Argus Quartet wins Senior Strings division of M-Prize competition

The Argus Quartet, left to right: cellist Jo Whang ’09MM, violist Dana Kelley, violinist Jason Issokson, and violinist Clara Kim

The Argus Quartet, YSM’s fellowship quartet-in-residence, has been named the first place winner in the Senior Strings division of the University of Michigan’s M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition. In addition to a cash prize of $20,000, the quartet will return to the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance for a residency during the 2017-18 academic year.

Now in its second year, the M-Prize seeks “to identify and showcase the highest caliber of international chamber arts ensembles,” according to the competition’s website. In addition to distributing more than $200,000 of cash prizes (an increase from last year) the M-Prize provides competition winners with platforms for professional development and performance opportunities.

This year, 29 applicants were selected to compete as semifinalists for the grand prize in Michigan. The ensembles, which are made up of 112 artists from seven countries, were selected from an pool of more than 100 ensembles representing 41 countries. In addition to increased prize coffers, this year’s competition featured an interview round during which each of the senior division winners (strings, winds, and other) were asked to advocate on behalf of their ensemble’s repertoire and program plan.

Having been praised by the Calgary Herald for its “supreme melodic control and total authority,” the Argus Quartet is quickly gaining a reputation as one of today’s most dynamic and versatile young ensembles.

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Published May 10, 2017
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Transformative Juilliard President Will Step Down After Three Decades

Joseph Polisi | Photo by Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

Joseph Polisi | Photo by Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

The New York Times | By Michael Cooper

One of the most influential offstage figures in the New York arts world is stepping down. Joseph W. Polisi [’73MM, ’75MMA, ’80DMA], who transformed the Juilliard School during three decades as its president, announced on Wednesday that he plans to leave the post in June 2018.

Mr. Polisi, 68, has kept Juilliard at or near the top of any list of the world’s most important conservatories. And during his tenure as the school’s longest-serving president, he instituted a number of sweeping changes to adapt to big shifts in the worlds of culture and education at a time when the job market for even the best-trained artists was more uncertain than ever.

Mr. Polisi built Juilliard’s first dormitory to foster a sense of community at what had always been a commuter school; oversaw the school’s expansion during Lincoln Center’s recent renovation; and added programs in jazz studies and historical performance.

He proved himself a prodigious fund-raiser: The value of the school’s endowment fund had grown to about $930 million as of June, from about $63 million soon after his arrival in 1984. And in recent years, Mr. Polisi has started a series of sometimes controversial projects to create fresh revenue streams for the school, including building a new Juilliard in China. …

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Published October 13, 2016
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