Banff Centre International String Quartet Festival

Watch Recordings from the 2021 Virtual Festival!

Did you miss seeing the livestream concert, or would you like to watch the concert, film, or discussion again? 
Recordings will be available until October 5. 

Watch Recordings

The Banff Centre International String Quartet Festival is bringing world-class chamber music and international artists to the comfort of your home, for FREE! The 2021 online Festival led by Festival Director Barry Shiffman, featured concerts with Banff Quartet Festival Chamber OrchestraViano Quartet with pianist Marc-André Hamelin, Callisto Quartet with cellist Desmond Hoebig, Dalí Quartet, Kelemen Quartet, film screenings, and more! 

Schedule at a Glance

Day 1 | September  2    
11 AM - Film Screening: Rolston Sessions 2   View Trailer
Rolston Sessions 2 was filmed during the 2016 Banff International String Quartet Competition and features interviews and performances with the ten participating quartets. Produced by Riddle Films in association with Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.
3 PM - Panel: Norman Fischer and Aaron Boyd - Quartet Training in America
7:30 PM - Concert: Callisto Quartet with cellist Desmond Hoebig

Day 2 | September 3
11  AM - Film screening: Artemis: The Neverending Quartet   View Trailer
This screening includes a discussion with former Artemis Quartet cellist Eckart Runge, Festival director Barry Shiffman, and filmmaker Jason Charters from Riddle Films.
3 PM - Panel: Denis Brott  - Resiliency during the Pandemic
7:30 PM - Concert: Dalí Quartet

Day 3 | September  4    
3  PM - Film screening:  The Quest for Tonewood   View Trailer
This screening includes a conversation with violin maker Gaspar Borchardt and festival director Barry Shiffman.
7:30 PM - Concert: Kelemen Quartet

Day 4 | September 5    
3 PM - Concert: Viano Quartet with pianist Marc-André Hamelin
7:30 PM - Concert: Banff Festival Chamber Orchestra Concert


BISQC 2022


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Film Screenings and Discussions

Festival Director - Barry Shiffman

Image Courtesy of Barry Shiffman

Barry Shiffman enjoys a diverse career as a musician, educator, and administrator. He was co-founder of the St. Lawrence String Quartet (SLSQ) and currently serves as both the Associate Dean and Director of Chamber Music at Glenn Gould School, and Director of the Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. 

During his 17 years with the SLSQ he appeared in over 2,000 concerts in venues around the globe, and recorded several critically acclaimed discs under an exclusive contract with EMI Classics. While with SLSQ, Shiffman served as artistin-residence at Stanford University from 1998 to 2006 and as visiting artist at the University of Toronto from 1995 to 2006. 

Shiffman has also served in numerous roles at Banff Centre, including Director of Music Programs (2006-2010), Artistic Director of Summer Classical Music Programs (2010-2016), and Director of the Banff International String Quartet Competition since 2006. During his tenure at Banff Centre he introduced new programming in classical music performance, composition, popular music, and jazz and oversaw the dramatic growth of the Banff International String Quartet Competition, including the successful launch of the Banff Centre International String Quartet Festival in 2017.

In 2018, Shiffman was appointed Artistic Director of Rockport Music in Massachusetts, overseeing all classical programming for the organization including a five-week summer chamber music festival at the venerable Shalin Liu Performance Center. From 2009-2017, he was Executive Artistic Director of Music in the Morning Concert Society in Vancouver. A sought-after juror, he has served on the violin jury of the Tchaikovsky and Montreal Violin Competitions, and the String Quartet Competitions of London Wigmore Hall, Lyon, and Geneva.

Shiffman received his formal studies at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto, University of Toronto, Utrecht Conservatory, Hartt School of Music, Juilliard School, and Yale University. Summer studies included Banff Centre, Tanglewood, and Aspen. He is also  the recipient of the Longy School’s Nadia Boulanger Prize for Excellence in the Art of Teaching, and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Calgary.



Banff Centre International String Quartet Festival is generously supported by: 

Lead Supporter
Sir Jack Lyons Charitable Trust

Jack Chetner
MacLachlan Ridge Family

Supported by:




About the Festival

Banff Centre International String Quartet Festival is a three-day festival, born out of the Banff International String Quartet Competition. Like the competition, it showcases the finest in international classical music to audiences through a completely immersive experience. 
Led by Director of the Banff International String Quartet Competition Barry Shiffman, the festival, held in competition off years, features competition alumni alongside special guest exploring repertoire from across the centuries.