ST. PAUL – Feb 05, 2015

The 2015 Saint Paul String Quartet Competition will be held in the magnificent Sundin Music Hall on the Hamline University Campus on Saturday April 18. Outstanding high school quartets from across the country will be invited to compete in multiple rounds of competition. The jury that day will be the renowned St. Lawrence String Quartet.

The Saint Paul String Quartet competition was founded in 2006 by Artaria String Quartet violinist Ray Shows. Mr. Shows is the Artistic Director and Administrator of this annual event. Created as a performance showcase for advanced quartet studies, this unique national event has received superlative acclaim by Strings magazine and recognition by Chamber Music America and many of the most renowned teachers in the country. Its stated aim is to “celebrate excellence in string quartet playing (and) foster an increased appreciation for the chamber music art form, and enhance the music culture in this country.”

The competition is open to high school string quartets from around the country and is always adjudicated by a professional string quartet. With string quartets competing with other string quartets for over $4000 in Prizes and Awards, the SPSQC is a competing event of ‘apples to apples’. Groups from across the country submit CD recordings of three masterworks of the repertoire. These unedited performances are evaluated by independent internationally renowned chamber musician in the categories: Tone Quality, Intonation, Ensemble & Balance, and Musical Ideas.


The 2014 Saint Paul String Quartet Competition Live Stream video:

Round I:
Round II:

The event is now finished but you canstill watch the amazing video recording.


ST. PAUL – May 13, 2014

The 2014 Saint Paul String Quartet Competition was held in the Urness Recital Hall at St. Olaf College. Eight outstanding high school quartets were invited to compete in 2 rounds of competition. The level of the performances was extraordinary and each quartet played with unique voice for the audience to enjoy. Chamber music is indeed in good hands for the future.

This year’s Gold medalist ensemble was the Ligeia Quartet from the Chicago Youth Symphony. Their opening movement of Mendelssohn’s Op.44/2 was well paced and their rendition of the Bartok Quartet No.4 (mvt.5) was solid and convincing. The Atara Quartet from the Music Institute of Chicago won the Silver medals with clean and expressive performances of Ligeti Quartet No.1 and the final movement of César Franck’s only string quartet (a rarely heard work). The Luna Quartet from Minneapolis took the Bronze with a beautiful reading of the Mendelssohn Op. 13 first movement and a rousing romp through the “Slovacca” movement Erwin Schulhoff’s Quartet No.1. Honorable Mention and the Haydn Prize were awarded to the Pike Street Quartet of Seattle with their stylish performances.

The jury for the 2014 SPSQC Final Round was the Cuarteto Latinoamericano. Prelim judges were Maureen Nelson, violinist of the Enso Quartet, Masumi Per-Rostad violist of the Pacifica Quartet, and Norman Fischer, cellist of the renowned Concord Quartet. The Saint Paul String Quartet competition was founded in 2006 by Artaria String Quartet violinist Ray Shows. Mr. Shows is the Artistic Director and Administrator of this annual event. .

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Concert program below...

Former 2007 SPSQC Prizewinners Band Together

ST. PAUL – December 18, 2013

Violinists Jeff Myers (Opus) and Ryan Meehan (Ridere) from the 2007 SPSQC competition have joined forces with violist Jeremy Berry and cellist Estelle Choi in the Calidore String Quartet. One of the most exciting young ensembles to emerge on the chamber music scene in recent years, the international prize-winning Calidore String Quartet is noted for its fiery brilliance, breadth of musicianship, and palpable energy that engages audiences. Formed at the prestigious Colburn Conservatory of Music in 2010, the Calidore String Quartet has presented recitals across the United States and Europe to great acclaim.



2015 SPSQC is sponsored by....

Music in the Park Series

Sewell Family & Anna M. Heilmaier Charitable Foundations

Dennis Carey & Bruce Taylor

Anderson Music Stands & Lotus Design

Artaria String Quartet – Haydn Prize


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