20 February to 2 March 2017 – It was a brilliant concert by the prizewinning ensembles at MuTh that topped off the internationally renowned Joseph Haydn Chamber Music Competition on 2 March.

Simply Quartet
Simply Quartet ©Gerard Spee

With nearly 40 string quartets and piano trios from all over the world having registered for this year’s competition, the first (preliminary) round selected 17 ensembles to be invited to the three main rounds in Vienna. Three of these groups had to cancel at short notice, meaning that it was ultimately six quartets and eight trios that presented themselves to the prominent jury. The very high artistic and technical level of the competitors’ performances in the Haydn-Saal impressed both the jury and the audience, including the numerous interested viewers of the mdw’s live stream.

The programming requirements were challenging: in each round, one work by Haydn had to be combined with works from a list of selected great repertoire running all the way from Mozart and Beethoven to Bartók and Wolfgang Rihm. The high-calibre ensembles that made it to the final round thus succeeded, within a short period of time, in presenting three fullfledged concert programmes that enabled them to show all the facets of their stylistic and interpretational prowess. It is extremely gratifying, of course, to see some of the mdw’s own ensembles among the competition’s best:

Piano Trio

  1. Prize and Haydn Prize: Trio Metral, France
  2. Prize and Haydn Prize: Trio Isimziz, Spain/Great Britain/Bulgaria
  3. Prize and Best Interpretation of the Commissioned Work: Trio Amatis, Netherlands/Germany/Great Britain

String Quartet

  1. Prize, Haydn Prize, and Best Interpretation of the Commissioned Work: Simply Quartet (mdw), China/Norway
  2. Prize, Haydn Prize, Best Interpretation of a Work from the 20th or 21st Century, and Audience Prize: Quatuor Hanson, France/Great Britain
  3. Prize: Adamas Quartet (mdw), Austria

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