2015 PRIZEWINNERS ANNOUNCED
ST. PAUL – April 19, 2015
The 2015 Saint Paul String Quartet Competition (SPSQC), the nation’s only event for string quartets alone, was held in Sundin Music Hall on the campus of Hamline University. Six outstanding high school quartets from a field of quartets spanning the entire country were invited to compete in two rounds of competition judged by the renowned St. Lawrence String Quartet. Once again the preparation and level of the performances was exemplary, and each quartet presented their unique voice to the rapt audience in attendance and online. Chamber music is in good hands for the future.
This year’s Gold medalist ensemble was the Atara String Quartet from the Music Institute of Chicago. Their fourth movement of Rochberg Quartet No.3 was outstanding and their rendition of the opening movement of the Mendelssohn Op.80 quartet was breathtaking. The Verita Quartet from the Chamber Music Connection (Columbus, Ohio) won the Silver medals with a lush and expressive performance of first movement of the Debussy Quartet and an electrifying ‘Allegro violent ed agitato’ movement of Ginastera Quartet No.1. The Pike Street Quartet from Seattle took the Bronze medals with a powerful rendition of the last movement of Bartók Quartet No.4 and a beautiful and sensitive reading of Beethoven Op.132 (also the final movement). Pike Street Quartet also took home the coveted Haydn Prize.
The jury for the 2015 SPSQC Final Round was the renowned St Lawrence String Quartet. Prelim judges were Cathy Meng Robinson, violinist of the Miami String Quartet, John Largesse violist of the Miró Quartet, and Laura Thielke, cellist of the Artaria Quartet of Boston. 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.
The SPSQC has now presented its 10th National High School String Quartet Competition. 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 Saint Paul String Quartet Competition is open to high school string quartets from around the country and is always adjudicated by a professional string quartet. With only string quartets competing, it is a simple comparison 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 jurors in the categories: Tone Quality, Intonation, Ensemble & Balance, and Musical Ideas. The top scoring quartets are invited to compete for prizes and cash awards in a Haydn Round and a Final Round.
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2015 FINALISTS ANNOUNCED
ST. PAUL – March 20, 2015
Finalist quartets have been selected in this year’s national event. The six quartets receiving the highest ratings from the preliminary jury (John Largesse of the Miro Quartet, Cathy Robinson of the Miami String Quartet and Laura Thielke of the Artaria Quartet of Boston) were invited to compete in St. Paul on April 18.
The “Final 6” quartets hail from across the nation:
Atara String Quartet – Chicago
Clemens Quartet – Los Angeles
Pike Street Quartet – Seattle
Premier Quartet – Chicago
Verita Quartet – Columbus
Warner Quartet – Twin Cities
Come and be amazed at the extraordinary sounds you will hear from these incredible young artists. The competition begins at 1:30pm in the sonically lush Sundin Music Hall on the campus of Hamline University in the heart of St. Paul. Admission is free and open to the public.
Former 2007 SPSQC Prizewinners Band Together
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....
Sewell Family & Anna M. Heilmaier