2018 Competition

WHISQ 2015 LogoCongratulations to the prize winners of the 2018 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition:

First Prize

The Harry M Weinrebe Prize

Kindly donated by The Dorset Foundation

Esmé Quartet

Esme Quartet © Jimin Son

  • Based in: Germany
  • Ensemble founded: April 2016
  • Current formation: October 2016
  • Average age: 26.5

Esmé Quartet

  • Wonhee Bae (South Korea) violin
  • Yoona Ha (South Korea) violin
  • Jiwon Kim (South Korea) viola
  • Ye-eun Heo (South Korea) cello

Formed in 2016, the Esmé Quartet is comprised of four Korean musicians. The quartet won First Prize at the 2016 Chamber Music Competition at the Hochschule für Musik Köln and was recently awarded Third Prize at the 2017 Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition and the Audience prize at the Irene Steels Wilsing String Quartet Competition 2018. The quartet has performed at the Kranhaus in Köln, the Alpmuseum in Remagen and the Kunstmuseum Villa Zanders, and its recording has been broadcast on NDR Radio Germany. The Esmé Quartet has participated in the ProQuartet Academy and the 2017 Jeunesses Musicales International Chamber Music Campus Weikersheim where it was awarded a special prize of a concert in the 2019 Heidelberger Frühling String Quartet Festival. The quartet has also been invited to participate in the Bordeaux Festival 2018 and the Musiq3 Festival at the Flagey Brussels. The quartet has worked with artists such as Günter Pichler and Jonathan Brown (Casals Quartet).

The Esmé Quartet is currently studying on the Master of Chamber Music course at the Musikhochschule Lübeck under the tutelage of Heime Müller.

Second Prize

Kindly donated by Henry and Suzanne Davis

Goldmund Quartett

Goldmund Quartett © Nikolaj Lund

  • Based in: Germany
  • Ensemble founded: 2010
  • Current formation: 2010
  • Average age: 26

Goldmund Quartett

  • Florian Schötz (Germany) violin
  • Pinchas Adt (Germany) violin
  • Christoph Vandory (Germany) viola
  • Raphael Paratore (Germany) cello

The Goldmund Quartett is taught by Gerhard Schulz in Stuttgart and Günter Pichler at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid. The quartet has been inspired by masterclasses with the Hagen, Borodin, Melos, Belcea, Artemis, Ysaÿe and Cherubini quartets, Ferenc Rados, Eberhard Feltz and Alfred Brendel. Since its debut at Munich’s Prinzregententheater, the quartet has appeared at international festivals such as the Festival Aix-en-Provence, Festival de Música y Danza Granada and Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele. Recitals have taken them to prestigious chamber music venues and series all over Europe, Canada, China and the US. The 2017/18 season sees the Goldmund Quartett debut in Washington, Shanghai and South Africa. Further concerts will lead the four musicians to the Prinzregententheater in Munich and to the Festival Heidelberger Frühling.

The Goldmund Quartett has been awarded several Prizes and scholarships, amongst them the Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now scholarship. In 2015 they received a scholarship from Deutscher Musikwettbewerb, the Bavarian Young Artist Award and the Karl-Klinger-Prize during the 2016 ARD International Music Competition Munich.

Third Prize

Kindly donated by an anonymous donor in memory of Sonia Withers who was an impassioned lover of chamber music

Viano String Quartet

Viano StrQuartet stringcomp2018bio

  • Based in: USA
  • Ensemble founded: 2015
  • Current formation: 2017
  • Average age: 21

Viano String Quartet

  • Lucy Wang (Canada) violin
  • Hao Zhou (USA) violin
  • Aiden Kane (USA) viola
  • Tate Zawadiuk (Canada) cello

The Viano String Quartet was a top prize-winner at the 9th Osaka International Chamber Music Competition & Festa, held in the summer of 2017. Formed in 2015 at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, the quartet was recently featured on NPR host Rob Kapilow’s What Makes it Great concert series at Cerritos Center. The quartet has appeared in the South Bay Chamber Music Society and Santa Monica Conservatory’s Expo Line Concert Series with Martin Beaver and Paul Coletti, as well as the Colburn Chamber Music Society and Gibson Dunn Rush Hour Concert Series.

As firm believers in community engagement, the quartet participated in the Bellingham Festival of Music’s Play It Forward Residency in March 2017, and took part in its outreach initiative to reach schoolchildren in the northern Washington State area. The quartet works primarily with Martin Beaver, as well as other members of the Colburn School faculty, including Clive Greensmith, Paul Coletti, and Fabio Bidini. They have received coaching from artists such as David Finckel, Gary Hoffman, Arnold Steinhardt, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, members of the Emerson String Quartet, and the Calidore String Quartet.

Special Prizes

The Sidney Griller Award
£1,000 – for the best performance of Thomas Adès’s The Four Quarters in the Preliminary Round
Kindly donated by an anonymous donor

  • Viano String Quartet

Haydn Prize
£1,000 – for the best performance of a Haydn quartet in the Preliminary Round
Kindly donated by The Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust

  • Viano String Quartet

The Alan Bradley Mozart Prize
£1,000 – for the best performance of a Mozart quartet in the Preliminary Round
Kindly donated by Alan Bradley

  • Esmé Quartet

Twentieth Century Prize
£1,000 – for the best performance of a twentieth centur work in the Preliminary Round
Kindly donated by Peter Outen

  • Esmé Quartet

The Bram Eldering Beethoven Prize

£1,200 – for the best performance of a Beethoven quartet in the Semi-Finals
Kindly donated by the Eldering/Goecke family

  • Esmé Quartet

Professional Development Prizes

The Esterházy Foundation Prize

  • Esmé Quartet

The ProQuartet Prize

  • Esmé Quartet

The St. Lawrence String Quartet Prize

Vera Quartet

VeraQuartet © LindyTsai

  • Based in: USA
  • Ensemble founded: 2015
  • Current formation: 2016
  • Average age: 28.5

Vera Quartet

  • Pedro Rodriguez Rodriguez (Spain) violin
  • Patricia Quintero Garcia (Cuba/USA) violin
  • Ines Picado Molares (Spain) viola
  • Justin Goldsmith (USA) cello

Winner of the Grand Prize at the most recent Plowman Chamber Music Competition, First Prize at the Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition and Second Prize at the 2017 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition, the Vera Quartet is currently Graduate Quartet-in-Residence at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, studying with the Pacifica Quartet. Since its foundation, the quartet has held a residency at the Beethovenhaus in Bonn, Germany, and has also completed its first international tour in South Korea with performances at Seoul National University, Yonsei University, and the Korea National University of the Arts. The quartet has participated in the Robert Mann String Quartet Seminar, and the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar in New York City, and was also one of five artists selected by NPR’s Performance Today as the show’s Young Artist in Residence.

The Vera Quartet has also taken part in the Chamber Music Residency programme at the Banff Centre in Canada, and in summer 2017 attended the Center for Advanced Quartet Studies at the Aspen Music Festival, where they gave the Aspen première of Augusta Read Thomas’s Selene for string quartet and percussion quartet, after working closely with the composer.

Aspen Music Festival – Center for Advance Quartet Studies Prize

Quatuor Tchalik

QuatuorTchalik © SarahTchalik

  • Based in: France
  • Ensemble founded: 2013
  • Current formation: 2013
  • Average age: 24.25

Quatuor Tchalik

  • Gabriel Tchalik (France) violin
  • Louise Tchalik (France) violin
  • Sarah Tchalik (France) viola
  • Marc Tchalik (France) cello

The Quatuor Tchalik gave its first concert in 2013. It is made up of two brothers and two sisters, born into a musical family; they were all steeped in music from birth and played together from an early age. The quartet has already played at various festivals in France, Austria, Italy, Spain and Russia, and its concerts have been broadcast live on France Musique on several occasions. In 2016 the quartet began learning with Günter Pichler at the Escuela Superior de Mùsica Reina Sofia in Madrid. The Tchalik Quartet also receives invaluable teaching and support from such musicians as Vladimìr Bukač, Jan Talich, Heime Müller, Yovan Markovitch, Johannes Meissl, Josef Klusoň and Macha Yanouchevsky.

The Quatuor Tchalik has taken part in numerous masterclasses, including MISQA, Villecroze, ProQuartet, ECMA, and Siena Chigiana. In addition, the quartet won the Chamber Music Award 2016 at ISA (Vienna) and the 2017 Fondazione Monte dei Paschi award in Siena and in February 2018 was awarded First Prize at the International Mozart Competition in Salzburg. The quartet is supported by the Safran Foundation, and plays on four instruments made by the French luthier Philippe Mitéran and four bows made by bow maker Konstantin Cheptitski.

Jeunesses Musicales Deutschland Prize

Callisto Quartet

Callisto Quartet stringcomp2018bio

  • Based in: USA
  • Ensemble founded: 2016
  • Current formation: 2016
  • Average age: 22

Callisto Quartet

  • Paul Aguilar (USA) violin
  • Rachel Stenzl (USA) violin
  • Eva Kennedy (USA) viola
  • Hannah Moses (USA) cello

Formed in 2016 at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Callisto Quartet brings together four dedicated and passionate musicians who share a love for chamber music. Its members are all pursuing different undergraduate and graduate degrees at CIM. The Callisto Quartet was selected as the CIM Apprentice Quartet for 2017; it is coached by Si-Yan Li and works closely with Peter Salaff and the members of the Cavani String Quartet. In the summer of 2017 the quartet attended the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar and the McGill International String Quartet Academy; they also received a fellowship to study at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival with members of the Brentano, Miro, and Emerson quartets.

The quartet recently appeared in concert with David Geringas for the Cleveland Cello Society’s 20th anniversary concert and it is the ensemble in residence at the Carolina Music Museum in Greenville, South Carolina where they will be performing later this year.


Members of the Juries for the 2018 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition were:

Competition Jury
  • John Gilhooly OBE HonFRAM, HonRCM Chairman
    Director, Wigmore Hall
  • Jonathan Brown
    viola, Casals Quartet
  • András Fejér
    cello, Takács Quartet
  • Nobuko Imai
    viola, Michelangelo Quartet
  • Bjørg Lewis
    cello, Vertavo Quartet
  • Heime Müller
    violin, ex-Artemis Quartet
  • Károly Schranz
    violin, Takács Quartet
Invitation Jury
  • Hélène Clement
    viola, Doric Quartet
  • Emma Denton
    cello, Carducci Quartet
  • Donald Grant
    violin, Elias Quartet
  • Oliver Heath
    violin, Heath Quartet
  • Alasdair Tait
    cello, Director of YCAT