The German-based Esmé Quartet has today been awarded 1st prize at the 2018 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, in London.
Formed in 2016, and comprising Korean musicians, violinists Wonhee Bae and Yoona Ha, violist Jiwon Kim and cellist Ye-eun Heo, the ensemble are former major prize winners at the Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition.
2nd prize was awarded to the German-based Goldmund Quartett – and 3rd prize to the US-based Viano String Quartet.
The Esmé Quartet will receive €10,000, an extensive UK tour including a Wigmore Hall recital, an Avaloch Farm Music Institute residency, Banff Centre residency funding, a Champs Hill Records CD recording – and fully-covered participation at the 2018 McGill International String Quartet Academy.
“It’s been an incredible week for the string quartet in London and the standard of playing fills us with great confidence for the future,” Wigmore Hall Director John Gilhooly has said.
Founded in 1979, and hosted triennially, former 1st prize winners include the Van Kuijk, Arcadia, Danish, Formosa, Atrium, Hagen and Takács String Quartets.
The 2018 jury will comprise: John Gilhooly (Jury Chair), Jonathan Brown, András Fejér, Nobuko Imai, Bjørg Lewis, Heime Müller, Károly Schranz, Hélène Clement, Emma Denton, Donald Grant, Oliver Heath and Alasdair Tait.