Photography by DH&Co

Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition

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.

We regret to announce that due to the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), we have taken the decision to postpone the 2021 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition until April 2022.

Applications will open in May 2021 and will close in October 2021. The exact dates for the 2022 Competition will be announced in due course.

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 Competition:

  • attracts string quartets of the highest calibre, with members aged under 35, who are keen to pursue performing careers at the highest level
  • provides valuable opportunities for feedback from jury members drawn from chamber musicians of global stature
  • provides opportunities for participants to meet their peers from other countries and to exchange ideas on performance, technique and repertoire
  • provides a vital public platform from which young musicians can break into the world of professional performance at the highest level.

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.’

Archive

Discover past winners of the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition.