The 10 quartets will compete from 29 August to 4 September for a first prize worth $150,000


The 12th Banff International String Quartet Competition has named the 10 string quartets shortlisted to take part in its live rounds. The ensembles will compete in five rounds from 29 August to September 4 in Banff, Canada. First prize, worth over $150,000, includes a cash award of $25,000 in addition to a three-year artistic and career development programme of concert tours, residencies and recordings.

The 10 quartets – chosen by the Tokyo Quartet’s Clive Greensmith, Toronto Summer Music artistic director Douglas McNabney, and Philip Setzer of the Emerson String Quartet – are:

Aeolus Quartet (USA)

Argus Quartet (USA)

Castalian String Quartet (UK)

Omer Quartet (USA)

Quartet Arpa (Japan)

Quartet Berlin-Tokyo (Isreal/Japan)

Rolston String Quartet (Canada)

Tesla Quartet (Russia/South Korea/USA, pictured)

Ulysses Quartet (Canada/USA/Taiwan)

Verona Quartet (Canada/USA/Singapore)

The live round jury includes Vera Beths (Rondom Kwartet); Denis Brott (Orford String Quartet); Gérard Caussé (Quatuor Via Nova); Yoshiko Nakura (Tokyo String Quartet); Geoff Nuttall (St. Lawrence String Quartet); Peter Salaff (Cleveland Quartet); and Alasdair Tait (Belcea Quartet).

Winner of the last BISQC in 2013 was the Dover Quartet from the USA, which has performed over 100 concerts per year throughout North America, South America, and Europe as part of its prize. Previous BISQC winners also include the Cecilia String Quartet (Canada, 2010); the Jupiter String Quartet (USA, 2004); the Miró Quartet (USA, 1998); and the St. Lawrence String Quartet (Canada, 1992).

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Read: Preparing for a string quartet career – some useful guidance by the Omer Quartet

Photo: Telsa Quartet © Arthur Moeller