Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Winners: CHAMBER MUSIC PERFORMANCE, 2019-20

The American Prize wishes everyone safety and health during this difficult time.


The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, founder and chief judge, is honored to announce the winners and runners-up of The American Prize in Chamber Music Performance, 2019-20, 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.

REMINDER: Because of the current national and international situation, many rules have been changed and requirements eased to make it easier to apply for The American Prize 2020-21, In addition, we will accept applications from CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS postmarked or emailed by the new extended deadline date of Monday, June 23, 2020. Applications from COMPOSERS, CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS MARKETERS and in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) will be accepted until Monday, July 20, 2020. Visit theamericanprize.org for complete contest information.


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

The American Prize in Chamber Music Performance, 2019-20, (professional division)

The American Prize winner: 
Eason-Seregow Duo
Muncie IN

Eason-Seregow Duo
Hailed by Fanfare magazine for his “exceptional feel for elegance, wit… and tonal beauty,” saxophonist Bob Eason is currently on faculty at Austin Peay State University and Murray State University. His primary teachers include Otis Murphy, Dan Gelok, Valerie Vidal, Karen Wylie, Chris Patterson, and Theron Sharp. Bob is the soprano saxophonist and founding member of the Kenari Quartet, an ensemble that has garnered acclaim through engaging performances, festival and educational residencies, and commissioning projects. Bob Eason is an Endorsing Artist for Légère Reeds, and plays exclusively on the Signature Series reeds. (www.easonstudios.com)

A native of the Pacific Northwest, pianist Michael Seregow enjoys a multifaceted career as a performer, teacher, clinician, and recording artist. Currently on faculty at Ball State University, he has also served on the keyboard faculties at Washington State University, University of Puget Sound, and University of Oregon. Having earned a DMA from the University of Oregon, he is a recognized soloist and collaborative pianist who has performed throughout the US, United Kingdom, and Central America.  (www.michaelseregow.com)

In addition to numerous recital performances around the US, Eason and Seregow have performed as invited guest artists at the 18th Encuentro Universitario Internacional de Saxofón México in Mexico City, one of Latin America’s most important saxophone festivals, and recently gave the world premiere of a new composition for soprano saxophone and piano by composer Joel Love at the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference in Tempe, AZ.


2nd Place: 
Pegasus Chamber Ensemble
Guanajuato  GTO

Pegasus Chamber Ensemble
The Pegasus Chamber Ensemble is the premier chamber music group in the city of Guanajuato with members from the Orchestra Sinfónica de la Universidad de Guanajuato. As the resident quintet of Foro Cultural 81, we strive to give concerts of the highest quality to the community and expand the literature and knowledge of music for wind instruments by offering world premiers of contemporary composers and traditional works. Our members include Alan Monahan  founder and co-principal bassoon of the OSUG, clarinetist Heather Millette, flutist Cuahtemoc Trejo, Omar Elizalde on oboe, Jonathan Lusher on French Horn and resident composer, and Ivan Hugo Figueroa Garcia on piano.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Szlubowska-Belsky Duo
Northbrook  IL

Szlubowska-Belsky Duo
Praised for her “warm lyricism and flawless technique” Polish violinist Marta Szlubowska is a sought-after soloist, chamber musician, and teacher, whose concerts have taken her to over 15 countries throughout Europe and Americas. Since 2004 she has been the Concertmaster and Soloist of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. Critically acclaimed as "a passionate pianist and scholar," Svetlana Belsky is an in-demand recitalist and chamber pianist, who has has appeared in Europe, Asia, Canada, and throughout the United States. Szlubowska and Belsky began their collaboration in 2017. This album, Myth and Romance: Music for Violin and Piano by Polish Composers, is the result. The CD has earned high critical praise: "Stunningly beautiful";  "wonderfully fantastical... Szlubowska's virtuosity really takes off and Belsky has the most delicious of light touches… Communication between the two players is a joy. Hats off to Szlubowska and Belsky for giving such a concentrated, successful reading".


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Duo MemDi
Decorah IA

Duo MemDi
Award-winning Duo MemDi was founded by violinist Igor Kalnin and pianist Rochelle Sennet in the summer of 2010, when they served on the faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan. The objective of Duo MemDi is to perform music that embraces the diversity of world cultures. Particularly, they focus on commissioning and performing music of composers from underrepresented groups. They believe that classical music should be an integral part of the diversity, inclusivity and equality movement, and serve as an indispensable tool in promoting social justice. All of the Duo’s live performances are from memory – a rare feat in the world of chamber music. They feel that it allows for a connection to composers’ ideas in a more holistic, insightful way. These ideals inspired the name of the duo: Mem[ory] and Di[versity] = MemDi. Their debut recording “Gathering Shatters” was released on Albany Records in 2018.
 

The American Prize in Chamber Music Performance, 2019-20, (college/university division)

The American Prize winner:
Khroma Quartet
The Colony  TX

Khroma Quartet
The Khroma Saxophone Quartet was founded at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in  the  Fall  of  2018.The  name  Khroma represents  the  nuance  of  sonic  colors which  enables  the ensemble to perform a variety of styles and genres ranging from transcriptions to contemporary works.The members come from unique and decorated backgrounds, allowing the quartet to be informed by an accumulation of experiences and saxophone pedigrees. The group is comprised of Doctor of Musical Arts candidate Wilson Poffenberger (tenor), and Master of Music students Scott  Augustine  (alto),  Michael  Chapa (baritone),  and  Anne  Kunkle  (soprano). The quartet was invited to perform at the 2018 Midwest Clinic in Chicago, IL and received the silver medal at the 2019 Fischoff National Chamber Competition.


2nd Place:
Tsukervanik-Liu Duo
Arcadia  CA 

Tsukervanik-Liu Duo
Founded by Uzbekistan violinist Anna Tsukervanik and Taiwanese guitarist Ming-Jui Liu, Tsukervanik-Liu Duo performs both essential and rarely-performed repertoire including new works from the twenty-first century. Both acclaimed musicians in their own right, Anna worked and performed with such distinguished artists as Ilya Kaler, Lawrence Dutton of the Emerson String Quartet, Mark Jackobs, Yael Weiss, and Ralph Kirshbaum, while Ming-Jui, as a soloist and a chamber musician he was invited to perform in Taiwan, Brazil, China, and the United States. In 2018, Ming-Jui was a festival artist and judge in the 4th Qinling Mountains International Guitar Festival (Shaanxi, China).


3rd Place:
The Raritan Trio
Egg Harbor  NJ

The Raritan Trio
The Raritan Trio brings together three young musicians of exceptional talent, passion and experience. Formed in January 2019 at Mason Gross School of the Arts- Rutgers University, New Jersey, the trio consists of pianist Alexander Bui, violinist Yu Ouyang, and cellist Jiun-Ru Wang. Born in three different countries, the artists combine their individual cultures and personalities to create wonderful music together.

Coached by Carmit Zori, the Raritan Trio has achieved the highest esteem such as winning the Rutgers Chamber Music Competition, receiving a full fellowship to Mimir Chamber Music Festival, and being invited to participate in Carnegie Hall’s Audience Engagement Intensive program. Their performance experiences include various venues throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Having a deep passion and love for music, the Raritan Trio hopes to spread and perform classical music around the world.

The name of the Raritan Trio was inspired by the Raritan River that is across from the Mason Gross School of the Arts. The river resembles their warm spirit in hoping that they will leave a long-lasting and meaningful impact to their audiences.
 

The American Prize in Chamber Music Performance, 2019-20, (high school division)

The American Prize winner:
Vivo String Quartet 
Pittsburgh PA

Vivo String Quartet 
The Vivo String Quartet are members at the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra and students of North Allegheny High School from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Composed of violinists Enoch Hsiao (senior, student of Rachel Stegeman) and Carolyn Carr (junior, student of Rachel Stegeman), violist Futen Wang (junior, student of Marylène Gingras-Roy), and cellist Yunshu Li (sophomore, student of Katya Janpoladyan). Winners of the 2018-19 Montgomery Fellowship award, sponsored by Chamber Music Pittsburgh, they study chamber music with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) Principal Second Violin Jeremy Black and Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra concertmaster Charles Stegeman. They also are 2019 Pittsburgh Concert Society Young Artist Award winners. As passionate students of classical music, all are accomplished musicians who have appeared as soloists with various orchestras. Dedicated to promoting chamber music in the Pittsburgh community, Vivo performed pre-concert for "Music for the Spirit: A Concert for Peace and Unity" at Heinz Hall in November 2018; and they opened the conference "Nonprofits and the Call to Moral Leadership" sponsored by the Heinz Endowments at the August Wilson Cultural Center this fall - both events that honored the victims of the Tree of Life tragedy.


2nd Place: 
Quantum Quartet
Carrollton TX  

Quantum Quartet
Formed in the summer of 2016 in Carrollton, Texas, the Quantum Quartet consists of Bruce Moe, Ekdev Rajkitkul, Austin Dreyer, and Peyton Joffre. Members of the group have received many honors, including Silver Medal in the 46th Annual Fischoff Competition, 1st prize in the 4th Edition of the ENKOR International Music Chamber Music Competition, 1st place at 6th Annual Coltman Chamber Music Competition, 1st place at  11th annual Houston Underground Quartet Competition, 3rd Place in the 2018-2019 season of The American Prize, various other top finishes in the Houston Underground Saxophone Competition (Junior Division and High School Division), Texas All-State Band placement, and more. In addition to their competitive success, they have also had the privilege of being showcased in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. Quantum Quartet attend Hebron High School.


3rd Place:  
Trio Centauri
San Jose CA

Trio Centauri
Formed in 2018, Trio Centauri is comprised of award-winning San Francisco Bay Area musicians: violinist Angela Tsang (15), cellist Fiona Tsang (14), and pianist Hannah Lin (17). Coached by incredible musicians Meichuan Song and Kaichi Zhu, Trio Centauri received awards from ENKOR Chamber Music Competition and Santa Cruz Baroque Festival Youth Chamber Music Competition in 2019.
    As active members of Bay Area Youth Music Society, Angela, Fiona, and Hannah have all received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award five years in a row. Besides performing in charity concerts three times a year, they play solo, ensemble, and orchestra works every other week at retirement and assisted living communities to bring the joy of live classical music to senior residences.
    Through excellent collaboration and a shared passion for music, Trio Centauri has become a unique group of musicians who are the best of friends.


Finalist Honorable Mention: 
Zeitlos Trio
Palo Alto  CA

Zeitlos Trio
Formed under the California Music Preparatory Academy, the Zeitlos Trio establishes itself as an ensemble of the highest caliber.  Violinist Laura Kim, cellist Shawn Hsu, and pianist Tia Chang all have prominent solo, orchestral, and chamber music experiences.  Under the tutelage of Jonathan Koh, the Zeitlos Trio is led to further their appreciation of the stories that each piece of music accompanies. With repertoires ranging from Mendelssohn to Schubert, these three young artists present music with passion and natural musicality.  They have won numerous prizes, including the first prize of VOCE State, the third prize of VOCE and the US Open Music Competition.  They also had the honor of performing in a masterclass given by the Grammy award winning Parker Quartet.



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Congratulations!

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