Cecilia String Quartet wins 1st prize at Banff Competition

From left to right: Sara Nematallah (violin), Min-Jeong Koh (violin), Prof. André Roy, Rebecca Wenham (cello) and Caitlin Boyle (viola) savor the quartet’s win at the Banff Centre.

By McGill Reporter Staff

Following its residency at the Schulich School of Music under the supervision of professor André Roy and its participation at the 1st McGill International String Quartet Academy (MISQA), the Cecilia Quartet has won the prestigious Banff International String Quartet Competition, competing against nine of the world’s finest emerging string quartets from France, Germany, Russia, Canada and the U.S..

Along with the 1st prize worth $25,000, the quartet also won the Canadian Commission Prize, worth $2,000, for best performance of Canadian composer Ana Sokolovic’s piece de concours, Commedia dell’arte. The 1st prize win also includes a set of select handmade bows by Quebec bow-maker Francois Malo, and — perhaps most importantly, in keeping with the career development mandate of the competition — a North American and European tour in 2011-2012 arranged by The Banff Centre, and the offer of a two-week residency at the centre to produce a CD. In total the value of the first prize is in excess of $80,000.

“They have worked so hard for this” said Prof. Roy, who was present at the competition. “They played every round with such spirit, creativity and tremendous determination. We are so proud of them.”