The Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC) took place this past weekend at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada. Founded in 1983, BISQC is a triennial competition that aspires to not only recognize musical greatness, but also support the careers of emerging artists. The first place ensemble this year is the Cecilia String Quartet, an all-female ensemble based in Toronto, Canada.
The article in the CBC news includes a statement from competition executive director Barry Shiffman that describes the ensemble as having a, “stunning spirit of creativity that consistently celebrated risk-taking and discovery.” Though I must note that the article also informs the readers that the groups is, “often brilliantly clad”. (Really?!?!)
The Cecilia String Quartet will receive $25,000 (CA) and a North American and European tour for 2011-12, a residency at the Banff Centre to help produce a new album, and custom bows. The group also won the $2,000 Canadian Commission Prize for the best performance of a work commissioned by the competition from Canadian composer Ana Sokolovic .