Wednesday, November 16, 2016

WINNERS: The American Prize in Chamber Music, 2016


The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, and runners-up and citation recipient of The American Prize in Chamber Music Performance, 2016, in professional, college/university and high school divisions. Congratulations!

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog. Please use the chronological tool in the right-hand column to find specific results.

Please make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com

The American Prize 
in Chamber Music Performance, 2016 
(professional division)

The American Prize winner:
AVERY ENSEMBLE
Provo, UT
AVERY ENSEMBLE
Now in its sixteenth season, the Avery Ensemble is a piano quartet praised by Audiophile Audition as "marvelous," and by the Classical Voice of New England as "committed. . . excellent. . . amazing and persuasive. . . . . simply outstanding."  Recent engagements include the Chamber Music Society of Central Kentucky, Coe Hall in New York, and the Auditório Jurerê Classic in Florianopolis, Brazil. The Avery Ensemble has been sought out for premieres of music by living composers, and commercial recordings of Avery premieres are available on Ablaze (2011) and Parma Records (2014). Avery also excels in historically informed performance of early music, and in 2016 will launch a new CD including Mozart's Quartet in g minor performed as originally published with harpsichord as the keyboard instrument. Further Avery recordings include piano trios by Mendelssohn and Copland (2000), and piano quartets by Brahms, Mahler and Schnittke (Zephyr, 2007). www.averyensemble.org.


2nd PLACE:
ARGUS QUARTET
Branford, CT
ARGUS QUARTET
The Argus Quartet is dedicated to reinvigorating the audience-performer relationship through new and innovative concert presentations of diverse repertoire – connecting with and building up a community of engaged listeners is at the core of the quartet’s mission.

Recent performances include appearances at Carnegie Hall, Laguna Beach Live!, Encinitas’ Music By The Sea, the Hear Now Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, the Birdfoot Festival, and the Cello Biënnale Amsterdam.

The Argus Quartet believes that today’s ensembles must honor the storied chamber music traditions of our past while forging a new path forward. In that spirit, their repertoire includes not just staples of the chamber music canon, but also a large number of pieces by living composers.

Argus recently began an appointment as the Yale School of Music’s fellowship quartet-in-residence, and is the first ensemble to be mentored by the Brentano String Quartet in that capacity. Please visit www.ArgusQuartet.com for more information.


3rd PLACE (there was a tie):
THE SCOTT/GARRSON DUO
Moscow, ID
THE SCOTT/GARRSON DUO
The Scott/Garrison Duo, featuring clarinetist Shannon Scott, Assistant Professor of Clarinet at Washington State University, and flutist Leonard Garrison, Associate Professor of Flute at the University of Idaho, has performed together since 1988. They have been featured at national conventions of the National Flute Association, the College Music Society, and the National Association of Wind and Percussion Instructors and have released two critically acclaimed CDs. The Instrumentalist wrote of Perennials, “The Scott/Garrison Duo accompanied by Rajung Yang brings this music to life and sets the bar high for outstanding chamber music performance.” Fanfare Magazine wrote of Barn Dances, “In the hands of these two wonderful artists, more colors are evoked than one might believe possible… The consummate artistry and polished ensemble playing of the Scott/Garrison Duo as heard on this disc ought to win them many admirers.”


3rd PLACE (there was a tie):
QUINTEXAS
Austin, TX
QUINTEXAS
In the fall of 2014, QuinTexas formed as a group of doctoral performance candidates within the Butler School of Music at The University of Texas at Austin. The group was awarded the 2015 Coleman-Saunderson Prize in Winds, Brass, and Percussion at the 69th Annual Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition in Pasadena, California, granted the Odyssey Chamber Music Series Honorable Mention at the 2015 Plowman Chamber Music Competition in Columbia, Missouri, and received an invitation to compete in the 2015 Plovdiv International Chamber Music Competition in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Enthusiastic educators, the ensemble has worked with the Austin Chamber Music Center to present educational concerts in public schools throughout the Austin Independent School District, and have been featured guests in recitals and master classes at Baylor University, The University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.

Visit www.quintexas.com for more information about QuinTexas.


SPECIAL CITATION RECIPIENT:
"Sustained Excellence in the Performance of Beethoven Violin Sonatas"
ELAN DUO
Fairfield, CT
ELAN DUO
The Elan Duo was formed in 2010 by British violinist Andrew Smith and Bulgarian pianist Elina Christova. The duo immediately launched Project Beethoven, performing the composer's ten violin sonatas in a cycle of concerts throughout the US and recording them in 2012 at Radford University in Virginia for the PnOVA Recordings label. Outside of their collaborative work, the musicians enjoy multi-faceted careers. Andrew is executive director of a non-profit music school, and records over 50 projects for television and film each year; Elina teaches in her private studio and is currently realizing her Scriabin Project, performing the composer’s entire published piano works in a cycle of seven concerts with a planned recording in the upcoming summer. Elan Duo’s interests represent an eclectic range of repertoire, with works by Grażyna Bacewicz, Guillame Lekeu, Arvo Pärt, as well as more classical composers.
 


The American Prize 
in Chamber Music Performance, 2016 
(college/university division)

The American Prize winner:
MIRASOL QUARTET
Amarillo, TX
MIRASOL QUARTET
Formed in the fall of 2013 at Texas Tech University, Mirasol quartet consists of James Barger, Andrew Reinhart, Ben Still, and Ben Donnell. Recently, Mirasol Quartet was awarded the Grand Prize in the 2015/2016 ENKOR Chamber Music Competition and the Gold Medal in the Wind Division at the 42nd Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Additionally, they performed as guest artists at the Midwest Clinic and presented a session on chamber music education at the Texas Music Educators Conference. In October of 2015, the quartet presented concerts and master classes at Andrews University, Ivy Tech Community College, Wabash College, Culver Academies, and public schools in Mishawaka, Indiana as a part of Fischoff's Double Gold Medal Winner’s Tour. Committed to musical and educational outreach, the group frequently performs at public schools as advocates of arts education and chamber music. Mirasol Quartet are Conn-Selmer Artists and perform on Selmer Paris saxophones exclusively.


2nd PLACE:
GALESTRO-SMITH DUO
Winchester, VA
GALESTRO-SMITH DUO
The award winning Galestro-Smith Duo formed in early 2010 during their undergraduate classical studies at Stetson University, DeLand, Florida. Flutist Angela Galestro and guitarist Jonathan Smith have delighted audiences across the Southeast and Midwest United States and in concert as far away as Assisi and Cervo, Italy. Both highly accomplished artists, the duo offers a diverse repertoire of classical, jazz, Latin American and popular music. Eager to advance their careers as a substantial component to the musical world, the Galestro-Smith Duo has studied under and participated in master classes with internationally renowned artists. The duo has performed for international events and festivals including GuitarSarasota, Suonare in Italia, and the Mediterranean Guitar Festival. Most recently, June 2014, the GS Duo was awarded 1st prize in the ensemble division at the Southern Guitar Festival in Columbia, South Carolina. Both Angela and Jonathan received their Master of Music degrees from University of Akron and Bachelor of Music degrees from Stetson University. They currently reside in the pleasant city of Winchester, Virginia and are pursuing their doctoral studies at Shenandoah Conservatory as of Fall 2014. http://www.GalestroSmithDuo.com


3rd PLACE:
AQUILA TRIO
Wheaton, IL
AQUILA TRIO
The Chicago-based Aquila Trio has been making music together for less than one year. Samantha Kruger (violin), Mark Allen (clarinet), and Michael Messer (piano) are students at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, and enjoy performing many styles of music written for their ensemble’s unique instrumentation. Their goal is to continue to spread this wonderful music throughout the many communities of Chicago and the surrounding areas.


The American Prize 
in Chamber Music Performance, 2016 
(high school division) 

The American Prize winner:
THE NEW AMSTERDAM TRIO
New York, NY
THE NEW AMSTERDAM TRIO
Jane Bua (piano), Daniel Rafimayeri (violin) and John Skiera (cello) met at the Manhattan School of Music’s PreCollege program and formed The New Amsterdam Trio in the fall of 2014. Described as possessing a “Beautiful sense of balance, cohesion and group vision”, these dedicated and dynamic young musicians have received recognition for solo, ensemble and orchestral work and have performed at major concert venues in New York City including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and The Great Hall Balcony of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Other highlights include Manhattan School of Music’s 2016 Chamber Music Competition winners’ concert and appearances with Decoda Chamber Music Institute, Heifetz Institute, New York Concerti Sinfonietta, Chamber Music Center of New York, Greenwood Music, Lighthouse Chamber Players, Manhattan in the Mountains and Forum Musikae Madrid. Additionally, the members are active performers with Concerts-in-Motion, an outreach organization which brings music to the homebound.


2nd PLACE:
THE AMADEUS STRING QUARTET
Pittsburgh, PA
THE AMADEUS STRING QUARTET
The Amadeus Quartet is a string ensemble of four, 16-year old musicians from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Its members are Joseph Comella (violin; PA Leadership Charter School), Minori Hayakawa (violin; Upper St. Clair High School), Yosen Wang (viola; North Allegheny High School), and Chris Fedor (cello; North Allegheny High School).  Each of the musicians is a member/alumnus of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra. Coached by Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra violinist Dennis O'Boyle, this quartet was organized in September 2015 under the Youth Chamber Connection program managed by Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras. Dedicated to promoting chamber music within the community, the ensemble has performed live on local radios, provided pre-concert recitals in Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts, and entertained at local museums.  Other venues include the Pittsburgh Speakers Series and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra fundraising. Recently, Amadeus was selected to be featured at the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Tiffany concert in April of 2016.


3rd PLACE:
SALO QUARTET
Pleasant Valley, NY
SALO QUARTET
The Salo quartet began rehearsing every day at Arlington high school starting in early September, 2015. The quartet consists of four students from Arlington High School in LaGrangeville, NY: Steven Oh (violin), Ellen Li (violin), Adam Cooper (Cello), and Sara Truncali (viola). They have enjoyed coachings from their incredible music director, Mr. Jonathan Handman, members of the Jasper String Quartet, and faculty of SUNY Purchase and the Boston Conservatory. Each member of the quartet has been involved in chamber music programs for the last five years. Outside of music, hobbies of the quartet include theatre, ping-pong, basketball, and more music! They are very excited about numerous musical opportunities and have enjoyed working hard to make their music come to life.


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Congratulations!

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