Catching Up With Our BISQC Laureates

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It’s no secret that the Banff International String Quartet Competition attracts some of the finest young quartets from around the globe, so it should come as no surprise that our laureates continue to receive landmark recognitions well after their time at BISQC. This month, we caught up with three of our laureate quartets on their recent achievements.

Cecilia String Quartet:

Hailed for their powerful and daring performances, the Cecilia String Quartet was awarded First Prize at the 2010 Banff International String Quartet Competition. They released their fourth album, Felix Mendelssohn: String Quartets Op. 44, No. 1 and No. 2, for ANALEKTA this past October to critical acclaim. It was produced by Banff Centre guest lecturer, Carl Talbot, with help from Banff Centre audio engineer practicum alumnus, Philip Gosselin, as an assistant sound engineer.

The album was named as one of the 10 best Canadian Classical Albums of 2015 by the CBC, and is described by Matthew Parsons as "anything but unadventurous." Gramophone Magazine calls the record “a terrific achievement." To solidify the success of this album, it was nominated for a 2016 Juno award for the category of Classical Album of the Year: Solo or Chamber Ensemble.

Juno awards will be announced on April 3, 2016. You can purchase the album here. 

Afiara Quartet:

Since being awarded the Second Prize at the 2010 Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Afiara Quartet has continued with ground-breaking and innovative initiatives. Their ongoing project, Spin Cycle, is a collaboration between the quartet, the renowned DJ Skratch Bastid, and four of Canada’s preeminent young composers (Kevin Lau, Laura Silberberg, Rob Teehan, and Dinuk Wijeratne). 

They premiered the project live at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto as part of the 21C Festival and released an accompanying album in May 2015. Released on Centrediscs, Spin Cycle was produced by Banff Centre’s very own Director of Audio Production, Theresa Leonard, with help from Banff Centre audio engineer practicum alumnus Poya Hamidi, as the audio engineer.

Named as one of the 10 best Canadian Classical Albums of 2015 by the CBC, this album was also nominated for a 2016 Juno award for the category of Instrumental Album of the Year.

The Afiara Quartet and DJ Skratch Bastid will perform Spin Cycle live on September 1, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. in the Eric Harvie Theatre as part of the 2016 Banff International String Quartet Competition.

Audience packages for BISQC 2016 are now on sale. Individual tickets will go on sale on May 4. Juno awards will be announced on April 3, 2016. You can purchase the album here. 

Dover Quartet:

After winning virtually every prize at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Dover Quartet has continued to amass an awe-inspiring number of accolades. 

From top prizes at the Fischoff Competition and the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, to becoming the first ever Quartet-in-Residence for the Curtis Institute of Music, to the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award, the Dover Quartet has established itself as the string quartet of the moment. Most recently, they were awarded the Hunt Family Award as part of the Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Awards, which celebrates emerging stars in the performing arts.

The Dover Quartet returns to Banff Centre to perform alongside pianist Jon Kimura Parker in a special alumni gala on September 2, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. in the Eric Harvie Theatre as part of the 2016 Banff International String Quartet Competition.

Audience packages for BISQC 2016 are now on sale. Individual tickets will go on sale on May 4.