The Noga Quartet (pictured) has been awarded the Grand Prize at the seventh Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition. The Berlin-based quartet, made up of violinists Simon Roturier and Lauriane Vernhes, violist Avishai Chameides and cellist Joan Bachs, received a cash prize of AU$24,000. The foursome performed Bartók's String Quartet no.5 at the final, which took place on 18 July at Melbourne Recital Centre. The Giocoso Quartet, based in Vienna, received the AU$16,000 second prize.
In the piano trio section, the UK-based Linos Piano Trio was victorious, securing the AU$18,000 grand prize for its performance of Ravel's Piano Trio in A minor.
In addition to the second prize, the Giocoso Quartet received the Peter Druce audience award for string quartet (AU$6,000), and the Musica Viva Australia prize, which includes a concert tour throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Held every four years, the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition is open to international ensembles with members up to the age of 35. All three prizewinners will perform on a short tour of venues around Victoria, Australia, during the coming week.
This year’s jury comprised Borodin Quartet cellist Vladimir Balshin, Tokyo Quartet violinist Martin Beaver, Vertavo Quartet violist Berit Cardas, Kopelman Quartet violinist Boris Kuschnir, Goldner Quartet violinist Irina Morozova, Australian National Academy of Music cellist Howard Penny, and pianist and composer Bright Sheng.