Jury and commissioned composer announced for 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition

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Banff, Alberta, July 22, 2012 - Ten acclaimed musicians from some of the most renowned quartets in the world have been chosen as jury members for the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC). The week-long competition will take place at The Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada August 26 to September 1, 2013.

“The unparalleled reputation of the competition is linked to the exceptional quality of the jurors,” says Barry Shiffman, Director of BISQC. “Quartets, managers, presenters and audience know that a win at Banff is a vote of confidence from a select group of world renowned musicians.”

The seven competition jurors include violist Miguel de Silva, who plays for the Ysaÿe Quartet; cellist András Fejér, founder of the Takács Quartet; violinist Kikuei Ikeda of the Tokyo String Quartet and faculty member at the Yale School of Music; violist Nobuko Imai, former member of the Vermeer Quartet and founder of the Tokyo International Viola Competition; violinist Nicolas 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.

The preliminary jury, charged with selecting the competition’s 10 finalists includes former member of the Concord Quartet and current coordinator of chamber music at the Tanglewood Music Centre Norman Fischer, violinist Jerzy Kaplanek of the Penderecki String Quartet, and violist and former member of the Takács Quartet Roger Tapping.

The competition also announced the 2013 BISQC Commission Composer – Vivian Fung. Born in Edmonton, Canada, Fung has enjoyed notable success in recent years with performances of her work by the Seattle Symphony, San José Chamber Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, American String Quartet, Escher String Quartet, and Afiara String Quartet. Fung’s compositions, which have won praise in the New York Times and Chicago Tribune, are often characterized by a fusion of Western forms and non-Western influences such as Balinese and Javanese gamelan, and Chinese folk songs.

Created in 1983 to mark the 50th anniversary of The Banff Centre, BISQC has since become recognized as one of the world’s leading instrumental music competitions. Applications are currently available to string quartets of all nationalities whose members are all under the age of 35. Past winners include the Cecilia String Quartet (2010), the TinAlley String Quartet (2007), and the Jupiter Quartet (2004).The first prize winners of the BISQC RBC award will receive a three-year artistic and career development program worth over $150,000 which includes: $25,000 in cash, the offer of a Banff Centre residency with a recording, a set of bows from internationally-renowned Canadian bow maker François Malo, and a recital tour of Europe and North America arranged by The Banff Centre. The competition is held triennially and is a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions.  

About The Banff Centre: The Banff Centre's mission is inspiring creativity. Thousands of artists, leaders, and researchers from across Canada and around the world participate in programs at The Banff Centre every year. Through its multidisciplinary programming, The Banff Centre provides the support needed to create, to develop solutions, and to make the impossible possible. Moving forward, the Centre will disseminate 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 The 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 are Canada’s largest bank as measured by assets and market capitalization, and are among the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, and investor services and wholesale banking on a global basis. 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 44 other countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com.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.   

Additional funding for BISQC comes from the Freeze Family Career Development Fund and the Aurora Fund of The Banff Centre. The BISQC Commissioned Piece is supported by The Banff Centre and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.