The Chaos Quartet took the top prize, which includes €10,000 and future concert opportunities


Chaos Quartet © Andrej Grilc

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On 17 April 2023, the prize winners of the 1st International String Quartet Competition Bad Tölz were announced. Five string quartets performed over two days of competition performances.

The finalists were: Affinity Quartet, (Australia), Chaos Quartet, (Austria), Nebel Quartet (South Korea/Germany), Abeo Quartet, (USA) and Erinys Quartet, (Finland).

The Susanne and Christoph Kessler Grand Prize went to the Chaos Quartet, worth €10,000. The quartet also received a Henle Urtext Prize, worth €2,500 and will also be invited to a European concert tour next season by the Berlin concert agency Hampl. The Chaos Quartet will also perform at the Tölzer Prizewinner Festival in January 2024, which will feature the Barbican, Isidore and Leonkoro Quartets.

Comprising violinists Susanne Schäffer and Eszter Kruchió, violist Sara Marzadori and cellist Bas Jongen, the Chaos Quartet has won prizes at the ARD International Music Competition in Munich and the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition. It has appeared at festivals at Davos, Ravenna, Gent, Bologna, Budapest, Florence, Vienna and Heidelberg.

The Chaos Quartet has been mentored by Johannes Meissl and has completed a postgraduate course at the Fiesole School of Music with the Casals Quartet.

The KLANGERLEBNIS second prize, worth €6,000, plus a Henle Urtext prize of €1,500 went to the Affinity Quartet. The Abeo Quartet took the KLANGERLEBNIS third prize worth €3,000 and a €1,000 Henle Urtext prize, while the Erinys Quartet won the Esterhazy-Sonderpreis for best Haydn interpretation, plus and invitation to perform at Schloss Esterhazy, worth €2,000, as well as the the Audience Award, worth €1,000.

The jury was chaired by Günter Pichler, founding member and leader of the Alban Berg Quartet and professor of chamber music at the Universities of Vienna, Cologne and Madrid, and comprised Gustav Frielinghaus, Andrea Hampl, Volker Jacobsen, Helena Poggio, František Souček and Antti Tikkanen.

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