Banff International String Quartet Competition showcases jury, reimagined competition elements, and Canadian commission

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BANFF, AB, July 7, 2024 – The Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC) returns for its 15th iteration with an internationally celebrated jury and Rapprochement, a newly commissioned piece by Canadian composer Kati Agócs.

The 2025 competition also introduces innovative elements to reflect the evolving environment that a winning quartet will navigate on the world stage, most notably, the finals round which is curated by the competitors with repertoire of their own choosing.

An esteemed panel of international jurors representing current and former members of some of the most important quartets of our time will evaluate the competitors. Jurors include:

2025 Preliminary Jury: Joshua Gindele (Miró Quartet), Ayane Kozasa (Aizuri Quartet/Kronos Quartet), Guillaume Sutre (Ysaÿe Quartet).

2025 Competition Jury: Eckart Runge (Artemis Quartet), Marie Chilemme (Quatuor Cavatine/Quatuor Ebène), Jonathan Crow (New Orford String Quartet), Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt (Dover Quartet), Honggang Li (Shanghai Quartet), Eugene Drucker (Emerson String Quartet), David Ying (Ying Quartet).

“We are thrilled to share this announcement of rules, repertoire, and jury for BISQC,” says Barry Shiffman, director of BISQC. “In just over a year Banff will again become the focus of the music world as ten extraordinary ensembles perform before our passionate audience and prestigious jury, in a festival-like celebration of music and opportunity. If you are a quartet with dreams of an international performing career, I encourage you to consider applying. If you are a music lover that enjoys community and beauty of place, save the dates and join us for a week unlike any other.”

This year’s competition offers over $500,000 CAD in cash, prizes, and career development opportunities which include touring, a recording residency, the Southern Methodist University Peak Fellowship Ensemble-in-Residence Prize of a paid residency worth $110,000 CAD, an Esterházy Foundation Residency with concerts at Haydn Hall in Eisenstadt and the Lucerne Festival, and an opportunity for a two-week Chamber Music in Residency at the prestigious Britten Pears Arts in England. MKI Artists and Konzertdirektion Hampl will oversee and manage the extensive touring of North America and Europe as part of the first prize winner’s tour. Every participating quartet is set to benefit with all non-finalists receiving a Christine and David Anderson Prize of $5,000 CAD. Additionally, BISQC will cover all travel, accommodation, and meals for invited quartets, ensuring an inclusive and supportive environment for all competitors.

The Competition will take place between August 25 to 31, 2025 at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in the Canadian Rockies with thanks to the generosity of lead supporter The Azrieli Foundation, as well as many other supporters. Past winners have seen their careers soar after winning BISQC – the St Lawrence, Dover, Isidore, Marmen, Viano and Miró quartets among the list. Emerging groups of all nationalities whose members are each under the age of 35 as of the end of the competition are encouraged to apply for this career launching opportunity. Applications will be open for submission between the dates of October 1, 2024 and March 1, 2025.

The complete 2025 Rules, Regulations, and Repertoire document is available online now. To access this document, and for additional information on eligibility, competition rounds and prizes, visit


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