Banff International String Quartet Competition

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For over 30 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 BISQC was held in 1983 to mark the 50th anniversary of Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. The outstanding success of the first competition inspired organizers to make BISQC a triennial event. 

BISQC gives audiences an in-depth and behind-the-scenes look at the thrill and heartbreak of a live chamber music competition as 10 of the world’s best young string quartets vie for over $150,000 in cash and prizes to support their emerging careers before a remarkably dedicated chamber music audience. The triennial competition is a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions, and is widely recognized among the top events of its kind.

Past winners have included the St. Lawrence, Miró, Daedalus, Jupiter, TinAlley, Cecilia, Dover, and Rolston String Quartets. The competition is open to quartets of all nationalities whose members are all under the age of 35 at the time of the competition.

Read this brief newsletter on the 12th Banff International String Quartet Competition to learn more about the most recent competition. 

Catch up on the essentials from the hugely successful 2016 BISQC:

Get a better idea of how BISQC is structured for attendees:
2016 Tickets + Packages
2016 Schedule

BISQC History

Explore past competitions


Lead Patrons

Christine + David Anderson

Supporting Sponsor

Media Partners

For a full list of supporters, click here

Contact Us

For questions please contact:



Barry Shiffman
Executive Director

Christine Prescott
Program Coordinator

107 Tunnel Mountain Drive
Box 1020, Stn. 23
Banff, Alberta
T1L 1H5 Canada