Isidore String Quartet Wins Peak Fellowship Residency in Prestigious Banff International String Quartet Competition
The Isidore String Quartet won first place in the renowned Banff International String Quartet Competition and will become the newest Peak Fellowship Ensemble-in-Residence at Meadows.
The Isidore String Quartet won first place in the renowned Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC) in Canada on September 4 and will become the newest Peak Fellowship Ensemble-in-Residence at SMU Meadows School of the Arts, beginning in 2023. The ensemble took the top prize after seven days of competition with nine quartets from around the world.
In 2018, SMU Meadows began a collaboration with BISQC to offer the Peak Fellowship residency to the competition’s first place laureate. The winning ensemble will present recitals and perform in other chamber music concerts alongside Meadows chamber music students. Members will also coach student ensembles, offer private lessons, mentorship, and career workshops, give class demonstrations, and work with student composers, among other activities. The Peak Fellowship program is coordinated by award-winning violinist Aaron Boyd, the director of chamber music and chair of strings at SMU Meadows.
“Identifying and nurturing the finest young chamber ensembles is the core mission of the Peak Fellowship, and our unique partnership with the Banff International String Quartet Competition gives us access to the most dynamic and promising string quartets in the world,” said Boyd. “The 2022 Banff competition produced a truly astounding array of gifted ensembles, and the winning Isidore Quartet, an ensemble of uncommon elegance and sophistication, will be a powerful inspiration to our students as well as a major cultural asset to the SMU campus and the Dallas region at large.”
The Peak Fellowship residency was originally established at Meadows in 2015 as a two-year fellowship available to chamber music groups internationally. It was made possible by a generous gift from Martha Raley Peak (1927-2015), a graduate of SMU who had a lifelong passion for the arts, particularly music. Previous winners were the Cezanne Quartet (2015-17), the Julius Quartet (2017-19), and, in an unprecedented first-place tie during the last BISQC, the Marmen Quartet and Viano String Quartet (2019-21).
BISQC, a program of Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Banff, Alberta, is one of the world’s leading music competitions. Founded in 1983 and held once every three years, BISQC invites 10 select quartets from around the globe to Banff Centre to perform various pieces of work over seven days, competing for the top prize: a three-year career development program worth over $300,000. In addition to the Meadows residency, the first-place winners receive a cash award, concert tours throughout Europe and North America, and a Banff Centre residency that includes the production of a recording.
For more information about the Banff International String Quartet Competition, please visit https://www.banffcentre.ca/bisqc. For more information about the SMU Peak Fellowship Ensemble-in-Residence, please visit https://www.smu.edu/Meadows/AreasOfStudy/Music/PeakFellowship.