Rhinegold Photo credit: Don Lee

Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Rolston String Quartet win Banff competition

3:54, 21st September 2016

The Rolston String Quartet has been awarded first prize at the 12th Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC).

The Canadian ensemble receives $25,000 (£14,600) and a specially-designed three-year career development programme, which includes a professional recording at Banff Centre and a tour across 50 North American and European cities.

The ensemble also won the Esterházy Foundation prize and the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance prize.

The Rolston String Quartet (violinists Luri Lee and Jeffrey Dyrda, violist Hazekiah Leung and cellist Jonathan Lo) was formed at the Banff Centre’s Chamber Music Residency in 2013. Other competition successes include grand prize at Chamber Music Yellow Springs, third prize at the inaugural M-Prize and the Durosoir Prize at the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition (all 2016).

BISQC executive director Barry Shiffman said that the quartet ‘demonstrated excellence across multiple genres’.

Second prize (worth $12,000, or £7,000) went to the Tesla Quartet, which also won the R.S. Williams & Sons Haydn prize and the Canadian Commission prize ($3,000, or £1,750, each), and third prize ($8,000, or $4,670) went to the Castilian String Quartet.

For the first time, the seven quartets which did not advance to the final round received a career development award of $4,000 (£2,330).

The prize winners were selected by a jury comprising Vera Beths (Rondom Kwartet), Denis Brott (Orford String Quartet), Isabel Charisius (Alban Berg Quartet), Yoshiko Nakura (Tokyo String Quartet), Geoff Nuttall (St Lawrence String Quartet), Peter Salaff (Cleveland Quartet) and Alasdair Tait (Belcea Quartet).

The competition was founded in 1983 to mark the 50th anniversary of Banff Centre. Previous winners include the Dover Quartet (2013), the Cecilia String Quartet (2010) and the Miró Quartet (1998).

The final round of the competition

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