The first competition took place on October 27th 2012. Seven quartets had accepted the invitation to audition in Berlin. The jury consisted of the following professors: Wolfgang Boettcher, cello; Volker Jacobsen, viola; and Oliver Wille, violin. The interview following the audition was considered very important and influenced the overall result.
The Polish Meccore Quartet was awarded the first prize; the second prize went to the German Armida Quartett, and the German Schumann Quartett obtained the third prize.
We are happy that all prizewinners have developped very favourably and more than fulfil our expectations:
Meccore Quartet have by now cretaed their own quartet festival in Poznan, and their first CD (financed with the prize money) was very well received. Above all, they have been given a contract by an important American concert agency and have completed two concert tours in the States. They have now recorded their second CD.
Armida Quartett has won a prestigious German record prize and is playing numerous concerts in Germany and abroad. During the coming concert season they will perform as "rising stars", playing in many great concert halls who are ECHO members.
The Schumann Quartett won the international string quartet competition of Bordeaux in 2013 and in 2014 was awarded the big chamber music prize offered every other year by the Jürgen Ponto Stiftung. The new violist has very successfully integrated, and the quartet is giving many concerts.
Even a quartet that has won a prize of the foundation neither in 2012 nor in 2014, the Slovak Mucha Quartett, has obtained second prize and the public‘s prize at the Premio Borciani in Reggio Emilia (near Bologna) in 2014.
The second competition was held on November 15th 2014 at the Brandenburg radio in Berlin.
The audience was larger than expected. Again seven quartets came to audition.
This time Viviane Hagner, violin, professor Stefan Fehlandt, viola, and Michael Haknazaryan, cello, had accepted to act as jurors.
The first prize (12.000 €) went to the French Noga Quartet; Meccore Quartet obtained the second prize (6.000 €), and Quartet BerlinTokyo was awarded the third prize (4.000 €).
These winners are also very successful: At the international chamber music competition in Melbourne Noga won first prize and the public‘s prize in 2015. Early this year they recorded their first CD.
Their concert with the Brussels Lunch Concerts was a huge success.
Quartet BerlinTokyo receives invitations to festivals and other events and gets highly positive reviews.
Even non-prizewinners are building a career:
The Alinde Quartet made it into the semi-finals in London in 2015. Aris Quartett plays at various festivals.
The Dutch Dudok Quartett which was considered fourth best ensemble in 2014, has been awarded the highly sought-after Kersele prize in 2015, a renowned chamber music prize in the Netherlands.
The Aris Quartet who had not obtained a prize in 2014 was this time awarded the first prize by unanimous decision of the jury. They were absolutely convincing both in their playing and in the ensuing interview.
A few weeks later they received in Berlin the important chamber music prize of the Jürgen Ponto Foundation who every other year chooses as recipient a string quartet of the German speaking countries (Germany, Switzerland, Austria). In this case also the astounding artistic development of the group was duly rewarded.
The young Eliot Quartet, equally based in Francfort, obtained the 2nd prize, rewarding above all the commendable quality they have been able to reach after only one year of playing together.
There was no unanimity concerning the 3rd prize. This is why it was split between the Spanish Quartet Gerhard and the young Furiant Quartet whose members come from various eastern European countries. This solution satisfied all those concerned.
The special encouragement prize for attending the masterclass in Weikersheim was given to the young French Quartuor Tchalik.
The Italian Quartetto Indaco had already received this prize at another occasion, but not yet attended the course.
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