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The Dover Quartet, Quartet in Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music, Sweeps 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition

First Prize and four additional honors go to the quartet of Curtis alumni

Watch their prize-winning performance on

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(September 16, 2013) The Dover Quartet, first quartet-in-residence as part of the Curtis Institute of Music's new string quartet program, swept the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition in September. Following six days of juried concerts at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada, the Dover Quartet was awarded first prize and four other honors.

With their first prize comes an extensive three-year career development program including concert tours in Europe and North America, Banff Centre residencies, and the production of a CD recorded and produced by the Centre's audio department. The prize also includes a quartet of custom bows by renowned bow maker François Malo and a concert in Paris produced by ProQuartet.

The Dover Quartet's other awards from the Banff competition include the Székely Prize, for best performance of a Schubert quartet; the Canadian Commission Prize, for best performance of Vivian Fung's String Quartet No. 3 commissioned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Banff Centre; the R.S. Williams & Sons Haydn Prize; for best performance of a Haydn Quartet; the ProQuartet prize, which includes a Paris concert; and the Esterhazy Foundation Prize, which includes a recital in Haydn Hall at the Esterhazy Palace in Eisenstadt.

Formed in 2008 at the Curtis Institute of Music by Joel Link (Violin '11) from Cartersville, Ga.; Bryan Lee (Violin '11) from Radnor, Pa.; Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt (Viola '10, '11) from Jacksonville, Fla.; and Camden Shaw (Cello '10, '11) from Bellevue, Wash.; the Dover Quartet is the inaugural ensemble for the school's string quartet program which begins in the 2013-14 school year.

Designed for young quartets of extraordinary promise, Curtis's new string quartet program provides musicians with frequent performance opportunities, in keeping with the school's learn by doing philosophy. Quartets also receive multiple weekly coachings from Curtis's renowned string faculty, which includes celebrated chamber musicians, soloists, and orchestral players, and work with visiting artists, including string quartets, throughout the year.

As quartet in residence, the Dover Quartet will also design and implement a unique performance project for Curtis's Community Artists Program and will play in and coach student ensembles, providing mentorship and musical leadership to the students of high school age and younger in the Curtis Young Artists Initiative.

The Curtis string quartet program is open to ensembles formed for at least one year at the time of their audition. Applicant ensembles should consist of excellent musicians both individually and collectively, have clear aspirations for a career as a professional quartet, and demonstrate an affinity for Curtis's "learn by doing" approach to artistic development. Applications for the 2014-15 school year are due December 16; visit for more information.

Curtis thanks the generous donors who made the new program possible: Trustees Nina von Maltzahn and Robert H. Mundheim, together with Henry Arnhold, created a fund to implement the string quartet program over the next three years; while Eli and Phil Taylor, a member of the Board of Overseers, provided program development funding.

The Dover Quartet draws from the musical lineage of both the Vermeer and Guarneri Quartets, while also bringing youthful enthusiasm and musical conviction to the repertoire that are truly its own. The quartet comes to Curtis from Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, where they were the graduate string quartet-in-residence. Praised by The Strad for their "exceptional interpretative maturity, tonal refinement, and taut ensemble,'' their previous honors include the Gold Medal and Grand Prize of the 2010 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and Second Prize in the 2009 Young Concert Artists International Auditions.

A prize-winner at the London International String Quartet Competition, the Dover Quartet has taken part in such festivals as Artosphere, La Jolla SummerFest, and the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival; and has performed on several influential series, including the Washington Performing Arts Society, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Peoples' Symphony, Schneider Concerts, Kneisel Hall, and the Houston Friends of Chamber Music. Its members have appeared as soloists with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, Kansas City Symphony, and BBC Concert Orchestra.

As quartet in residence at the Curtis Institute of Music, the group will appear nationally and internationally via Curtis On Tour through the 2013-14 season, in addition to maintaining an active performing schedule apart from Curtis. Details will be available soon at and

The Curtis Institute of Music educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians for careers as performing artists on the highest professional level. One of the world's leading conservatories, Curtis provides its 171 students with full-tuition scholarships and personalized attention from a celebrated faculty. Its distinctive "learn by doing" approach has produced an impressive number of notable artists, from such legends as Samuel Barber to current stars Jonathan Biss, Juan Diego Flórez, Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Higdon, and Lang Lang. Curtis alumni hold principal chairs in every major American orchestra, and each season they are featured as guest soloists with the world's leading orchestras, opera houses, and chamber music series.

Curtis's innovative programs encourage students to perform often and hone 21st-century musical skills. The school's facilities offer superb spaces for music-making, as well as state-of-the-art technologies to enhance learning. In addition to more than 200 performances in and around Philadelphia each year, students perform internationally with Curtis On Tour. When they graduate, they become musical leaders, making a profound impact on music around the globe. To learn more, visit

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