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Students, Faculty + Alumni

Argus Quartet to compete in Banff International String Quartet Competition

Argus Quartet

YSM's fellowship quartet-in-residence, the Argus Quartet, has been selected to compete in the Banff International String Quartet Competition this August. The group is one of 10 quartets chosen to participate in the prestigious live rounds of the competition.

The competition, held in Banff, Alberta, consists of five rounds for which Argus has prepared a total of seven full works, including a newly commissioned work by Canadian composer Zosha di Castri. Grand prize-winners receive an award worth over $150,000, including a cash prize of $25,000 in addition to a three-year development program of concert tours, residencies, and recordings. The 10 quartets were selected by Clive Greensmith of the Tokyo Quartet, Philip Setzer of the Emerson String Quartet, and Douglas McNabney, artistic director of Toronto Summer Music. Judges for the live rounds include members of the Rondom Kwartet; Orford, Lawrence, and Tokyo String Quartets; Cleveland and Belcea Quartets; and Quartour Vio Nova.

In addition to the Argus Quartet, several other YSM and Norfolk alumni will participate in the competition: Colin Brooks '13 MM, '14 AD will compete with the Ulysses Quartet who, just last week, won the Grand Prize at the 2016 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Edwin Kaplin '10 MM, '11 AD will compete with the Tesla Quartet; the quartet also attended Norfolk together in 2011. Grace Ho (Ulysses) and Jonathan Lo (Rolston) are Norfolk alumni as well; Jonathan will be returning to Norfolk this summer with the Rolston String Quartet.

About the Argus Quartet
Formed in the summer of 2013, Los Angeles-based Argus Quartet is a recent recipient of a Chamber Music America commissioning grant for a work by GRAMMY-nominated Eric Guinivan.  Invited to series such as Laguna Beach Live!, Sundays Live at LACMA, and the Cello Biënnale Amsterdam, the Argus has won several competitions including the Beverly Hills Consortium and the MTAC San Diego Competition. They were also one of a handful of quartets selected to attend the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar held in New York City.

Deeply dedicated to contemporary music, much of their repertoire consists of new works. The quartet collaborates closely with composers through rehearsals, workshops, and master classes. The pieces premiered by the Argus Quartet run the compositional gamut: from indeterminate works, to electronic music, to new music choreographed with dance. Beyond its commitment to performing chamber music at the highest level, the Argus Quartet aims to engage audiences in unique ways – performing in dive bars or clubs, giving casual home concerts, presenting storytelling along with music, live Tweeting performances, and presenting visual media.