Friday, December 29, 2017

WINNERS: The American Prize in Chamber Music Performance, 2017-18


The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, and runners-up and citation recipient of The American Prize in Chamber Music Performance, 2017-18, 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, 2017-18
(professional division)

The American Prize winner:
Ulysses Quartet
New York NY

Ulysses Quartet
Winners of the Grand Prize and the Gold Medal in the Senior String Division of the 2016 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the Ulysses String Quartet was founded in the summer of 2015. Hailing from Canada, the United States, and Taiwan, they competed in the Semifinals Round of the 2016 Banff International String Quartet Competition and garnered a Career Development Grant. Ulysses members also hold principal positions the Cape Symphony, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Shattered Glass, International Chamber Players, and Miami Symphony. Recent and upcoming season highlights include appearances on the Schneider Concerts, Music Talks, Nth Degree, and NOVA chamber series. In addition, the quartet will perform at the Kneisel Hall, “Produced by Ichiyanagi,” Oregon, and Emilia Romagna Music Festivals, as well as the La Jolla Music Society Summerfest. Members perform on instruments and bows graciously on loan from the Canada Council of the Arts Instrument Bank and the Maestro Foundation.  Ulyssesquartet.com


2nd PLACE:
Amarillo Virtuosi
Amarillo TX

Amarillo Virtuosi
Chamber Music Amarillo is a performing arts nonprofit organization located in Amarillo, Texas.  Our mission is to foster an appreciation for chamber music, chamber orchestra, and jazz by engaging and inspiring individuals, families and communities through unsurpassed, live, intimate musical experiences. CMA continually exceeds the artistic expectations of our region. One way CMA is able to do this time and time again is through the extraordinary abilities of The Amarillo Virtuosi. The Amarillo Virtuosi is a chamber orchestra ensemble comprised of professional musicians from all parts of the Texas Panhandle and beyond. In 2014, The Amarillo Virtuosi performed the inimitable Brandenburg Concerti by J.S. Bach. This performance was sponsored by generous local philanthropists and a large amount of community support.


3rd PLACE
icarus Quartet
Baltimore MD
icarus Quartet

Like the mythological figure from which it draws its name, the half piano, half percussion icarus Quartet dares to fly towards the sun, aspiring to new heights of artistry. Following their Carnegie Hall debut, composer Paul Lansky simply remarked, “This is music making of the highest order.”

While pursuing their graduate degrees at the Yale School of Music, the members of iQ were brought together to represent the school in its prestigious concert series, Yale in New York, with the Yale Percussion Group under the guidance of Robert van Sice. Composition chair Martin Bresnick regarded an appearance of the Quartet as “one of the best student performances of any work I have ever heard… They played with great energy, sensitivity and precision.” They have since performed throughout the northeast as well as in a recent set at the 2017 New Music Gathering in Bowling Green, Ohio. In the 2017-18 season, icarus serves as Ensemble-in-Residence for Music at St. David's in Baltimore, and will also be featured on Yale's distinguished Horowitz Piano Series.

Passionate about educating and engaging with the next generation of musicians, iQ often works in school and university settings. They give classes and coachings on chamber music, as well as composition seminars on writing for their instruments. The icarus percussionists (icarus Duo) are in residence with Yale College, reading, workshopping, and premiering new student works.

Larry Weng, Yevgeny Yontov, Matt Keown, and Jeff Stern are all celebrated soloists in their own rights, with international prizes to their names, and together they have found a special chemistry and inimitable joy playing chamber music. They are dedicated to the discovery, creation, and performance of new music, but what distinguishes their approach to contemporary music is a strong training and background in the classical genre. icarus Quartet is committed to performing new works with a studied and convincing interpretation that mirrors the validity of works with performance practices developed over centuries. visit www.icarusquartet.org



The American Prize 
in Chamber Music Performance, 2017-18
(college/university division)

The American Prize winner:
Sound Out Loud
Madison WI

Sound Out Loud 
Sound Out Loud is a new music ensemble currently based out of Madison, Wisconsin. The group specializes in contemporary music from the early 20th century to the present, as well as commissions new works to be written for it. Having drawn inspiration from numerous performance ensembles (such as Eighth Blackbird, Silk Road, and the International Contemporary Ensemble), the group seeks to expand the realm of possibilities within the chamber ensemble repertoire through the implementation of experimental techniques, the incorporation of a variety of instruments and musical styles from the Middle East and Asia, innovative performance practice, and the use of live electronics. Website: www.soundoutloudensemble.com

 
2nd PLACE:
Bear Lake Wind Quintet
Greeley CO

Bear Lake Wind Quintet
The Bear Lake Wind Quintet is the University of Northern Colorado's flagship ensemble for woodwind performance.  Formed in 2015, and based in Greeley, Colorado, the Quintet is named for beautiful Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. The group’s members include flutist Justin Cook, oboist Pablo Hernandez, clarinetist Kaitlin Fahy, hornist Kerrie Pitts, and bassoonist Joshua Schairer.  All members are graduate teaching assistants at UNC in their instrument area and their studies are funded by their participation in the ensemble. Each year Bear Lake presents four to six outreach concerts all over Colorado and at least two full recitals.  The Quintet performs standard repertoire as well as new works, especially those by Colorado-based composers.

 


The American Prize 
in Chamber Music Performance, 2017-18
(high school division) 

The American Prize winner:
The Bach Trio
Fremont CA

The Bach Trio
The Bach Trio, with violinist Pierce Wang, 13, cellist Ryan Har, 14, and pianist Josephine Chan, 13, is coached by Prof. Timothy Bach of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM). The trio has been performing in venues around the San Francisco Bay Area since 2014. Additionally, the trio members have performed and competed as soloists. Josephine Chan, student of Prof. Corey McVicar at SFCM, was a prizewinner in the 2015 Virginia Waring International Piano Competition, the 2015 Enkor International Piano Competition, and others. Pierce Wang, student of Prof. Wei He at SFCM, was a guest on NPR, From the Top, show #284, and the WXXI Backstage Live radio show. Ryan Har, student of Mr. Eric Sung of SFCM, has taken masterclasses from cellist Ben Hong and was a prizewinner in the 2017 Enkor International String Competition and a first prize winner in the 2017 American Protégé Competition.

 

2nd PLACE:
George Magub String Quartet
Santa Monica CA

George Magub String Quartet
From its humble lunchtime rehearsals at Santa Monica High School, the George Magub String Quartet has progressed into a mature and exciting young chamber ensemble. The George Magub quartet is comprised of four incredibly virtuosic and musical players. As individuals, they have won many prestigious local and national awards, and have taken part in festivals such as the Tanglewood Festival and the Heifetz Institute. Ranging from fifteen to seventeen years old, the public high school students have learned the the benefits of hard work, trust, and collaboration through their ensemble. Most recently, the George Magub quartet was the first place winner of the North Western Ensemble's competition. The repertoire they have selected shows their expressive and dynamic range as players, excelling from Debussy to Piazzolla. Through their hard work and shared love of music, the George Magub Quartet has become a uniquely bonded group of musicians and best friends.
 

3rd PLACE:
The Bright Boys
Knoxville TN

The Bright Boys
The Bright Boys Saxophone Quartet formed in Fall of 2016 with the intention of playing challenging staples in the saxophone quartet repertoire. Members of the quartet include Dalton DeLara, Carter Hatch, Spencer McDonald, and Marley Proffitt. The Bright Boys actively play in the community and were most recently invited to play at the Tennessee Music Education Association All-State Convention in Nashville this April. Three out of four group members attend the same school, and were brought together by multiple honor band events.


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Congratulations!

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