Leonkoro Quartet wins 2022 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition

The Berlin-based ensemble was formed in 2019 and receives the top prize of £10,000

Published: April 12, 2022 at 9:40 pm
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The Berlin-based Leonkoro Quartet has won the 2022 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition and receives the top prize of £10,000 in addition to a number of performances and residencies at venues around the world.

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Formed in 2019, the ensemble - violinists Jonathan Schwarz and Amelie Wallner, violist Mayu Konoe and cellist Lukas Schwarz - has studied with the Artemis Quartet at the University of the Arts Berlin and at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid with Günter Pichler.

The Quartet also receives a number of Wigmore Competition special prizes, including the Bram Eldering Prize for the best performance of a 19th century quartet (£1,200), the Sidney Griller Award for the best performance of Sally Beamish’s Nine Fragments (£1,000), the Haydn Prize (£1,000), the Alan Bradley Mozart Prize (£1,000) and the Twentieth Century Prize (£1,000).

Second prize, worth £6,000, goes to the Adelphi Quartet, based in Austria and Germany, while third prize, worth £3000, is awarded to the Affinity Quartet from Australia.

John Gilhooly, Wigmore Hall director and chairman of the jury, said, ‘This past week had been an extraordinary celebration of the string quartet, witnessed both by our live audiences in London as well as the thousands of viewers around the world who watched the live stream. The standard of playing fills us with great confidence for the future.’

The jury members of the 2022 competition were Jonathan Brown (viola, Casals Quartet), Hélène Clément (viola, Doric Quartet), Simin Ganatra (violin, Pacifica Quartet), Louise Hopkins (cello, head of strings, Guildhall School of Music & Drama), Laura Samuel (violin, leader BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and ex-Belcea Quartet), Kyril Zlotnikov (cello, Jerusalem Quartet) and John Gilhooly.

The triennial Wigmore Hall Competition was founded in 1979 when the Takács Quartet triumphed at the first edition held in Portsmouth. The contest is open to ensembles comprising players aged below 35 years.

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Photo: Benjamin Ealovega

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