John Gilhooly, Artistic and Executive Director of Wigmore Hall, announces winners of the 2022 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, who are:
First Prize - Leonkoro Quartet
£10,000 – donated by The Dorset Foundation
Second Prize - Adelphi Quartet
£6,000 – donated by Henry and Suzanne Davis
Third Prize - Affinity Quartet
£3,000 – anonymous donor
Founded in 2019, the Berlin-based Leonkoro Quartet also won most of the special prizes, including the Bram Eldering Prize for the best performance of a 19th century quartet (£1,200), the Sidney Griller Award for the best performance of Sally Beamish’s Nine Fragments (£1,000), the Haydn Prize (£1,000), the Alan Bradley Mozart Prize (£1,000) and the Twentieth Century Prize (£1,000).
Additional professional development prizes awarded to the Leonkoro Quartet include a recital at Wigmore Hall, residencies at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (Canada), the Avaloch Farm Music Institute in New Hampshire (USA), McGill International String Quartet Academy in Montreal (Canada), ProQuartet Centre européen de musique de chambre Paris (France) and Britten Pears Young Artists Programme in Aldeburgh (UK); as well as concerts promoted by the Esterházy Foundation in Eisenstadt (Austria) and the Leeds International Concert Season (UK).
John Gilhooly, Wigmore Hall director and chairman of the jury, said, ‘This past week had been an extraordinary celebration of the string quartet, witnessed both by our live audiences in London as well as the thousands of viewers around the world who watched the live stream. The standard of playing fills us with great confidence for the future.’
The jury members of the 2022 competition were Jonathan Brown (viola, Casals Quartet), Hélène Clément (viola, Doric Quartet), Simin Ganatra (violin, Pacifica Quartet), Louise Hopkins (cello, Head of Strings, Guildhall School of Music & Drama), Laura Samuel (violin, leader BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and ex-Belcea Quartet), Kyril Zlotnikov (cello, Jerusalem Quartet) and John Gilhooly.
The triennial competition traces its roots back to 1979, when the then unknown Takács Quartet triumphed at the first edition held in Portsmouth. Under the auspices of Wigmore Hall since 2010, and open to ensembles comprising players aged below 35 years, the competition allows quartets to demonstrate their musicality across the breadth of the genre’s repertoire, from classical to contemporary.