The Viano String Quartet and the Marmen Quartet have been awarded first place at the 2019 Banff International String Quartet Competition.
For the first time in its 36 year history, the Banff International Quartet Competition (BISQC) has split the first place prize between two quartets: The Viano String Quartet (Canada/USA) and the Marmen String Quartet (UK).
The announcements concluded seven days of competition by 10 quartets from around the world in Banff Alberta.
The competition included the Recital Round, the Romantic Round, the Canadian Commission Round, and the Shubertplus Round, and ended with three finalists performing a complete work by Beethoven.
“Anybody who witnessed the remarkable music-making in Banff this week knows that the art of the string quartet is being pursued at an all-time high, said Artistic Director Barry Shiffman. The artistry of the Viano and Marmen Quartets deserve the 1st prize of this much-loved competition. While this an unprecedented result in the history of the Banff International String Quartet Competition, it is the result of an abundance of talent.”
The Viano String Quartet was formed in 2015 at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, and includes Hao Zhou and Lucy Wang (violins), Aiden Kane (viola), and Tate Zawadiuk (cello).
The Marmen String Quartet was founded in 2013 at the Royal College of Music. Members include Johannes Marmen and Ricky Gore (violins), Bryony Gibson-Cornish (viola) and Steffan Morris (cello).
Both quartets will receive a $16,500 cash prize, share concert tours in Europe and North America, and participate in a creative residency at Banff Centre. They will also share a two-year paid residency worth $160,000 USD at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, perform in a concert at the Esterházy Palace in Eisenstadt (Austria), participate in the St. Lawrence String Quartet (SLSQ) Chamber Music Seminar, and act as resident string quartets for Stanford University’s summer Pre-Collegiate Studies Program.
Second Prize was awarded to the Callisto Quartet (USA). They will receive a $12,000 cash prize and creative residency at Banff Centre, including coaching and mentorship opportunities.
The 2019 BISQC jury included Gillian Ansell, Martin Beaver, Adrian Fung, David Harrington, Nobuko Imai, Philip Setzer and Ursula Smith.