CAVATINA Intercollegiate Chamber Music Competition

2021 Results

First Prize ⋅ Resol Quartet (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland)
Second Prize ⋅ Freeman Quartet (Royal Northern College of Music)
Audience Prize ⋅ Resol Quartet (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland)

Richard Bratby, adjudicator, wrote:

“After an unprecedented fourteen months, in which ensemble music-making has at times been almost impossible, it was inspiring – as well as hugely enjoyable – to hear so many outstanding young quartets playing with such consistent artistry, insight, and commitment. Each quartet had a wholly distinctive ensemble sound as well as an individual and often highly perceptive approach to Beethoven’s Op.18, No.5.

We couldn’t have hoped for a better demonstration of the intelligence and stylistic diversity of the emerging generation of chamber musicians, with groups drawing on historically informed practice, as well as the whole legacy of twentieth-century Beethoven interpretation, to create compelling, coherent, and very personal readings of this far-from-straightforward work.

The two prizewinning quartets both built on this to create performances that satisfied the intellect and moved the heart on every level - finding a balance between emotion and architecture, fantasy and precision, and making it all sound entirely natural. But I’d have been delighted to have encountered any of the seven groups in this year’s competition in the concert hall. In this, of all years, their achievement is an inspiration (and a tonic) to anyone who loves chamber music, and believes in its future.”

In memory of Pamela Majaro

The origins of the present intercollegiate chamber music competition go back to the Heller Quartet Prize, founded and endowed in 1961 by Rosemary Rapaport in memory of her husband, Gerard Heller. Gerard was an amateur pianist with a passion for chamber music, particularly string quartets, hosting many concerts in his home, including the Griller Quartet's first performance in Manchester. Rosemary was a violinist who studied and subsequently taught at the Royal Academy of Music. In 1962, along with her friend Irene Foster, she established the Purcell School.

In 2012 the competition was given a fresh endowment by CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust. String quartets now alternate annually with piano trios to compete for the prizes, with both ensembles currently working through their respective works by Beethoven.

The competition was dedicated to one of CAVATINA's two founders, Pamela Majaro, who sadly died in February 2016.

CAVATINA gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Laurie & Gillian Marsh Charitable Trust and the Elias Fawcett Trust in making the competition possible.