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Banff International String Quartet Competition announces 2013 quartets

Posted on April 30, 2013

Banff, Alberta, April 30, 2013 - On August 26, ten of the world’s finest emerging string quartets will arrive in Banff, Canada for the 11th Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC). Chosen from dozens of applications from around the world, the preliminary jury selected an international roster of accomplished young musicians. 

The quartets are:  

Anima Quartet (Russia/China)
Attacca Quartet (USA)
Calidore String Quartet (USA/Canada)
Dover Quartet (USA)
Gémeaux Quartett (Switzerland)
Linden String Quartet (USA/Canada)
Navarra Quartet (UK/Ireland/the Netherlands)
Noga Quartet (France/Israel)
Quatuor Cavatine (France)
Schumann Quartett (Germany)  

The ten quartets were chosen by a preliminary jury, including Norman Fischer, formerly of the Concord Quartet and current coordinator of chamber music at the Tanglewood Music Center; Jerzy Kaplanek, violinist for the Penderecki String Quartet; and Roger Tapping, violist and former member of the Takács Quartet. They recently met in Banff to review unedited DVD recordings of set repertoire from each quartet applicant.  

“The ten young quartets share an absolutely exceptional level of artistry,” says competition director Barry Shiffman. “BISQC promises to be a week of music making and celebration that is unique in the world.”  

During the competition, August 26 to September 1, each of the ten quartets will perform a range of repertoire in multiple performances before a dedicated audience of more than 900. Works performed will include repertoire of classical, Romantic, and 20th century music, as well as a new work by Canadian composer Vivian Fung, co-commissioned by Banff Centre and the CBC. Three quartets are chosen on August 31 to perform a work of Beethoven in the final round on Sunday, September 1, which will wrap up with the RBC Awards.  

The RBC Awards, more than $150,000 in cash and prizes, are made possible through generous funding from RBC, through its charitable foundation. The RBC Emerging Artists Project helps young artists bridge the gap from the academic to the professional world. "At RBC, we're thrilled to support the Banff International String Quartet Competition and young string quartet artists building their careers" says Bruce MacKenzie, regional president, Alberta and the Territories. "We are committed to helping the next generation of artists develop their skills and bring their vision to life through the RBC Emerging Artists Project."  

First prize includes $25,000, a quartet of bows made by Canadian bow-maker François Malo, North American and European concert tours, and a creative residency at Banff Centre which includes the production of a professional recording by the Centre’s celebrated Audio Department. This also includes the Esterházy Foundation Prize, a special performance in Haydn Hall at the Esterházy Palace in Eisenstadt, Austria.  

The second prize award is $12,000 and $8,000 for third prize. Other prizes include $2,000 for best performance of the Fung work; the R.S. Williams and Sons Haydn Prize, $3,000 for the best performance of Haydn quartet from Round Two; and the $3,000 Székely Prize for best performance of a Schubert quartet.  

The BISQC competition jury is made up of seven of the world’s top musicians, mentors, and teachers. They include violist Miguel de Silva of the Ysaÿe Quartet; cellist András Fejér, founder of the Takács Quartet; violinist Kikuei Ikeda of the Toyko String Quartet and faculty member at the Yale School of Music; violist Garth Knox, former member of the Arditti String Quartet; violinist Nicholas Kitchen, founder of the Borromeo String Quartet; cellist Richard Lester of the London Haydn Quartet; and violinist Scott St. John of the St. Lawrence String Quartet.  

About Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity: Banff Centre's mission is inspiring creativity. Thousands of artists, leaders, and researchers from across Canada and around the world participate in programs at Banff Centre every year. Through its multidisciplinary programming, Banff Centre provides them with the support they need to create, to develop solutions, and to make the impossible possible. Moving forward, the Centre will disseminate the art and ideas developed in Banff through initiatives in digital, web, radio, and broadcast media.

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 have included the St. Lawrence, Miró, Daedalus, Jupiter, TinAlley, and Cecilia String Quartets. BISQC takes place in the beautiful setting of Banff, Canada’s first National Park, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.   

About RBC's Commitment to Community and Sustainability: Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name RBC. We employ approximately 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 49 other countries. RBC is recognized among the world's financial, social and environmental leaders and is listed on the 2012 - 2013 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the DJSI North American Index, the Jantzi Social Index and the FTSE4Good Index. RBC is one of Canada's Greenest Employers, one of Canada's 50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations and among the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World. Learn more at

RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2012, we contributed more than $95 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $64 million and $31 million in sponsorships.