Following nine days of strenuous string playing Berlin’s Noga Quartet has been announced as the Grand Prize winners at the 7th Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition (MICMC). The group collected a tidy sum of AUD24,000 (€16,300), having come through two international preliminary stages and three rounds in the competition proper.
Other winners included Giocoso String Quartet, who collected the Musica Viva Australia Prize, and Linos Piano Trio, who won the Peter Druce Audience Award as well as the Piano Trio section of the competition.
Speaking at the award ceremony on 19 July chairman of Chamber Music Australia Julian Burnside said: ‘Supporting these young performers and composers is essential for furthering our collective creative soul.’
Made up of violinists Simon Roturier and Lauriane Vernhes, with Avishai Chameides on viola and Joan Bachs on cello, this is Noga Quartet’s second taste of success, having previously won the Irene Steels-Wilsing competition in 2014. The group has been playing together since 2008, fusing their French, Israeli and Italian heritage together to create what they call ‘an original character.’
Linos Trio consists of Prach Boondiskulchok at the piano, Konrad Elias-Trostmann on violin and Vladimir Waltham on cello, with the group described by Strad as playing with ‘brilliance and élan.’ Later this year the trio are touring to Scotland, with dates to be confirmed.
As a result of their success Noga Quartet have been booked for three additional performances, with concerts at The Independent Theatre in Sydney on 21 July, Peninsula Music Society in Mornington on 24 July and at Bendigo’s Capital Theatre on 25 July. Recordings from the competition were broadcast on ABC Classic FM, and are available to stream from the broadcaster’s website.
Other placing finalists were Trio Medici and Trio Adorno, who came second and third in the piano trio competition, while Giocoso Quartet and Verona Quartet finished second and third respectively in the quartet section.
MICMC has run every four years since 1989, with the first and second round hosted by Melbourne Town Hall and the final held in the visually-stunning auditorium of Melbourne Recital Centre.