EQ: Evolution of the String Quartet

Summer Music 2018
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Program Information

Photo credit: Claire Chase.


Featuring three of the most exciting string quartets to be found anywhere—JACK, Parker and Eybler quartets—along with an extraordinary group of soloists, composers, and scholars, Evolution of the String Quartet (EQ) explores the string quartet lineage from Haydn to music made in Banff by and for the faculty and participants of EQ.

Participants will explore the early string quartet, with sessions on intonation, harmony, and structure, as well as in-depth discussions of style and rhetoric. Major quartets of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Brahms, and Bartók will be studied alongside those of Xenakis, Lachenmann, and renowned faculty composers Chaya Czernowin, Zosha Di Castri, and Tyshawn Sorey. Sorey and Di Castri will compose works that will receive world premieres by EQ faculty quartets. Participants and audiences alike will explore the lineage of the string quartet both as an historical genre and its new and invigorated practices in the early 21st century.

What does the program offer?

Participants attending EQ will present public and in-house performances. The residency will produce nearly a concert per day for three weeks—from publicized, ticketed events to participant-driven “throw downs” to simultaneous open studio performances. There will be ample opportunity to perform. 

Participants will also convene in a daily meeting for high-level presentations by select faculty about musical aesthetics, interpretative issues, and ensemble management. Performance faculty will offer coaching. Composers will receive instruction and mentorship from Summer Music's internationally distinguished composition faculty, and will have their pieces performed by participants.

Who should apply?

Established string quartets, composers, improvisers, and scholars are encouraged to apply. The successful applicants will be post-secondary students or emerging artists, already at an advanced level of accomplishment and with a well-documented record of musical exploration. Artists from historically underrepresented groups are especially welcomed.


What's Included

Single or Shared RoomRead MoreClose

When applying, choose between staying in a single or a shared bedroom on the Banff Centre campus for the duration of your program.

Get connected with other artists on campus and focus on your projects in a creative environment while we take care of the day-to-day essentials.

Regular Meal PlanRead MoreClose

Using a credit-based system to dine on campus, our flexible meal plans allow you to select meals according to your own needs during your stay.

The Regular Flex meal plan includes $29 credit per day, equivalent to lunch and dinner in Vistas Dining Room.

Recording OpportunitiesRead MoreClose

Demo recordings: you’ll have the option to record up to 30 minutes of music at a reduced rate as part of your program. These recordings are intended to be used for auditions or personal promotion, not for commercial purposes.

Studio recordings: commercial recordings can also be integrated into a music residency at normal rates.

Showcase Your WorkRead MoreClose

This program offers opportunities to showcase your work-in-progress in one of our performance venues.

Gym MembershipRead MoreClose

Your program fee includes free access to the swimming pool, climbing gym, and fitness suite as well as discounted rates for classes at the Sally Borden Fitness and Recreation Centre.

Paul D. Fleck Library and ArchivesRead MoreClose

Access a wide range of publications, books, music and films in the Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives, open six days a week.

Box Office DiscountsRead MoreClose

Enjoy special artist rates for ticketed performances or complimentary access to events.

Participant ResourcesRead MoreClose

Enrich your experience and get to know other artists on campus by taking advantage of the activities and support provided by our Participant Resources team.

Fees & Financial Assistance

Program Fee (single room)
$3 264.55
Program Fee with Financial Aid (single room)
$1 922.55
Program Fee (shared room)
$2 670.04
Program Fee with Financial Aid (shared room)
$1 328.04

Application fee: $65 

Additional need-based financial aid is available. Please complete the Financial Aid section when uploading your supporting materials to SlideRoom to be considered for additional support.

Help fund your experience at Banff Centre! View a compiled list of national and international opportunities here.

How to Apply

Sample of Work

Upload three samples of your artistic work. Examples should provide a portrait of yourself and the breadth and diversity of your creative life.


A one-page resume or C.V. describing academic, professional, and other relevant experience.

Personal Statement

A 500-word description of why you wish to attend this program, what you hope to learn, and what impact it could have on your artistic practice.

If you are applying as an individual, you must complete both the online application form (including $65 processing fee) and a SlideRoom application. If you are applying as an ensemble, the ensemble leader must complete both the online application form (including $65 processing fee) and a SlideRoom application. Please submit only one SlideRoom application per group. There will be a $35 registration fee of each member upon acceptance to the program.


Participants are selected by impartial adjudicators on the basis of their submitted material. In addition to artistic merit, consideration will be given to the likelihood that the artist's work will benefit from the program. 

Applicants will be notified of their status as soon as adjudication is complete.

All programs, faculty, dates, fees, and offers of financial assistance are subject to change. Program fee is subject to applicable taxes. Non-refundable fees and deposits will be retained upon cancellation. Any other fees are refunded at the discretion of the Banff Centre. The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.

Contact the Registrar

For questions on preparing your application, please contact the Office of the Registrar:

Toll Free Number (Canada + USA)