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Guide to the Banff International String Quartet Competition

About the competition

The Banff International String Quartet Competition, a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions, is recognized as one of the premier chamber music competitions in the world. 

Established in 1983 and occurring triennially, BISQC is set in the splendour of the Rocky Mountains at the world-renowned Banff Centre. A large celebration of chamber music in a festival format, BISQC attracts enthusiastic capacity audiences. 

The unparalleled exposure to concert presenters, managers and broadcasters from North America and abroad makes BISQC a career launching pad for all invited ensembles.

Competition process

Applications Open for Quartets October 4th 2021 and close March 1st 2022.

Quartets selected for the 14th BISQC will be advised by April 30, 2022. No more than 10 quartets will be selected to attend the competition. The quartets selected to participate in BISQC are required to arrive in Banff Friday, August 26, 2022, and remain on-site through to a departure of Monday, September 5, 2022. 

Each quartet invited to BISQC will perform in the first four rounds and if selected, will perform a fifth time during the Final Round.

Fact file
SectionsString quartet
Deadline04 Oct 2021 - 01 Mar 2022
Finals29 Aug - 04 Sep 2022
WhereBanff, Canada
Age groupsMax 35 years old on September 5, 2022
Prizes: 1st Place Laureates
  • $25,000 CAD cash prize;

  • Winner’s Concert Tours in career-building markets in Europe and North America, arranged by Banff Centre;

  • A two-week residency at Banff Centre including a recording produced by Banff Centre;

  • Coaching, career guidance, and mentorship;

  • Southern Methodist University Peak Fellowship Ensemble-in-Residence Prize which includes a two-year paid visiting residency at the Meadows School involving performances, coaching, and mentorship. This residency is valued at over $200,000 CAD.

  • Esterházy Foundation Residency including concerts at Haydn Hall in Eisenstadt and the Lucerne Festival.

Prizes: 2nd Place Laureates
  • $12,000 CAD cash prize;

  • A creative residency at Banff Centre including coaching and mentorship opportunities.

Prizes: 3rd Place Laureates

•   $8,000 CAD cash prize;

•    A creative residency at Banff Centre including coaching and mentorship opportunities.

In recognition of the extraordinary level of artistry that BISQC attracts, all 7 quartets not advancing to the finals will receive a $5,000 CAD prize to support their emerging careers. 

Jury 2022
Preliminary jury:
Aaron Boyd, 
Andrew Wan, 
Andrew Yee

Competition Jury: 
Jane Atkins, 
Estelle Choi, 
James Ehnes, 
Barnabás Kelemen, 
Catherine Manson, 
Károly Schranz, 
Sung-Won Yang

Looking back at the 2019 competition