The quartet has received $21,500 and multiple performance opportunities 


Photo: Joella Byron-Dixon

The Poiesis Quartet

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The Poiesis Quartet from Oberlin, OH, US, has received the grand prize medal at the 50th Annual Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the largest chamber music competition in America with 56 ensembles taking part. 

Violinists Sarah Ma and Max Ball, violist Jasper de Boor and cellist Drew Dansby won a total of $21,500 in prize money, made up of a $15,000 grand prize, $5,000 gold medal and the $1,500 Lift Every Voice prize. The latter prize is for the best performance of a piece by a historically under-represented composer in the chamber music world. As part of the award, the quartet will perform in the Fischoff Double Gold Tour of the Midwestern United States in the autumn and at the Emilia-Romagna Festival in Italy next year.  

On social media following the win, the quartet wrote: ‘We are so overjoyed to be the grand prize, senior string gold medal and Lift Every Voice winners of the 50th Fischoff Competition. The months of preparation, from recording for prescreens all the way to the drive back to Oberlin from South Bend have been absolutely life-changing. Over the last several days we have had the privilege of performing on the same stage as some of the most incredible musicians we’ve ever met.’ 

The silver medal and $4,000 went to Quartet Luminera from the New England Conservatory (NEC) in Boston. Formed in 2021, the quartet comprises violinists Masha Lakisova and Kristy Chen, violist Njord Fossnes and cellist Davis You, all currently part of the NEC’s Honours Ensemble programme and coached by violist Mai Motobuchi and the Borromeo Quartet.  

The Amnis Piano Quartet received $3,000 and the bronze medal, and Trio Osceola was awarded the Horszowski Trio Prize for piano trio. The prize includes $600 and an invitation to work with the Horszowski Trio at the Mimir Chamber Music Festival in Fort Worth, TX.  

In the junior string division, the gold medal and $2,500 went to the FaMa Quartet from Colchester, VT. The silver medal and $2,000 went to the Pelios Quartet from the Academy of the Music Institute of Chicago and the bronze medal went to the Evie Quartet from the Ed and Mari Edelman Chamber Music Institute of the Colburn Community School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles, CA. The junior Horszowski Trio Prize for piano trio went to violinist Holly Lacey, cellist Nathaniel Yue and pianist Qiao Zhang who form the Nth Trio.  

The Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition has seen 7,600 musicians compete since its founding in 1973. Based in South Bend, IN, the organisation partners with competition alumni to bring free, innovative music programmes to children in the local schools and community centres in Indiana. Since 1995, Fischoff’s outreach projects have supported more than 96,200 children in the community, including 4,000 underserved and at-risk young people every year.  

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