Over the Top”, a Musical Encounter Interactive performance for thousands of children in Los Angeles. The quartet has attended the St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar, and the Norfolk and MISQA summer festivals.

Highlights of the upcoming 2019-20 season include the quartet’s debut at the Schneider Concert Series at The New School in NYC and the Vancouver Chamber Music Society. The quartet works primarily with Martin Beaver, Clive Greensmith, and Arnold Steinhardt, and will be the Quartet-in-Residence at the Colburn Conservatory beginning in fall 2019. The Viano String Quartet won Third Prize at the 9th Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in 2017 and the Silver Medal at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.

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Recital Round
Franz Joseph Haydn: String Quartet in G Major, Op. 77 No. 1
Béla Bartók: String Quartet No. 4, Sz. 91

Romantic Round
Claude Debussy: String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10 

Canadian Commission Round
Matthew Whittall: Bright Ferment (String Quartet No. 2)

Schubertplus Round
Thomas Adès: The Four Quarters, Op. 28 
Franz Schubert: String Quartet No.15 in G Major, D. 887 - Allegro molto moderato

Finals
Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet No. 9 in C Major, Op. 59 No. 3