The triennial Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition (formerly The London International String Quartet Competition) has been held under the auspices of Wigmore Hall since July 2010. Embracing the entire string quartet tradition, it requires contestants to perform Classical, Romantic and contemporary repertoire.
Now even more widely recognised as one of the world’s most prestigious quartet competitions, the event has benefited from its direct association with a leading venue for chamber music, and offers the winning ensembles outstanding opportunities for career development.
The first International String Quartet Competition was held in Portsmouth in 1979, and was won by the then unknown Takács Quartet, today recognised as one of the world's leading string quartets and currently Wigmore Hall Associate Artists.
Gábor Takács-Nagy, one of the founder members of the Takács Quartet, describes just how valuable winning the Competition was for them:
‘When we won the Competition, it gave us confidence and we saw that all the work was worthwhile … the first prize changed our life … You somehow believe in yourself more, and if you believe in what you are doing you are probably stronger. Some people say that music is not sport, music is not for competitions. But on the other hand, I know preparing for a competition requires enormous dedication and motivates young quartets to work hard.’
The next String Quartet Competition will take place in April 2021.