2016 Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition Winner BLOCK4

The Eighth International Chamber Music Competition will be held on April 7, 2018
at the Avalon Theatre in Easton, Maryland.

Ensembles qualifying under the Rules governing the Competition are encouraged to apply for Preliminary Round judging.  Both the rules and the application process are explained on this website.

We will accept applications for the 2018 Competition from September 1, 2017 through November 30, 2017.  Applications received after November 30, 2017 unfortunately cannot be accepted.


Saturday, April 7, 2018 | Ensemble Performing

Tickets $12, free for students

1:00 p.m. – Introduction
1:15 p.m. – Performance of first finalist ensemble
2:30 p.m. – Performance of second finalist ensemble
3:45 p.m. – Performance of third finalist ensemble

4:45 to 6:45 p.m. – Intermission

6:45 p.m. – Performance of fourth finalist ensemble
8:00 p.m. – Performance of fifth finalist ensemble
9:00 to 10:00 p.m. – Reception and announcement of winners

Sunday, April 8, 2018 | Public Concerts


Gold Medal Award – $10,000 – BLOCK4 – London England

Silver Medal Award – $5,000 – Olympus Piano Trio

Audience Appreciation Award – Olympus Piano Trio

Congratulations to our winners and to the other superb finalists in the 2016 Competition! The Competition is designed to provide new performance opportunities, financial rewards, and musical credentials to aspiring musicians.


Daraja Ensemble

Daraja Ensemble [website]

Daraja EnsembleThe Daraja Ensemble acts as the fellowship woodwind quintet at the University of Maryland School of Music, United States.

The Daraja Ensemble is a music collaborative committed to bridging performers with audiences worldwide. The ensemble seeks to spread the love of music through outreach projects and adventurous, exciting programming. Collectively, this wind quintet holds a wealth of performance experience; members of the ensemble have concertized in nearly every continent and performed with the Boston Ballet, New World Symphony, Arizona Opera, Lunar Ensemble, Symphoria, and the KBS Symphony.

Currently, Daraja is a finalist for the 2016 Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition held in Easton, Maryland. Daraja musicians have won several competitions on their respective instruments and have been awarded fellowships to esteemed music festivals including, Pacific Music Festival, Brevard Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Currently, the ensemble is actively performing throughout the College Park and D.C. metro area with future plans to travel to Tanzania as guest teaching artists with Clarinets for Conservation. The Daraja Ensemble acts as one of the Fellowship ensembles at the University of Maryland School of Music. More information about the performers can be found at www.darajaensemble.com.

(Pictured left to right)
• Michele Von Haugg
• Sam Fraser
• Grace Ju-Yeon Wang
• Michael Homme
• Joshua Blumenthal

East End Quartet

East End Quartet [website]

East End QuartetEast End Quartet is from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, New York, United States.

Formed in 2014 among graduate students at the Eastman School of Music, East End Quartet presents concerts described as “deep and powerful, sweet and high, fast and madcap” (SILive). East End is rapidly gaining recognition for its unique approach to programming, which features close collaboration with composers, in-house arrangements, and an eclectic range of their own transcriptions. Collectively, the ensemble has premiered over forty works by prominent composers including Michael Djupstrom, Ken Thomson, Samuel Adler, Ted Goldman, Steven Bryant, Robert Morris, Izumi Matsumoto, and Yukiko Yoshino. Its members have performed in Austria, the Czech Republic, England, France, Italy, Japan, and Mexico, and East End was featured in the award-winning Staten Island chamber music series, Serenade, in November 2014. More recently, they performed as guest artists for the 2015 Central Michigan University Saxophone Day.

In 2015, East End took first prize at both the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National Chamber Music Competition and the Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition. Collectively, the members of East End have garnered top prizes from numerous national and international competitions, including the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the Plowman Chamber Music Competition, the North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) Collegiate Solo and Chamber Competitions, and the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition. Last year, East End Quartet received the Eastman School of Music’s Celentano Award for Excellence in Chamber Music.

Drawing inspiration from their leadership roles in the groundbreaking Eastman Saxophone Project (ESP), East End frequently performs from memory. Their approach engenders a closer connection to the music they present while facilitating a deeper level of communication with the audience and one another. As firm believers in offering a balanced concert experience, they work collaboratively to arrange repertoire conceived for a variety of instrumentations. By programming pieces from wide-ranging historical eras, East End provides concerts that are eclectic, engaging, and representative of diverse musical styles.

Today, East End devotes much of its time to expanding the repertoire available to saxophonists. Its members are committed to the beneficial experience of collaborating with current composers, and they are constantly working to commission and premiere new works as they broaden the saxophone quartet repertory. Their debut album is set to release in 2016.

• Jonathan Wintringham, soprano saxophone
• Myles Boothroyd, alto saxophone
• Matthew Amedio, tenor saxophone
• Tyler Wiessner, baritone saxophone

Olympus Piano Trio

Olympus Piano Trio
Olympus Piano TrioFormed at Juilliard in 2010 to celebrate a passion for chamber music as well as their shared Hellenic heritage, the Olympus Piano Trio performs a repertoire of classical masterpieces and champions the music of native Greek and diaspora composers. Since its formation, the Olympus Piano Trio has been heard in concert throughout the New York City metropolitan region. On November 5th, 2015, the Trio had its Merkin Concert Hall debut sponsored by the Onassis and Hellenic-American cultural foundations, to critical acclaim. The Olympus Piano Trio has performed throughout Greece at such venues as the National Conservatory in Thessalonica, Athens Megaro Concert Hall, and the Kefalonia Music Festival.

Each member of the Trio has an active career as performer in his own right. Violinist Regi Papa made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2006 with the Sibelius Violin Concerto, and has been a featured soloist with orchestras in the United States as well as abroad. A “young cello phenomenon” with “dazzling technique” (Holland Times), “most appealing” (New York Times), and “cello playing of the very highest standard” (Epoch Times) is how critics describe cellist Ben Capps, who is heard live in concert internationally, as well as on radio and recordings, premiering contemporary cello works and interpreting traditional repertoire. Pianist Konstantine Valianatos is the recipient of numerous scholarships and prizes, including official recognition from the Hellenic Republic for his cultural contributions, and has appeared as featured soloist with orchestras in the United States and Greece.

Dedicated to reaching out to non-traditional and underprivileged members of the community, the Olympus Piano Trio has participated in a wide variety of outreach programs. Individually they have shared their musical gifts with underprivileged communities in such diverse locations as Washington Heights, the Bronx, and rural Vermont. In 2013, the Olympus Piano Trio was invited to the Greek island of Kefalonia to perform and participate in educational outreach for the island’s children under the auspices of the Vergottis Cultural Center. The Trio’s future plans include an outreach program in spring 2016 at St. Basil’s Academy, a program for disadvantaged children in upstate New York.

Based in New York City, the Olympus Piano Trio has coached with Juilliard’s Jerome Lowenthal and Julian Martin. The members of the Olympus Piano Trio have taught at Juilliard, SUNY Stony Brook, and Hunter College, and have recorded for Sony, Innova, LP Classics and Tzadik labels. The Olympus Piano Trio’s debut album is scheduled for release in 2017 on the LP Classics label.

(Pictured left to right)
• Regi Papa, Violin
• Ben Capps, Cello
• Konstantine Valiantos, Piano


BLOCK4 [website]

BLOCK4Formed in 2012, BLOCK4 is a London based recorder quartet featuring Emily Bannister, Lucy Carr, Katie Cowling and Rosie Land. Studying at the Royal College of Music with Ashley Solomon, Julien Feltrin and Maria Martinez Ayerza, BLOCK4 present a dynamic approach to contemporary consort music as well as offering a captivating interpretation of music from the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

The quartet’s innovative style has resulted in them being the 2014 winners of the Royal Overseas League Ensemble competition, the first recorder consort to receive this accolade in the competition’s 62 year history.  Most recently they were awarded 1st Runner Up at the NonClassical Record label’s Battle of the Bands 2016. They were also awarded a Donemus award for the performance of contemporary music at the Open Recorder Days Amsterdam in 2015. They received a high commendation at the RCM’s Senior Woodwind Prize in 2013, and were awarded the June Emerson Launchpad prize at the competition in 2014. BLOCK4 is the 2015-16 Ensemble in Residence for Handel and Hendrix House Museum – a role which will include a concert series in 2016.

BLOCK4 regularly perform contemporary music and encourage the creation of new repertoire for the recorder quartet, and as a result have collaborated with a number of composers. Most notable are their collaborations with Handel House Museum’s composer in residence, Edwin Hillier, and with the London based collective, 840, both of which have resulted in a number of innovative new works written for BLOCK4, as well as the UK premiere of Christopher Fox’s The Feeling of Remembering. These collaborations have inspired them to explore the different sonorities possible on the recorder and to purchase a consort of Paetzold instruments. BLOCK4 would like to thank Brian and Janice Capstick, and the Early Music Shop for their generous support in the purchase of these instruments.

Alongside their love of contemporary repertoire, BLOCK4 take an inquisitive approach to Renaissance music, frequently performing little-known works and creating their own arrangements for recorder quartet. They use the full range of renaissance recorders, from soprano to contra-bass, in order to capture the vast number of timbral and dynamic possibilities in consort playing. They currently play on a consort made by Adriana Breuknik.

To date, BLOCK4’s performances have included concerts at prestigious venues including the National Gallery, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, the Wigmore Hall, St. Martin-in-the-Fields and the Greenwich International Early Music Festival. They are looking forward to working with the Concordia Foundation this year, and proud to be exploring music’s educational properties with the Live Music Now scheme.

(Pictured left to right)
• Emily Bannister
• Katie Cowling
• Rosie Land
• Lucy Carr

Cerulean Trio

Cerulean Trio [website]

Cerulean TrioFlorida State University, United States

The Cerulean Trio is passionate about delivering artistic and compelling performances to diverse audiences. The trio brings together the unique combination of a single woodwind and string instrument with piano, resulting in a rich amalgamation of color, textural, and lyrical possibilities. In addition to performing the standard literature for clarinet, viola, and piano, the trio also expands its repertoire by incorporating its own transcriptions and newly commissioned works.

Highlights of the 2015-2016 season include performances on 91.5 WFSQ-FM radio, which was aired nationally, the Monticello Opera House, collaborations with the Southern Shakespeare Festival, educational outreach in schools, and performances at universities throughout the southeast.

Its members have performed all over the world in Poland, Italy, Austria, Greece, China, Singapore, Germany, and France. Additionally, all members maintain active orchestral careers, performing with ensembles such as the Sarasota Orchestra, the Florida Orchestra, Sinfonia Gulf-Coast, and the Orlando Philharmonic.

Formed with students from Florida State University, the Cerulean Trio takes its name from the Latin “caerulum” which stands for heavens and sky. They are usually seen reflecting the blues of sky in their performance attire.

(Pictured left to right)
• Ivan Ugorich, Viola
• Jackie Glazier, Clarinet
• Galen Dean Peiskee, Piano

2016 Alternate:

Trio St. Bernard


The Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition is a competition for young professional chamber music ensembles. Begun in 2004, it has rapidly grown to become a notable international event. Recent Competitions have drawn applicants from the United States, Canada, Russia, France, Germany, Italy, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. The Competition is sponsored by Chesapeake Music Inc., a non-profit organization that, for thirty years, has brought outstanding music to the Delmarva Peninsula.

From its inception, the Competition has benefited from the assistance of an Advisory Panel of outstanding musicians and educators. The jurors have included luminaries such as Ida Kavafian, David Krakauer, Marcy Rosen, Diane Walsh, Tara Helen O’Connor, Christopher Millard, Pamela Frank and others drawn from leading conservatories and orchestras, as well as from ensembles such as the Orion, Mendelssohn and Los Angeles Quartets and performance venues such as Marlboro and Lincoln Center.

Based on audition materials, the jurors will select a maximum of six Finalists to compete in concert performances on April 7, 2018 at the historic Avalon Theatre in Easton, Maryland. We celebrate each Finalist the following day in individual concerts at other local venues. The Gold Medalist will be further honored with additional concerts including an appearance at the Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival in June 2018. Presenting organizations will attend the Competition to consider all Finalists for other future engagements, and our past experience indicates that new concerts will follow.


The Gold Medalist will be awarded the sum of $10,000 and the Silver Medalist the sum of $5,000. Additional cash prizes may also be offered. The Gold Medalist will also receive a concert appearance at the Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival in June 2018. Other concert appearances (with additional stipends) may also be awarded during the June, 2018 period.