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2021 Bartók World Competition for String Quartets Announces Winners

The Japanese-based Quartet Integra was awarded first prize and will receive 12,000 Euros

Quartet Integra, which was formed in 2015, consists of violinists Misawa Kyoka and Kikuno Rintaro, violist Yamamoto Itsuki, and cellist Tsukiji Anri.

Second prize was awarded to the Vienna-based Chaos String Quartet, and the Sonoro Quartet of Belgium was third.

Quartet Integra are currently Chamber Music Fellows at Tokyo's Suntory Hall. They were the winners of the eighth Akiyoshidai Music Competition and the Kirishima International Music Festival Award, and have performed at the Chigiana Summer Academy.

This year's edition marked the fourth year of the Bartók World Competition, which runs on a six-year cycle of different formats. In even-numbered years, the competition serves composers, while in odd-numbered years its focus alternates between three different instrumental categories: violin, piano, and string quartet.

Mikhail Kopelman, the President of the Jury, noted that all eleven finalists had performed to a very high standard. Despite this, he said, the jury had made their decisions almost unanimously. Members of the jury included Russian-American violinist Mikhail Kopelman, Norwegian cellist Bjørg Lewis, Austrian violinist Johannes Meissl, violinist Ami Oike — in addition to Hungarian members: Kossuth Prize-winning violinists Barnabás Kelemen, András Keller, and János Rolla, as well as Széchenyi Prize-winning music historian Tibor Tallián.

"The competitors did a great job, the jury worked tirelessly, and I am extremely grateful to all of them that this year's Bartók World Competition, announced in the string quartet category, took place at such an extraordinary level," said Dr. Andrea Vigh, Rector of the Liszt Academy.

"I am extremely pleased and proud that the Bartók World Competition and Festival has become not only a defining event in Hungarian music life over the years, but the international music community, as well as the general public, also regard it as one of the most prestigious music competitions," she added.

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