Classical Music

Isidore Quartet Wins Banff International String Competition

Isidore Quartet Wins Banff International String Competition

The New York-based Isidore String Quartet has been awarded the $500,000 CAD winners’ prize at Canada’s 2022 Banff International String Competition


The Isidore String Quartet, from the United States, has today been awarded 1st prize at the 14th Banff International String Competition 2022 (BISQC), in Banff, Alberta, Canada.

Second and third prizes were awarded to the Scandinavian-based Opus 13 and the New England Conservatory-based Balourdet Quartet.


Comprising violinists Phoenix Avalon and Adrian Steele, violist Devin Moore and cellist Joshua McClendon, the Isidores are current students at The Juilliard School. in New York, under the mentorship of Joseph Lin, Astrid Schween, Laurie Smukler, and Joel Krosnick.

As the first prize winners, the Isidores will receive a custom-designed three-year artistic and career development program valued at more than $500,000 CAD — including a $25,000 CAD cash, an extensive winner’s concert tour, a two-year paid residency at the Southern Methodist University and the Esterházy Foundation residency, comprising concerts at Haydn Hall in Eisenstadt and the Lucerne Festival.




All three quartets competing in the Final Round will also be offered residency opportunities at the Banff Centre, and the seven quartets who did not advance to this year’s Final Round will all receive a prize of $5,000.00 CAD.

The prize for the best performance of a Haydn Quartet, during the competition, was also awarded to the Isidore String Quartet.

The ‘Canadian Commission’ prize, for the best performance of “The Disappearance of Lisa Gherardini” for String Quartet by Sri Lankan-born Canadian composer Dinuk Wijeratne was awarded to the Quatuor Agate.

“I think this week has gone off beyond all dreams. BISQC, this year, is the first fully-fledged international event at the Banff Centre, at full capacity, since the pandemic began. What we saw here this week was 40 hours of absolutely exceptionally inspired music making – and I think it couldn’t have gone any better,” Director Barry Shifman today said.

“Our goal for this competition is to propel the careers of the winners and finalists. Their artistic lives will be transformed over the next three years with a two-year residency at Southern Methodist University, a residency that will include a professional recording at Banff Centre and a North American and European Tour that will expose them to audiences everywhere.”


Established in 1983 as part of Banff Centre’s 50th anniversary, BISQC is held once every three years, with previous first prize winners include the VC Artists Marmen Quartet, Dover Quartet, and the Viano String Quartet.

This year’s jury comprised Estelle Choi, James Ehnes, Juan-Miguel Hernandez, Barnabás Kelemen, Catherine Manson, Károly Schranz and Sung-Won Yang.




Opus 13 (Norway/Sweden)

  • Beethoven | String Quartet No. 13 in B♭ Major, Op. 130

Balourdet Quartet (USA)

  • Beethoven | String Quartet No. 14 in C♯ minor, Op. 131


Isidore String Quartet (USA)

  • Beethoven | String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132



Every round of the 2022 competition is available now on The Violin Channel for full playback.



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