Banff Centre Announces Barry Shiffman as Director of Banff International String Quartet Competition and Festival Through 2028
Banff Centre is pleased to announce the re-appointment of Barry Shiffman as Director of the Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC) and Festival, through 2028. For nearly 40 years, BISQC has celebrated the art of chamber music while providing career support for emerging string quartets. Intended as a one-time special event, the first competition was held in 1983 to mark the 50th anniversary of Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. The outstanding success of that first competition inspired organizers to make this a triennial event which celebrated its 14th rendition in 2022. In 2017, the Banff International String Quartet Festival commenced in non-competition years, as a three-day showcase to audiences through a completely immersive experience. This fall will see the return of BISQFest, featuring competition alumni alongside world-renowned musicians and special guests, exploring repertoire together from across the centuries.
Janice Price, Banff Centre CEO and President is “very pleased to share the news of the re-appointment of Barry Shiffman as Director of the Triennial Banff International String Quartet Competition, as well as for the non-competition year String Quartet Festival. Barry's global experience and reputation in the classical music world makes him the perfect choice to continue his inspired leadership of these treasured Banff Centre programs."
While winning BISQC provides immense support and opportunities for prestigious touring and residencies, all competitors benefit from the experience and exposure, as well as career development cash prizes. In 2022, the Isidore String Quartet from the USA comprised of Phoenix Avalon (violin), Adrian Steele (violin), Devin Moore (viola) and Joshua McClendon (cello), won the coveted first prize in chamber music at the 14th Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC) at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Under Shiffman’s leadership, the competition has increased its global reach, with the winning quartet presenting in dozens of concerts across North America and Europe. He has led projects that include the commissioning of important new works including the creation of new piano pieces by jazz pianists / composers Uri Caine, Danilo Perez, and Andy Milne. The endowment funds and annual gifts have also increased dramatically since Shiffman's appointment in 2006, helping to create a more solid financial position for the future.
“I am delighted to be given the opportunity to continue leading the Banff International String Quartet Competition and Festival through 2028, says Barry.“BISQC has truly reinvented what a competition experience can be for both performers and audiences. All musicians participating are wrapped in the cocoon of support that has been part of the Banff Centre experience for decades. Young artists leave Banff uplifted, empowered, and appreciated. As we move forward, we will continue to build on our strong foundation supporting young artists and expanding opportunities with our many partners in Canada and abroad.
The Banff International String Quartet Festival will take place September 1-3, 2023.