Japanese ensemble will receive recital debuts and management 


Quartet Amabile have joined the YCA roster

Japanese string quartet Quartet Amabile is one of four first-prize recipients at the 2019 Young Concert Artists (YCA) International Auditions, which concluded in New York City’s Merkin Music Hall, Kaufman Music Center, on 17 November.

The ensemble, comprising violinists Yuna Shinohara and Chihio Kitada, Meguna Naka, viola, and Tatsuki Sasanuma, cello, are now invited to join the YCA roster, which includes management services, engagements, publicity and career advice. They will also give recital debuts in New York City and at the Washington DC Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Unlike standard music competitions, the YCA International Auditions chooses prize winners through an audition process, and there is no limit to the number of artists who can selected for YCA representation. This year’s other winners are US saxophonist Steven Banks, 26; pianist Martin James Bartlett from the UK, 23; and pianist Albert Cano Smit, 22, from Spain.



Quartet Amabile formed while its musicians were students at Toho Gakuen School of Music. They were subsequently placed third at the ARD International Music Competition Munich (string quartet division) in 2016, and the following year performed with pianist Martha Argerich at the Music Festival in Beppu. They won first prizes at the 10th Yokohama International Music Competition and the 12th Romanian International Music Competition, and also won the Kirishima International Music Festival Prize and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi Music Director Prize, and received the Matsuo Music Subsidy from Matsuo Academy Promotion Foundation in 2015-2017.

The Quartet is currently studying with Kazuhide Isomura of the Tokyo String Quartet, at the Manhatttan School of Music.

Young Concert Artists was established in 1961 and has supported the early career development of such artists as Pinchas Zukerman, Anne-Akiko Meyers and Ray Chen. The current roster includes string players Benjamin Baker, the Hermès Quartet and Xavier Foley. This year’s final round jury included Daniel Kellogg and Susan Wadsworth (co-chair), violinist Ida Kavafian, violinist/conductor Peter Oundjian, and cellist Fred Sherry.