Event in Copenhagen ends this evening with three ensembles vying for €15,000 first prize and list of engagements

Nielsen chamber finalist collage

The quartet finalists (clockwise from top): Quatuor Elmire, Balourdet String Quartet, Simply Quartet

The Carl Nielsen International Chamber Music Competition in Copenhagen has reached it final round, with three quartets called to perform for a chance of winning cash prizes, including a first prize of €15,000, and future engagements.

Each ensemble has a prepared their choice from a list of Nielsen quartets plus one by Beethoven or Schubert.

The finalists are:

  • Simply Quartet (Austria), playing Schubert no.14 in d minor, D 810, Death and the Maiden, and Nielsen: op.44 in F major
  • Balourdet String Quartet (Texas), playing Beethoven op.59 no.2, E minor, and Nielsen op.13 in G minor
  • Quatuor Elmire (France), playing Beethoven op.132 in A minor, and Nielsen: op.13 in G minor

They final begins today, Saturday 19 October at 5pm local time, at the concert hall of the Royal Danish Academy of Music.

All rounds, plus those of the parallel wind quintet competition, are being live streamed live on the competition website with a live blog and commentary by journalist and regular Strad contributor Andrew Mellor.

The competition jury is chaired by Alban Berg Quartet violinist Günter Pichler. The jurors are Asbjørn Nørgaard (violist, Danish String Quartet), Gunvor Sihm (violinist, Nightingale String Quartet & Danish National Symphony Orchestra), Bjørg Lewis (cellist, Vertavo String Quartet), David Geber (former cellist of the American String Quartet, 1974-2002).

The winner of the quartet section of the inaugural competition in 2015 was the Arod Quartet, which went on to further competition success and featured on the cover of the February 2018 issue of The Strad.