1st prize for the Arete Quartet
The first winners of the 15th International Mozart Competition have been announced. The 1st prize in the string quartet category and the traditional special prize of the Mozarteum Foundation for the best interpretation of a string quartet by W. A. Mozart go to the Arete Quartet, the 2nd prize to the Affinity Quartet and the 3rd prize to the Eden Quartet.
Cibrán Sierra Vázquez (Vorsitz & Cuarteto Quiroga)
Sarah Bitlloch (Elias Quartet)
Erich Höbarth (Quatuor Mosaïques)
Nina Lee (Brentano Quartet)
Teresa Schwamm-Biskamp (Armida Quartett)
The 1st prize in the string quartet division in the amount of 20,000 euros was once again donated by the City of Salzburg, which has supported the competition for many years.
The Arete Quartet convinced the jury in the final concert on February 9, 2023 with the string quartet KV 465 in C major by W. A. Mozart, with the string quartet No. 1 "Kreutzer Sonata" by L. Janáček and with "UTA-ORI weaving song for string quartet" by T. Hosokawa.
Formed in September 2019, the Arete Quartet unanimously passed the audition of the Young Chamber Concert of Kumho Art Hall, and subsequently made its debut at Kumho Art Hall Yonsei. In 2021, it won 1st place at the 72nd Prague Spring International Music Competition and other special prizes, including the Bohuslav Martinu Foundation Prize. In addition, the Arete Quartet received two special prizes at the 12th PREMIO PAOLO BORCIANI International String Quartet Competition for "Best Performance for String Quartet Commissioned by Toshio Hosokawa" and a scholarship from Jeunesses Musicales Germany. The string quartet has already performed throughout Europe and has been invited back to the Prague Spring International Music Festival 2022. Currently, the quartet members are studying at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich and are scholarship holders* of Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now e.V., recently it was also featured on BR-Klassik. The Arete String Quartet studies with Prof. Christoph Poppen, Jaeyoung Kim of the Novus Quartet, Quatuor Ébène and Prof. Eberhard Feltz.
The 2nd prize in the amount of 12,000 euros, donated by our long-time prize sponsor, the Raiffeisenverband Salzburg, as well as the IGNM special prize for the best interpretation of a contemporary work - for the String Quartet No. 3 "Hidden Agendas" by B. Dean - in the amount of 1,000 euros went to the Affinity Quartet. The quartet was founded in 2015 by students at the Australian National Academy of Music. The quartet's international awards include third prize at the 2022 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, the 2022 McGill International String Quartet Academy Montreal, and the Young Talents Residency at the 2020 Amsterdam String Quartet Biennale. The ensemble's repertoire includes new works by Australian composer*s including Brett Dean, Matt Laing, and Jack Symonds. In 2023, the Affinity Quartet will study in Madrid with Prof. Günter Pichler at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía and perform at the ANAM Quartet House London, presented by the Australia/UK Season of Culture, the Royal Albert Hall and the Australian National Academy of Music.
The Eden Quartet was awarded the 3rd prize of 8,000 euros, donated by Honorary Senator Sylvia Madsack. The four young musicians, who always try to tell a story with their music, are currently studying for a master's degree in Berlin and Cologne. The Eden Quartet has already been a semi-finalist in the ARD Music Competition 2022, and from April 2023 the four young musicians* will continue their master's studies in chamber music at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media with Prof. Oliver Wille.
As a further special prize, an invitation to ARCO was awarded to the Vienna-based Kandinsky Quartet (winners of the Boccherini Competition and scholarship holders of Jeunesse Musicales Germany):
ARCO - Art, Research and Creation Opus 2023 - is a binational academy for contemporary creation, a joint project of the University Mozarteum Salzburg, Gmem-Marseille (one of the French National Centers for Musical Creation) and the French ensembles Multilaterale, Les Métaboles and Tana String Quartet. The Kandinsky Quartet impressed with its interpretation of contemporary works by G. Kurtag and B. Bartok. Their enthusiasm and open-mindedness towards contemporary music are the guarantee that these young musicians will greatly enrich the ARCO project in Marseille in 2023.
We thank our sponsors and prize donors very much and are happy about the support for the young artistic talents, from whom we hope to hear a lot more!
Of the ten string quartets invited from seven countries, seven quartets entered the competition. Five quartets, the Kandinsky Quartet, the Eden Quartet, the Affinity Quartet, the Arancia Quartet and the Arete Quartet, made it to the second round, with three of them eventually qualifying for the finals.