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2017 SPSQC Competition Results

Gold Medalists -
Astera String Quartet

Silver Medalists -
Vieira String Quartet

Bronze Medalists -
DAJJ Quartet


Haydn Prize -
Vieira String Quartet

SUAVE QUARTET

The Suavé Quartet was formed in 2016 at the Chamber Music Connection (CMC) in Worthington, Ohio and consists of violinists Allison Smith (junior) and Adryán Rojas (sophomore), cellist Jinyoung Kwon (senior), and violist Jonah Tugaoen (junior). Suavé was 1 of 5 finalists at the 4th Coltman Chamber Music Competition in Austin Texas this past March. The quartet will be heading to South Bend in May to compete in the quarter-finals of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Members of the Suavé Quartet have also participated in competitions such as the Ohio String Teachers Association, Discover National, and the Coltman National Chamber Music Competitions. The violinists, Adryán and Allison, participated in the inaugural season of Encore Chamber Music’s summer string quartet intensive. Together, the Suavé Quartet has worked with Jeffrey Irvine, David Nesmith, Kyle Price and Stephanie Price-Wong of the KASA String Quartet, and artistic director of CMC, Deborah Price. Additionally through CMC, members of the group have worked side-by-side with the Calidore, Cavani, Dover, Jupiter and Doric Quartets.

DAJJ QUARTET

The DAJJ Quartet formed in Fall 2015 at the Chamber Music Connection (CMC), a not- for-profit chamber music organization led by artistic director Deborah Price based in Worthington, Ohio. The DAJJ Quartet consists of Daniel Tai (14) and Anna Linder (13), violins, Jackson Tomsic (16), cello, and Julian Tugaoen (14), viola. The name DAJJ arises by combining the first letters of each member’s first name. The DAJJ Quartet has had the opportunity to work with many guest artists at CMC including Jinjoo Cho, Neave Trio, Dmitry Kouzov, Calidore, Dover, Formosa, Cavani, KASA, and Doric String Quartets. They have performed in side-by-side residencies at CMC with the Neave Trio, Dover, Calidore, KASA, and Doric Quartets. The DAJJ Quartet recently received 1st Prize (Piano and String open division) and the Overall Grand Prize (open division) at 2017 Discover National Chamber Music Competition. DAJJ also received an Honorable Mention at the 2017 Ohio String Teachers Association Chamber Music Competition and was 1 of 5 finalists at the 4th Coltman Chamber Music Competition in Austin, Texas this past March.

KARTOSHKA QUARTET

The Kartoshka Quartet was first formed in September of 2016 under the direction of quartet coach Desiree Ruhstrat and Midwest Young Artists. The quartet is focused out of Highland Park in Illinois, though the quartet members come from a variety of Chicago suburbs. From an early point, the quartet began taking opportunities to play in performance classes and develop their capabilities as a unified group. The quartet has also participated in community outreach events where classical music was introduced to elementary school children in nearby schools through the Ravinia Festival. Earlier this year, the group participated in a masterclass with Shmuel Ashkenasi from the Curtis Institute of Music. In addition, next month the Kartoshka Quartet will be performing in the quarter finals of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. The quartet has provided a resoundingly positive and irreplaceable experience for its members, and chamber music has challenged and extended the musical skills of the Kartoshka players.

ASTERA STRING QUARTET

The Astera String Quartet is comprised of Hannah White and Ria Honda, violins; Kayla Cabrera, viola; and Annamarie Wellems, cello. All four are merit scholarship recipients and Fellows at the Academy of the Music Institute of Chicago, a pre-college training program for highly gifted musicians. The quartet is coached by Roland Vamos and Sang Mee Lee. The award-winning Astera String Quartet recently received First Place at the 2017 ENKOR International Chamber Competition. In addition, they have recently been invited to participate at the 2017 M-Prize International Chamber Competition and 2017 Fischoff Competition. The quartet members individually have earned top prizes at local, regional, national and international competitions and have participated at numerous college residencies, music events and national and international festivals and have appeared in String Magazine, Strad Magazine, Al Jazeera Magazine, Bein and Fushi Magazine, ABC-7, WFMT, WCLV, WVIZ, Ideastream, NPR’s From the Top, and the Violin Channel. Astera String Quartet is unique in that it unites these talented young musicians from varied cultures and places. Hannah, 17, lives in Germantown, WI and is African American and Vietnamese; From Japan, Ria, 16, is Japanese and currently lives in Wilmette, IL; Kayla, 18, lives in Crete, IL and is of Cuban and German descent; Annamarie, 18, lives in Lincolnshire, IL, and has a complex German and Polish heritage. Their varied cultures embody the shining essence of the United States of American. Astera is Latin for “like a Star”.

VIEIRA STRING QUARTET

Vieira Quartet is comprised of violinists, Maya Anjali Buchanan (17) and Karisa Chiu (17), violist, Steven Song (18) and cellist, Nathan Mo (18). All four students are Fellow scholarship recipients at he Music Institute of Chicago Academy, a pre-college training program for gifted musicians. Maya and Karisa study with Almita Vamos, Steven with Geraldo Ribeiro and Nathan with Hans Jorgen Jensen. In addition to their individual achievements, they are enthusiastic chamber musicians. Vieira was awarded first prize at the 2017 Rembrandt Chamber Music Competition and will be competing as a semi-finalist in the 2017 M-Prize International Chamber Arts Competition, A.N. & Pearl G. Barnett Chamber Competition, and as finalists in the Saint Paul String Quartet Competition. The quartet is coached by and named in honor of violinist, Rodolfo Vieira, the founding member of the Botelho Vieira Piano Quartet and string faculty at MIC Academy. Portrayed in Botticelli’s most famous painting The Birth of Venus, “Vieira” represents the seashell on which Venus, goddess of Love, emerges from the sea and is of Spanish/Portuguese origin.

GENEVA STRING QUARTET

The Geneva String Quartet was founded in the fall of 2016 at the Chamber Music Connection (CMC) in Worthington, OH. Coaches include Artistic Director, Deborah Price; Assistant Artistic Director, Stephanie Price-Wong and a team of CMC’s associated faculty. Through CMC, Geneva has performed in masterclasses for the KASA, Formosa, Telegraph, and Doric String Quartets as well as for Jeffrey Irvine and Richard Marshall. They recently won 1st Prize at the Ohio String Teachers’ Association Biennial Chamber Music Competition in January, and 1st Prize in the 4th Coltman Chamber Music Competition in Austin, Texas this past March. The group’s name comes from their plans to travel to Geneva, Switzerland with CMC in the summer of 2017. The Geneva members, Daniel Wu (16), Kelly Gembara (17), Lizzy Macintosh (17), and Isaiah Wu (16), will travel to Switzerland to participate in the CMC Study & Performance Abroad Program with members of the Caroga Lake Music Festival (NY).

 

2017 Program

Low Resolution pdf file

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2017 Event Video Archived

2017 Live Stream Archived

Each year we provide a Web Stream of the entire competition so that family, friends, teachers and others can enjoy seeing and hearing your group perform. Although the event has ended, it is now archived at Hamline University


Archived Web Stream

 



03

Process

"“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.” ~ Robert Schumann

How do you compare several different string quartets? So many subjective preferences go into the equation. At the outset we attempt to level the playing field as much as possible. As the renowned Eugene Lehner of the legendary Kolisch Quartet made plain, "all good quartet players must know Haydn and the Classical Era - the birthplace of the quartet". Thus, the first required element of the competition became clear; a celebrated string quartet by Joseph Haydn.

What else is indicative of accomplishment as a quartet? Each group must show its sonic palette and technical capacity in a variety of style periods. Here a Romantic/Nationalist Era work emerges as important. Beethoven/Schubert and Debussy/Ravel quartet masterpieces frame this range.

How about something modern or contemporary?
For our high school quartets, a work of musical expression from the modern era is vital to establishing the quartet’s complete range of stylistic awareness and technical accomplishment. Some groups choose well-established compositions, others more avant-garde or cutting edge - all to best suit the style of the ensemble and all of it quality string quartet music.

What happens now? Each of the ensembles prepares and submits a recording from the three required musical periods in early March. The pre-liminary jury members listen individually to unidentified copies of the applicants' recordings. They then return detailed written comments on the submitted performances. Each piece is scored in the categories of Tone Quality, Intonation, Ensemble & Balance, and Musical Ideas. The groups receiving the highest overall scores are invited to compete in the Final Round event in St. Paul.



04

Genesis

2
Apples to Apples

The SPSQC was created to provide an opportunity for young stirng quartets to compare themselves directky to other stirng quartets. Apple to Apples.

 

About us

Founded in 2006 as a performance forum for outstanding high school chamber musicians, the Saint Paul String Quartet Competition's primary mission is to celebrate excellence in string quartet playing, foster an increased appreciation for the chamber music art form, and enhance the music culture in this country. The SPSQC has garnered a national reputation for showcasing our nations finest pre-college string players and young artists from this event now populate the most prestigious conservatories and music programs in the country.

The competition is open to quartets whose members are 19 years or younger. Unidentified copies of quartets’ audition recordings are reviewed and individually ranked by a preliminary jury of three from across the country. The top scoring quartets are invited to St. Paul to perform in the Final Round event, juried by a renowned professional string quartet. Both the preliminary and final juries consist of members of reknowned quartets including the Arianna, Chiara, Daedalus, Jupiter, Maia, Miami, Miro, Rackham, Takacs and former members of the Artaria String Quartet.

The SPSQC Awards include $2,600 in Gold, Silver, and Bronze prize money, and a set of beautiful handmade wooden stands from Anderson Music Stands for the winning quartet. More important, the performers take away a profound sense of accomplishment and pride in a job well done.


"Where they are now"

Latest News

2017 Saint Paul String Quartet Competition PRIZEWINNERS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ray Shows, Artistic Director
Saint Paul String Quartet Competition
651-587-7595
spsqc@artaria.us

ST. PAUL – April 24, 2017

The 2017 Saint Paul String Quartet Competition (SPSQC), the nation’s premiere event for high school string quartets, was held April 22 in Sundin Music Hall on the campus of Hamline University. From a strong pool of applicants, six outstanding high school quartets were selected to compete in two rounds of competition judged by the renowned Daedalus Quartet. The preparation and performance level of the quartets were once again very good; each ensemble presented a unique voice to the rapt audience in attendance and viewing the live stream (1143 votes were cast online). Chamber music is in good hands for the future.

This year’s Gold medalist ensemble was the Astera String Quartet from Music Institute of Chicago. They had outstanding performances of the well known Grieg Quartet in g-minor and the soon to be well known quartet Allaqi by Canadian composer Marcus Goddard. Another Music Institute of Chicago ensemble, the Vieira Quartet, won the Silver medals and the Haydn Prize with strong performances of the first movement of the Brahms a-minor quartet and an electrifying fifth movement of Bartók Quartet No.4. DAJJ Quartet from Chamber Music Connection in Columbus Ohio took the Bronze medals with a well played performance of Mendelssohn’s lovely string quartet Op.13 in a-minor (mov’t 1). Their reading of Shostakovich Quartet No.3 (3rd mvt) was taut and powerful. The Kartoshka Quartet from Midwest Young Artists received an Honorable Mention certificate for fine performances of Smetana and Stacy Garrop quartet movements.

The jury for the 2017 SPSQC Final Round was the Daedalus Quartet. Prelim judges were Geoff Nuttall, violinist of the St. Lawrence String Quartet; Renee Skerik, violist of the American Piano Quintet; and Astrid Schween, new cellist of the Juilliard 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.

The SPSQC has now presented its 12th 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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This year’s finalists were selected from applicants across the country by an esteemed preliminary jury of professional string quartet players; violinist Geoff Nuttall (St. Lawrence String Quartet), violist Renee Skerik (Artaria String Quartet), and cellist Astrid Schween (Juilliard String Quartet).  The jury for the 2017 SPSQC Final Rounds will be renowned Daedalus Quartet.

There are 2 distinct rounds in this event: The Haydn Round will feature movements from the “Father” of the string quartet genre, and the Final Round will consist of a Romantic/Nationalist work and a Modern piece. Each quartet will be evaluated in the categories of Tone Quality, Intonation, Ensemble & Balance, and Musical Ideas. There will also be an audience prize awarded.

The Saint Paul String Quartet Competition was created as a performance showcase for advanced high school quartet studies. This unique national event has received superlative acclaim by Strings magazine 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.”

Founded in 2006 by Artaria String Quartet violinist Ray Shows, the 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 in the Final Round each April.

 

Gold Medalists Silver Medalists Bronze Medalists

Distinguished Juries

Pro Arte String Quartet
St. Lawrence String Quartet
Cuarteto Latinoamericano
Shanghai Quartet
Escher Quartet
Pacifica String Quartet
Cavani String Quartet
Daedalus String Quartet
Arianna String Quartet
Miro Quartet
Maia Quartet
The SPSQC has the finest adjudication in chamber music. In addition to a superb cadre of professional quartets for the Final Rounds, the SPSQC has engaged members of the Miami String Quartet, Artaria Quartet of Boston, Enso Quartet, Concord String Quartet, Ames Piano Quartet, Alexander Quartet, Miami String Quartet, Rackham String Quartet, Colorado Quartet, Fry Street Quartet, Bergonzi Quartet, Jupiter Quartet, Chiara String Quartet, and Takacs Quartet to serve as preliminary round evaluators.

 

Distinguished Supporters

TCF Foundation
D and K Grandstrand Family
Mr. & Mrs. J Green
Claire Givens Violins
Schubert Club
John Waddle Violins
Dennis Carey & Bruce Taylor
Anna H. Heilmaer Foundation
House of Note
James & Perry Leger
Artaria String Quartet
The SPSQC receives outstanding and diverse community support for this unique event. Please join us in the mentoring and education of this country's next generation of stellar chamber musicians.You can visit the Support page to see what projects need your financial support.