2016 Banff International String Quartet Competition announces First Prize Laureate

BANFF, AB, September 4, 2016 – Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Banff, Alberta, Canada, is pleased to announce the Rolston String Quartet (Canada) as First Prize Laureate of the 12th Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC). The competition ran August 29 – September 4, 2016, and consisted of five rounds of intense competition focused on classical, romantic, and contemporary repertoire. 

“Without any doubt, the level of string quartet playing is at an all-time high,” says Barry Shiffman, executive director of BISQC. “Following five rounds of live performances this week at Banff, the Rolston String Quartet demonstrated excellence across multiple genres. This young quartet now has the opportunity to share their artistry with the world. We at Banff Centre look forward to our journey together.” 

In addition to a generous cash prize of $25,000.00, the Rolston String Quartet will benefit from a comprehensive custom-designed three-year career development program including a professional recording at Banff Centre and a performance tour in over 50 North American and European cities. New in 2016, all seven quartets not advancing to the final round will receive a career development award of $4,000.00. 
The competition’s other award winners include: 
  • Second Prize ($12,000) – Tesla Quartet (Russia/South Korea/USA)
  • Third Prize ($8,000) –  Castalian String Quartet (UK)
  • Esterházy Foundation Prize – Rolston String Quartet 
  • Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance Prize – Rolston String Quartet 
  • R.S. Williams & Sons Haydn Prize ($3,000) – Tesla Quartet
  • Canadian Commission Prize ($3,000) – Tesla Quartet 
  • Career Development Awards ($4,000) – Aeolus Quartet (USA), Argus Quartet (USA), Omer Quartet (USA), Quartet Arpa (Japan), Quartet Berlin-Tokyo (Israel/Japan), Ulysses Quartet (Canada/Taiwan/USA), Verona Quartet (Canada/Singapore/USA)
The prize winners were chosen by seven competition jury members representing some of the top names in chamber music: Vera Beths (Rondom Kwartet); Denis Brott (Orford String Quartet); Isabel Charisius (Alban Berg Quartet); Yoshiko Nakura (Tokyo String Quartet); Geoff Nuttall (St. Lawrence String Quartet); Peter Salaff (Cleveland Quartet); and, Alasdair Tait (Belcea Quartet).
Founded in 1983 to mark the 50th anniversary of Banff Centre, BISQC gives audiences an in-depth and behind-the-scenes look at the thrill and heartbreak of a live chamber music competition as 10 of the world’s best string quartets vie for over $150,000 in cash and prizes before a remarkably dedicated chamber music audience. 
Featuring performances by the Castalian String Quartet, the Rolston String Quartet, and the Tesla Quartet, the Finals Round of the competition will be replayed for 90 days at medici.tv All previously recorded BISQC performances can be watched on Banff Centre’s YouTube channel.
BISQC is grateful for the support of Lead Patrons, Christine and David Anderson, and Supporting Sponsor, KUN Shoulder Rest.

For more information about the competition and competitors, visit bisqc.ca


About Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity:  Founded in 1933, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is a learning organization built upon an extraordinary legacy of excellence in artistic and creative development. What started as a single course in drama has grown to become the global organization leading in arts, culture, and creativity across dozens of disciplines. From our home in the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity aims to inspire everyone who attends our campus – artists, leaders, and thinkers – to unleash their creative potential and realize their unique contribution to society through cross-disciplinary learning opportunities, world-class performances, and public outreach. www.banffcentre.ca 

About BISQC: Founded in 1983 to mark the 50th anniversary of Banff Centre, BISQC is a triennial competition that brings together a remarkably dedicated classical music audience, and helps support emerging careers. Recognized by the World Federation of International Music Competitions, it is among the top events of its kind. Past winners include the Dover Quartet, the Cecilia String Quartet, the TinAlley String Quartet, the Jupiter Quartet, and more, www.bisqc.ca