VC Artist Aizuri Quartet to Receive 2022 Cleveland Quartet Award

The New-York based ensemble will receive the award for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 seasons

(Photo credit: Shervin Lainez)


Established in 1995, the Cleveland Quartet Award is given biannually to promote a rising string quartet that is developing a major career.

The national network for ensemble music professionals, Chamber Music America (CMA), announced that the honor will go to the VC Artist Aizuri Quartet.

Comprised of violinists Emma Frucht and Miho Saegusa, violist Ayana Kozasa, and cellist Karen Ouzounian, the Aizuri Quartet was the Grand Prize winner at the 2018 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition.

They have also received top prizes at the 2017 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in Japan and the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition in London.

The Quartet’s debut album, "Blueprinting," featuring new works written for the Aizuri Quartet by five American composers, was nominated for a 2019 GRAMMY Award and named one of NPR Music’s Best Classical Albums of 2018.

They previously served as Quartet-in-Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music, New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, and the Ravinia Festival's Steans Music Institute.

"The Cleveland Quartet Award occupies a meaningful place in CMA’s history as an organization, as it bears the name of an ensemble whose legacy stands out as one of the leaders in this country’s string quartet history," said Kevin Kwan Loucks, Chamber Music America's chief executive officer. "We are pleased that the Aizuri Quartet is among the quartets that have previously received this distinction,” he added.

Previous recipients of the Cleveland Quartet Award include VC Artists the Dover and Verona quartets plus the Brentano, Borromeo, Miami, Pacifica, Miró, Jupiter, Parker, Jasper, Ariel, and Rolston Quartets.