Chamber Music America has also announced the JACK Quartet will receive the 2024 Michael Jaffee Visionary Award, while Herbie Hancock will receive the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award


Balourdet Quartet © Kevin Condon

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Chamber Music America (CMA) has announced that the Balourdet Quartet will receive the Cleveland Quartet Award for the 2024–25 and 2025–26 seasons. The award will be presented on 21 January 2024 during CMA’s 2024 Awards function at the organisation’s National Conference.

Additional honorees also include the JACK Quartet and Herbie Hancock, who will receive the 2024 Michael Jaffee Visionary Award and Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award respectively.

Established in 1995, the biennial Cleveland Quartet Award honours and promotes a rising string quartet whose artistry demonstrates significant promise in the field. ’The Cleveland Quartet Award is named for one of history’s most illustrious string quartets, known for their exceptional artistry as well as generosity as mentors and educators propelling the art form,’ said CMA CEO Kevin Kwan Loucks.

’It’s an honour to add the Balourdet Quartet to the list of 13 other landmark ensembles who have since made their mark in chamber music, and I am thrilled for string quartet enthusiasts nationwide to hear these young musicians and watch their career unfold.’

In culminating their 26-year history, members of the Cleveland Quartet envisioned a legacy for young musicians and joined forces with CMA and eight  presenters to establish the Cleveland Quartet Award Endowment Fund (managed by CMA). Previous recipients are the Brentano, Borromeo, Miami, Pacifica, Miró, Jupiter, Parker, Jasper, Ariel, Dover, Rolston, Verona, and Aizuri Quartets.

As part of the Cleveland Quartet Award, the Balourdet Quartet will be presented by a consortium of eight presenters: the Buffalo Chamber Music Society; Carnegie Hall; Chamber Music Society of Detroit; Freer and Sackler Galleries of Art at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC; Friends of Chamber Music in Kansas City, MO; Market Square Concerts in Harrisburg, PA; Krannert Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and the University of Texas at Austin.

Currently in residence at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, the Balourdet Quartet received the Grand Prize at the 2021 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition, as well as prizes in international competitions including the Banff, Borciani, and Carl Nielsen Competitions. Comprising violinists Angela Bae and Justin DeFilippis, violist Benjamin Zannoni and cellist Russell Houston, the quartet was also awarded the Gold Medal at the 2020 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the 2021 Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition. The ensemble will serve as the quartet-in-residence for the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle in 2023/24.

JACK with Cello_Shervin Lainez

JACK Quartet © Shervin Lainez

The JACK Quartet will receive the Michael Jaffee Visionary Award (named for former CMA President Michael Jaffee), which celebrates artistry, creativity, and a commitment to advancing the boundaries of chamber music through innovation, exploration, and experimentation. Since the award’s establishment in 2017, recipients include Ronnie Malley, Seth Parker Woods, PUBLIQuartet and Jon Batiste.

Comprising violinists Christopher Otto and Austin Wulliman, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Jay Campbell, JACK Quartet was founded in 2005 and operates as a nonprofit organisation dedicated to the performance, commissioning, and appreciation of 20th- and 21st-century string quartet music.

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