Three finalists selected at the Banff International String Quartet Competition


BANFF, AB—Three of the world’s finest young quartets will compete on Sunday, September 1 for the most coveted prize in chamber music at the 13th Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC) at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.


The quartets were chosen at the end of the 6 days of competition from a field of 10 competing quartets from around the world. Throughout the week the musicians have performed in the Recital Round, the Romantic Round, the Canadian Commission Round and the Shubertplus Round.


On Sunday the three finalists will perform a complete work by Beethoven.


The three finalists are:


1) Callisto Quartet (USA)

2) Marmen Quartet (UK)

3) Viano String Quartet (Canada/USA) 


The competition, which takes place every three years, has launched the careers of many successful quartets internationally. An awards ceremony will follow the final concert and jury deliberation on Sunday afternoon.

The Director of the Banff International String Quartet Competition Barry Shiffman compares the competition to the Olympics of chamber music, and the pressure on the musicians who make it to the finals is intense.

“It’s highly competitive and we are priviledged to experience such extraordinary music. We look forward to the finals, the Beethoven Round on Sunday,” said Shiffman.

The competing quartets come from around the globe and are some of the finest classical musicians emerging on the world stage today. Chosen by a jury of internationally celebrated musicians, the three finalists will be competing for over $300,000 in cash and prizes, the most generous prize in chamber music internationally. 

This year, thanks to a new collaboration, the first prize winner will be awarded the Southern Methodist University Peak Fellowship Ensemble in Residence Prize, a paid two-year residency in Dallas, Texas. This, in addition to generous cash prizes, residency opportunities at Banff Centre, and an international winners concert tour, makes this triennial chamber music competition one of the top events of its kind.

The Anderson Career Development Awards are presented to the the seven quartets not selected for the finals,

Banff Centre would like to thank all supporters including the Azrieli Foundation, and media partners including the CBC and the Violin Channel for sharing the concerts online and on CBC Radio. Banff Centre acknowledges support from the Government of Alberta, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and the Canada Council.