The string quartet division finals in Copenhagen saw three quartets compete for the €15,000 first prize


Photo: Agnete Schlichtkrull

The winning Kleio Quartet (l-r violist Jenny Lewisohn, violinist Katherine Yoon, violinist Yume Fujise and cellist Eliza Millett

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On 16 April at Copenhagen’s Royal Danish Academy of Music’s Concert Hall, the Kleio Quartet won the €15,000 first prize and €2,500 prize for best performance of the commissioned work in the Carl Nielsen International Chamber Music Competition’s string quartet division. In the finals, the quartet performed Beethoven’s op.59 no.3 String Quartet in C major and the third and fourth movements of Carl Nielsen’s op.13 String Quartet in G minor.

The quartet comprises Japanese violinist Yume Fujise, South Korean violinist Katherine Yoon, British-Danish violist Jenny Lewisohn and British cellist Eliza Millett. You can watch a video of the ensemble receiving the prize below. 

The €10,000 second prize went to the NOVO Quartet from Copenhagen. It consists of violinists Kaya Kato Møller and Nikolai Vasili Nedergaard, violist Daniel Śledziński and cellist Signe Ebstrup Bitsch. The €5,000 third prize went to the Quartett Hana from Munich, which includes violinists Gyurim Kwak and Fuga Miwatashi, violist Emiko Yuasa and cellist Johannes Välja.

The Kleio Quartet formed in 2019 at the Seiji Ozawa International Chamber Academy and have since performed in venues such as Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Victoria Hall. Among others, the quartet has been mentored by Alina Ibragimova, Pamela Frank, Pinchas Zukerman and Nobuko Imai. In the coming season, it will hold a residency at the Britten-Pears Festival. The quartet is a City Music Foundation Artist and has previously won the Tunnell Trust’s Awards Scheme in 2022/23. 

The 2023 competition’s string quartet jury, chaired by Tokyo String Quartet cellist Clive Greensmith, included violist Berit Cardas, violinist Gunvor Sihm, violinist Sergei Bresler and cellist Marie Bitlloch. The competition also included a wind quintet division, which was won by the Ensemble Astera from France and Switzerland.  

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