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Evolution: Chamber - Quartets, Piano Trios + Composers

Performing Arts: Music | In-Person

Program Information

Calista Quartet rehearsing

Calista Quartet; Annamaria Vasmatzidis, violin; May Tang, violin; Harper Randolph, viola; Adalus Low-Manzini, cello. Rita Taylor, Banff Centre 2022


Evolution: Chamber - Quartets, Piano Trios + Composers offers early-career quartets, piano trios, and composers the opportunity to explore the lineage of the string quartet and piano trio, both as historical genres and as new and invigorated practices in the early 21st century - from Haydn, to new music created by the program’s faculty and participant composers. This highly specialized program provides you with the opportunity to enrich your approaches to interpretation, performance practice, and composition. Working with internationally celebrated faculty in a unique educational environment, ensembles are able to hone their craft, identify gaps, and reconsider priorities as you work towards cultivating artistic attributes that define your ensemble. 

Led by internationally celebrated faculty string quartets, the Eybler Quartet, the Parker Quartet, and the JACK Quartet; along with one of the world’s leading piano trios, the Gryphon Trio and extraordinary guest faculty - participating ensembles and composers have access to an unprecedented breadth of knowledge and performance experience throughout this residency.

What does the program offer: Quartets and Piano Trios?

This residency offers coaching and private lessons with the lead faculty and a mentor group of extraordinary scholars, composers, and instrumentalists, including composer Suzanne Farrin, musicologist Suzannah Clark, violinist Matt Albert, and violist Lesley Robertson. Daily presentations and faculty-led discussions will focus on intonation, dynamics, affect and rhetoric, advanced rhythm, performing editions, structural analysis, introduction to neo-Riemannian theory, in-depth exploration of faculty composers' work and process, collaboration, Right Relations, and diversity/equity/inclusion.

You will have 24hr access to studios, large studios will be available for group work and small individual spaces for private practice.

All participant ensembles will be partnered with a participant composer and be involved in the development, preparation, and premier of either a 10” quartet, string octet, or piano trio. This residency includes public performance opportunities; repertoire from the traditional canon will be studied and performed alongside contemporary works. 

What does the program offer: Composers?

Participating composers will work with faculty composer Suzanne Farrin and guest faculty in a process that supports the creation, performance preparation, and premiere of a new work for either string quartet, string octet, or piano trio that will have a total duration of approximately 10”. At the time of application, composers must submit a two-minute, fully-notated excerpt of a new work-in-progress for either string quartet, string octet, or piano trio. 
Prior to the program start date, composer group and individual meetings will take place online in May 2023 with Suzanne Farrin. These sessions will allow composers to meet one another, introduce their work and ideas, and discuss the full scope of their projects. Having established their individual creative departure points, composers will engage in an intensive and impactful process that allows them to learn from, and deeply invest in one another’s creative development.

You will have 24hr access to individual private studios. 
Composer rehearsals with ensembles, composer/ensemble coaching with faculty, individual lessons, participant composer presentations, and readings of other new material, will take place on-campus in June 2023, and premieres will be featured in the final performances.

Who Should Apply?

This program is open to pre-formed early-career and professional string quartets, piano trios and composers worldwide. Applications are welcome from those who have completed or are in the process of post-secondary studies in a related field with performance experience. 

We welcome musicians of all ages (18+), backgrounds, gender identities and expressions to apply.

Click here to view the Evolution Quartet 2022 concerts.


What's Included

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Group Seminars/ WorkshopsRead MoreClose

Group Seminars/ Workshops

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Showcase Your WorkRead MoreClose

This program offers opportunities to showcase your work-in-progress

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Your program fee includes a single bedroom on the Banff Centre campus for the duration of your program.

Get connected with other artists on campus and focus on your projects in a creative environment while we take care of the day-to-day essentials.

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Using a credit-based system to dine on campus, our flexible meal plans allow you to select meals according to your own needs during your stay.

The Full Flex meal plan includes $61.95 credit per day, equivalent to breakfast, lunch and dinner at our Buffet service.

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Your program fee includes free access to the climbing gym and fitness suite as well as discounted rates for classes at the Sally Borden Fitness and Recreation Centre.

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Enjoy special artist rates for ticketed performances or complimentary access to events.

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Enrich your experience and get to know other artists on campus by taking advantage of the activities and support provided by our Participant Resources team.

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Studios SpaceRead MoreClose

Create in one of our specialized studios and utilize shared production facilities 

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The Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives - Current Services

The Library is delighted to support Banff Centre Participants, Artists, and Faculty with the following services:

  • Open hours:  9:30 am to 1 pm, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
  • Access to collections, including program relevant books, scores, artists’ books, recordings, periodicals, and object library.
  • Library accounts for borrowing materials.
  • Digital Library, on campus and remote access.
  • Library research assistance, by appointment.
  • Archives research, by appointment only.

Please email or for more information or assistance.

Fees & Financial Assistance

Program Fee (per person)
$4 215.29
Program Fee with Financial Aid* (per person)
$1 394.13

Application fee: $65 for individuals or groups ($35 for applicants who identify as Indigenous). Application fees are not refundable.

Individual group members must pay an additional registration fee of $35 on acceptance. 

*Financial Aid of 100% is available to cover tuition, and Financial Aid of 50% is available to offset food and accommodation costs

Fees listed above are per person. Application fees are not refundable.

Banff Centre will issue official tax receipts for eligible tuition fees and financial assistance and awards as required by the Income Tax Act. You will receive a T2202 (Tuition and Enrolment Certificate) for eligible tuition fees paid and a T4A (Statement of Pension, Retirement, Annuity, and Other Income) for applicable financial assistance and awards.

Help fund your experience at Banff Centre! View a compiled list of external national and international opportunities here

How to Apply

Learn more about the steps to Complete Your Application.


A one-page resume or C.V. describing academic, professional, and other relevant experience.

Samples of Work

Upload three samples of your groups artistic work. Examples should provide a portrait of your group and the breadth and diversity of your creative life.

Upload scores and performance recordings for two complete works that were composed in the last five years.

Artistic Statement

A 500-word description of why you wish to attend this program, what you hope to learn, and what impact it could have on your artistic practice.

Financial Assistance

Be sure to complete the Financial Aid Qusestion in SlideRoom  to be eligible for financial assistance.

Additional Information:

  • If you are applying as an individual, you must complete both the online application form (including $65 processing fee) and a SlideRoom application.
  • If you are applying as an ensemble, the ensemble leader must complete both the online application form (including $65 processing fee) and a SlideRoom application. Please submit only one SlideRoom application per group. There will be a $35 registration fee of each member upon acceptance to the program.


Adjudication is based on artistic merit, the potential impact of the program on artists’ practice and careers, project feasibility and the capacity of Banff Centre to help realize the project, and the project’s fit with Banff Centre’s values and strategic directions as described in its strategic plan. Banff Centre respects the need for artists to plan ahead for their visit; applicants will be notified as soon as adjudication is complete.

International Applicants

Banff Centre welcomes domestic and international applicants for this program. Please note, Banff Centre programs do not meet Canadian Student Visa eligibility requirements, you must obtain a Visitor Visa to enter Canada. Accepted individuals are responsible for identifying and complying with the immigration requirements to enter Canada as a visitor from their country of origin. Current wait times to receive a visa are much longer than normal, so applicants who require a Visitor Visa should check the current expected processing times prior to applying.


Applicants must be ages 18+ at the time of the program start date.

All programs, faculty, dates, fees, and offers of financial assistance are subject to change. Program fee is subject to applicable taxes. Non-refundable fees and deposits will be retained upon cancellation. Any other fees are refunded at the discretion of the Banff Centre. The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.

Contact Admissions

For questions on preparing your application, please contact Admissions:

Toll Free Number (Canada + USA)