Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition Announces Finalists for One of World’s Largest Chamber Music Prizes
Contact: Don Buxton (410) 819-0380
or Amy Steward (410) 829-0436
Five world-class ensembles will compete for one of the world’s largest chamber music prizes at the upcoming 2016 Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition, to be held at the historic Avalon Theatre in Easton, MD, on April 9, starting at 1 p.m. The five Competition finalists, BLOCK4 Quartet, the Cerulean Trio, the Daraja Ensemble, the Excelsa Quartet, and the Olympus Piano Trio, were selected from 41 applicants representing some of the finest young chamber music performers in the world. Applications were received from England, Hong Kong, Austria, and the United States. The average age of an ensemble must be under 31, and some have included members as young as 21. The finalists will compete for the Gold Medal prize of $10,000 and the Silver Medal prize of $5,000.
The Chamber Music Competition, which is sponsored biennially by Chesapeake Music, draws qualified applicants from all corners of the world. A preliminary judges’ panel of eight notable musicians headed by J. Lawrie Bloom, artistic director of Chesapeake Chamber Music, pared the field of 41 down to five finalists in a blind review of applicant CD submissions. Following the April 9 Competition, each finalist group will present an individual public concert at a local venue on Sunday, April 10, 2016. The Gold Medal prize winner will be further honored with additional concerts, including a featured appearance during the 2016 Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival.
For many past winners of the Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition, the Competition has opened doors that enabled their careers to soar. The Verona Quartet, previously known as the Wasmuth String Quartet from Jacob’s School of Music at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, winners of the 2014 Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition, will have its Lincoln Center debut at Alice Tully Hall in May 2016. The quartet is currently Graduate Resident String Quartet at The Juilliard School, where they work closely with members of the Juilliard String Quartet and teach during Juilliard’s 2015-2016 Academic Year as Lisa Arnhold Fellows. The Calidore String Quartet, winners of the 2012 Competition, is currently artists-in-residence and visiting faculty at Stony Brook University (SUNY) and was appointed to the prestigious roster of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two for the 2016- 2019 seasons. The Harlem Quartet, Silver Medal and Audience Choice Award winner at the 2010 Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition, performed at The White House for President Obama and First Lady, Michelle Obama and was a was a 2013 multi-Grammy Award winner for their recording, “Hot House,” with jazz master Chick Corea and percussionist Gary Burton.
Tickets to the Chamber Music Competition are $12 per person and free to students. Tickets will be sold at the door at the Avalon Theatre on April 9, 2016, beginning no later than 12:30 p.m. The program starts at 1:00 p.m. For further information, visit ChesapeakeChamberMusicCompetition.org or call the Chesapeake Music office at 410-819-0380. The Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition is underwritten by the Talbot County Arts Council, the Maryland State Arts Council, and private benefactors.
Photo: Pictured is the Wasmuth String Quartet from Jacob’s School of Music at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, which was awarded the Gold Medal prize of $10,000 and the Audience Choice Award at the 2014 Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition in Easton, MD. The 2016 Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition will be held on April 9, starting at 1 p.m. The five Competition finalists, BLOCK4 Quartet, the Cerulean Trio, the Daraja Ensemble, the Excelsa Quartet, and the Olympus Piano Trio, were selected from 41 applicants representing some of the finest young chamber music performers in the world. (Photo by Jerry Michael)