THE SCOOP | 14th Banff International String Quartet Competition Gearing Up For August 2022

By Anya Wassenberg on October 27, 2021

The Rolston String Quartet, 2019 Banff International String Quartet Competition laureates (Photo courtesy of the artists)
The Rolston String Quartet, 2019 Banff International String Quartet Competition laureates (Photo courtesy of the artists)

The 14th Banff International String Quartet Competition will take place from August 29 to September 4, 2022. Planning has begun for both competitors and spectators at what will be an in-person event, with submissions from competitors now open.

For Competitors: The Largest Prizes in Chamber Music

BISQC 2022 aims to support the development of string quartets with substantial cash prizes, among other things. Ten quartets will be in the competition.

  • First prize laureates benefit from a custom-designed three-year artistic and career development program
  • That program includes the Southern Methodist University Peak Fellowship Ensemble-in-Residence. Prize, a 2-year paid residency worth $200,000 CAD.
  • First prize winners also participate in the Esterházy Foundation Residency, including concerts at Haydn Hall in Eisenstadt and the Lucerne Festival.

Cellist Camden Shaw of Dover Quartet, first place laureates of the 11th BISQC, reminisces in a media release.

“From the very first day we set foot at the Banff Centre with nine other quartets, BISQC was nothing short of a career-changing experience! It is so much more than a competition; creating a strong community and network of incredible musicians, fostering everyone’s excitement not only to work hard but to love what we do. The career opportunities that we and our peers at BISQC have had as a result have been absolutely invaluable.”

The Viano String Quartet, first prize co-winners of the 13th BISQC, are just completing a Winner’s Tour that began at the Esterházy Palace in Eisenstadt, Austria, followed by stops in Heidelberg, Hanover, Ellwangen, Cologne, Budapest, and Zurich.

The Jurors

The jurors for the 2022 competition have been announced.

  • First, the applicants will be reviewed by a panel of three Preliminary Jurors: Aaron Boyd, Andrew Wan and Andrew Yee to select the 10 quartets to be invited to Banff Centre for the competition next August.
  • In Banff, the Competition Jury consists of seven Jurors: Jane Atkins, Estelle Choi, James Ehnes, Barnabás Kelemen, Catherine Manson, Károly Schranz and Sung-Won Yang.

For Audiences

Audiences will be welcomed back to the Banff Centre in its gorgeous Rocky Mountain setting for the competition experience.

  • Performances in the new Jenny Belzberg Theatre;
  • Lectures and talks, and special events;
  • Shared meals to foster a sense of community;
  • Tickets available for the full week, the finals weekend, or a passport.

COVID-19 Protocols

No one can predict what the conditions will be in August 2022, but the Banff Centre has opted into the Restrictions Exemption Program to ensure the public’s safety. Current and complete information can be found here.

String quartets have until March 1, 2022 to complete the application process. Find out more here.

Tickets for the public go on sale in January 2022.

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