2015 Competition

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

First Prize

The Harry M Weinrebe Prize

Van Kuijk Quartet

Van Kuijk Quartet stringcomp2015bio

  • Resident: France
  • Ensemble founded: December 2011
  • Current formation: July 2014
  • Average age: 27.5

Van Kuijk Quartet

  • Nicholas van Kuijk (French) violin
  • Sylvain Favre-Bulle (French) violin
  • Grégoire Vecchioni (French) viola
  • François Robin (French) cello

The Van Kuijk Quartet was founded in 2011, and studied at the Paris Conservatoire with the Ysaÿe Quartet.

The Quartet won the First Prize and the Audience Award at the 2013 International String Quartet Competition in Trondheim, Norway, as well as the special ProQuartet-CEMC Prize at the 2013 FNAPEC Competition in Paris.

In July 2014, the Van Kuijk Quartet took part in the Verbier and Aix-en-Provence Academies, and in 2013, was selected to participate in the Montreal International String Quartet Academy at McGill University, where it was coached by members of the Alban Berg, Guarneri and Miami Quartets. In September of the same year, it took part in the 58th Weikersheim International Chamber Music Academy organised by Jeunesses Musicales Deutschland.

Since 2013, the Quartet has been studying at the Reina Sofia Institute in Madrid with Günter Pichler. Also in 2013, ProQuartet invited the Quartet to take part in its intensive musical development programme, giving it the chance to study with members of Alban Berg, Artemis and Hagen Quartets.

The Van Kuijk Quartet has played in festivals throughout France, Switzerland and Norway, and in future seasons will give concerts in France, Switzerland, the UK, Germany and Denmark.

Joint Second Prize

Verona Quartet

Verona Quartet stringcomp2015bio

  • Resident: USA
  • Ensemble founded: January 2013
  • Current formation: June 2014
  • Average age: 25.25

Verona Quartet

(formerly the Wasmuth Quartet)

  • Jonathan Ong (Singaporean) violin
  • Dorothy (Sung-Sil) Ro (Canadian) violin
  • Abigail Rojansky (American) viola
  • Warren Hegarty (American) cello

The Verona Quartet – formerly known as the Wasmuth Quartet – is currently the Graduate String Quartet in Residence at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where it is mentored by the Pacifica Quartet, as well as Alexander Kerr, Atar Arad and Eric Kim. The Quartet has also worked with Peter Salaff, Jerry Horner, Jorja Fleezanis, Paul Kantor and members of the Brentano, Cleveland, Cavani, American, Tokyo and London Haydn Quartets.

Within months of its formation, the Quartet won the Silver Medal in the senior division of the 2013 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. In May 2014, the Verona Quartet won the Bronze Medal at the 8th Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in Osaka, Japan.

The Quartet has been Visiting Artist at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the Indiana University String Academy as well as the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, Germany. Recent appearances include the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the forthcoming season includes artist residencies at the Abu Dhabi Chamber Music Festival, Music in the Vineyards in Napa Valley, California, as well as concerts in New York, Washington, D.C., Ohio, Illinois and Indiana.

Piatti Quartet

Piatti Quartet stringcomp2015bio

  • Resident: UK
  • Ensemble founded: October 2008
  • Current formation: January 2013
  • Average age: 28

Piatti Quartet

  • Nathaniel Anderson-Frank (Canadian) violin
  • Michael Trainor (Irish) violin
  • David Wigram (British) viola
  • Jessie Ann Richardson (British) cello

The Piatti Quartet holds the Richard Carne Junior Fellowship for String Quartet at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance for 2014/15. It is the winner of the St Martin-in the-Fields Competition, a Martin Musical Fund/Philharmonia Scholarship, multiple Hattori Foundation awards, and the St. Peter’s Prize.

The Quartet spent two years as Leverhulme Fellows at the Royal Academy of Music and has received both Tunnell Trust and Countess of Munster awards. The Park Lane Group has also supported the Quartet extensively with a UKwide concert tour. The group continues to actively expand the quartet repertoire with premierès of new commisions from acclaimed British composers Joseph Phibbs, Richard Birchall, and Jacques Cohen.

The Quartet has worked with members of the Chilingirian, Doric and Hagen Quartets and studied at the Reina Sofia Institute in Madrid with Günter Pichler. The Piatti Quartet has performed in all the major venues around the UK, as well as in Italy, Australia, Spain, Austria, Ireland, France, Switzerland and Holland.

The group takes its name from the great 19th-century cellist Alfredo Piatti, who was a leading professor and exponent of quartet playing at the Royal Academy of Music.

Third Prize

Aizuri Quartet

Aizuri Quartet cJamieJung stringcomp2015bio

  • Resident: USA
  • Ensemble founded: October 2012
  • Current formation: October 2012
  • Average age: 28.75

Aizuri Quartet

  • Miho Saegusa (Japanese) violin
  • Zoë Martin-Doike (American) violin
  • Ayane Kozasa (Japanese) viola
  • Karen Ouzounian (Canadian) cello

Formed in 2012 and comprising graduates of the Juilliard School and Curtis Institute of Music, the Aizuri Quartet is the culmination of years of music-making between its members. The Quartet gave its debut performance in the Tertulia Chamber Music series in New York City, and participated in the 2013 Juilliard String Quartet Seminar.

The Aizuri Quartet is currently the String Quartet in Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music. During the course of its residency, the Quartet will appear in various venues throughout Philadelphia, including Field Concert Hall, the Barnes Foundation, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, World Café Live, and on WRTI’s musicianhosted radio special ‘Philadelphia Music Makers.’

In addition to working closely with the Curtis Institute of Music’s renowned faculty, the Aizuri Quartet will be featured throughout an online course on the history and repertoire of the string quartet. Highlights of the 2014/2015 season include performances in Paris, Dresden, Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City. Collaborators throughout the season include cellist Peter Wiley, pianist Jonathan Biss, the Aeolus Quartet, poet Denice Frohman, and composers Lembit Beecher and Andrew Lipke.

The Aizuri Quartet was the resident ensemble of the 2014 Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute.

Special Prizes

The Sidney Griller Award
£1,000 – for the best performance of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Contusion in the Preliminary Round

  • Piatti Quartet

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

  • Van Kuijk 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

  • Van Kuijk Quartet

The ProQuartet Prize

  • Verona Quartet

Jeunesses Musicales Deutschland Prize

Quatuor Lumière

Quatuor Lumiere stringcomp2015bio

  • Resident: Switzerland
  • Ensemble founded: October 2011
  • Current formation: October 2011
  • Average age: 25.5

Quatuor Lumière

  • David Gueran (French) violin
  • Andriy Ostapchuk (Ukrainian) violin
  • Valentyna Pryshlyak (Ukrainian) viola
  • Greg Tüske (Hungarian) cello

The Quatuor Lumière, formed in 2011, is a product of the International Menuhin Music Academy Gstaad, where all four members are studying. Before entering the IMMA, the four members of the Quartet studied and won competitions in Italy, France, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Moldavia, Belarus, Hungary and Australia.

Despite the relative youth of the members of the Quartet, it has already performed in many venues in Switzerland. In 2012, the Quartet competed against twelve other ensembles in the Gianni Bergamo Classic Music Award in Lugano, and won First Prize. This success led to the Quartet being selected to participate in the International Mozart Competition held in Salzburg in 2014, where it won Third Prize. The Quartet also performed in the Gstaad Festival in 2014.

The Quatuor Lumière mainly performs in Switzerland, both as an independent ensemble and representing the International Menuhin Music Academy.

The following professional development prizes were also awarded to the Van Kuijk Quartet:
  • Aspen Music Festival and School — Center for Advanced Quartet Studies Prize
  • Avaloch Farm Music Institute Residency
  • The Banff Centre Residency Prize
  • Champs Hill Records Prize
  • MISQA Prize
  • The Morrison Chamber Music Center Prize
  • The Royal Greenwich String Quartet Festival Prize
  • The Esterházy Foundation Prize


Members of the Juries for the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition were:

Competition Jury
  • John Gilhooly OBE HonFRAM, HonRCM Chairman
    Director, Wigmore Hall
  • Levon Chilingirian
    violin, Chilingirian String Quartet,
  • Valentin Erben
    cello, ex-Alban Berg Quartet
  • Peter Jarušek
    cello, Pavel Haas Quartet
  • Heime Müller
    violin, ex-Artemis Quartet
  • Lesley Robertson
    viola, St Lawrence String Quartet
  • Simon Rowland-Jones
    viola, ex-Chilingirian String Quartet, teacher and composer
Invitation Jury
  • Mark Braithwaite
    viola, ex-Doric Quartet and Professor, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama
  • Simone van der Giessen
    viola, Navarra Quartet
  • Donald Grant
    violin, Elias Quartet
  • Oliver Heath
    violin, Heath Quartet
  • Alasdair Tait
    cello, Director of YCAT and Head of Chamber Music, Guildhall School of Music & Drama