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Every 4 years, Musica Viva gets ready to produce the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition. The competition is one of the biggest ways we try to encourage and celebrate the best young chamber music ensembles around the world. With entries open and another competition in full swing, we reflect on some of the previous grand prize winners that have participated in MICMC.
8TH MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER MUSIC COMPETITION, 2018
The most recent winner of the grand prize, Trio Marvin consisted of Marina Grauman on violin, Marius Urba on cello, and Vitan Kan playing the piano. Since winning the MICMC in 2018, they later went on to a tour of 15 concerts throughout Germany in 2019. After that successful tour, the trio recorded their debut album with South West Radio and Label Genuin titled Echoes of War.
Having released their album on October 4, Trio Marvin returned to Australia in 2019 to showcase some of the music they presented on their album. Their tour wasn't just limited to bigger cities, and they also chose to perform in more regional areas like Mudgee and Coffs Harbour.
In 2020, Trio Marvin released their second album, which was part of their first prize victory at the Mendelssohn competition all the way back in 2017. While they’re still going strong, during the second half of 2020, Vita Kan decided to leave the group. She was replaced by ARD Music Competition winner Dasol Kim.
7TH MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER MUSIC COMPETITION, 2015
After winning the grand prize in 2015, Noga Quartet have been invited to perform across Germany, Belgium, Italy, France and many other countries. Since their formation in Berlin in 2009, the string quartet have maintained the same lineup: Simon Roturier and Lauriane Vernhes on violin, Avishai Chameides playing viola and Joan Bachs on the cello.
Amongst their many successful concerts across Europe, Noga Quartet was also given the honour to play the closing concert at the 2019 MISQA in Montreal. During that year, they also released their first album Aquarelles in collaboration with the Australian soprano Siobhan Stagg. The album includes reimaginations of Debussy and Hahn.
6TH MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER MUSIC COMPETITION, 2011
Having won the top prize at the 2011 iteration of the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, the Amaryllis Quartett have since continued to perform at venues throughout the world. Amongst many other places, they have held concerts in Zurich, Tokyo, and Florence since winning the competition.
The Amaryllis Quartett have also released many albums since their triumph at the 6th MICMC. These include: Red (2013), a series of string quartets by Beethoven and Berg, Blue (2015), which features works by Debussy, Yang, and Ravel, and Yellow (2016), a collaboration with soprano Katharina Persicke that includes string quartets by Mozart and Schoenberg.
The group has gone through a few member changes since 2011. In 2016, violist Lena Eckles left the group to be replaced by Tomoko Arasaka. However, after 3 years, Arasaka herself left the quartet for a professorship and was followed on by Mareike Hefti at the beginning of 2020. In March of 2021, the Amaryllis Quartett released yet another album, Light and Shade, including works by David Philip Hefti in conjunction with mezzo-soprano Maria Riccarda Wesseling and basset clarinet Bernhard Röthlisberger.
5TH MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER MUSIC COMPETITION, 2007
The winners of the 2007 grand prize, the Atos Trio, are still playing in 2021 under their original 2003 lineup of violinist Annette von Hehn, cellist Stefan Heinemeyer, and pianist Thomas Hoppe. After winning the big prize at the 5th MICMC, the Atos Trio proceeded to claim further accolades, including recognition by the BBC as “New Generation Artists”.
They have since performed at some of the biggest stages in the world, including at the Wigmore Hall in London, New York’s Carnegie Hall, and the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. The Atos Trio have also made a couple of albums. Amongst them are The Russian Album, released in 2014, featuring the works of Shostakovich and Arensky and The Czech Album (2016), which includes compositions by Dvorak and Smetana.
Their latest CD was released in 2020, a recording of their performance at Wigmore Hall of Beethoven’s piano trios. Even during lockdown, the Atos trio managed to play at open air concerts across Germany, Austria, and Italy.
4TH MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER MUSIC COMPETITION, 2003
The Danish Paizo Quartet won the grand prize in 2003. Consisting of Mikkel Futtrup, Magda Stevensson, Toke Moldrup and Malin Nystrom, the string quartet played at various concerts after their success in Melbourne, including at Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall and the Louvre Auditorium in Paris.
Unfortunately, the quartet are no longer performing together. Mikkel Futtrup is a concertmaster for the Royal Danish Orchestra, although he still performs as a soloist with various orchestras such as the Vienna Chamber Orchestra. Magda Stevensson currently performs as a Tutti Viola at the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. Toke Moldrup is a professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Music and until recently, the principal cellist of the Copenhagen Philharmonic. After a stint in the Malmo Symphony Orchestra, Malin Nystrom currently teaches at the Malmo Academy of Music.