BANFF – For the first time in the history of the Banff International String Quartet Competition, two string quartets stood side-by-side as the winners of one of the most prestigious classical music competitions.
Out of the 10 competing quartets, the Marmen Quartet from the U.K. and the Viano String Quartet from Canada and the U.S. were awarded first place after a two hour deliberation from the jury of distinguished musicians.
Both string quartets received a cash prize of $16,500, a residency at the Banff Centre with included recording, coaching and mentorship opportunities and an additional paid residency with the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
“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 director of BISQC Barry Shiffman in a press release.
“The artistry of the Viano and Marmen Quartets deserve the first 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.”
Furthermore, the Marmen Quartet and Viano String Quartet will be touring together to perform in concerts across Europe and North America.
Coming in second place at the BISQC is the Callisto Quartet from the U.S., awarded with a $12,000 cash prize, as well as a Banff Centre residency supported with coaching and mentorship.
Taking place every three years, BISQC is known for jump starting the careers of many famous string quartets including the Rolston Sting Quartet in 2016 and the Dover Quartet in 2013. The next competition is set to take place in the fall of 2022.