2022 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition: the final weekend
Friday, April 8, 2022
Find out which quartets have made it to the semi-finals - and watch them perform live
All this week the Wigmore Hall – and, initially, London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama – has been hearing from some of the finest young quartets from around the world, all participating in the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition.
The initial round saw the ensembles perform a late Mozart quartet paired with a major 20th-century quartet, while the subsequent round - at which point the competition moved to the Wigmore Hall itself - saw the them choose a Haydn quartet to present alongside Nine Fragments – String Quartet No 4 by Sally Beamish.
The prestigious competition has now reached the culminating weekend, with six quartets chosen to go through to the semi-finals tomorrow (Saturday) in which they will perform one of their two choices of 19th-century repertoire.
At 2pm, audiences can hear from the Ulysses Quartet, the Malion Quartet and the Leonkoro Quartet, while the Adelphi Quartet, Risus Quartet and Affinity Quartet will perform at 7.30pm. Between those, at 5pm, there's a chance to watch the film 'Strings Attached - On the Road with the Dover Quartet'.
The semi-finals will be screened live, and you can watch them below:
Then, at the end of tomorrow evening, the jury will select at least three quartets to proceed to the Final, which takes place on Sunday evening, and at which the remaining ensembles will each play one of their two choices of Beethoven quartet. The concert will be followed by the Prize-Giving ceremony at approximately 9pm. For tickets to the final, visit here.
According to John Gilhooly, Artistic and Executive Director of Wigmore Hall, and Chairman of the Jury: 'The standard is exceptionally high and we expect a good final of three quartets when we get there.'
The prestigious triennial competition traces its roots back to 1979, when the then unknown Takács Quartet triumphed at the event held in Portsmouth. Held by the Wigmore Hall since 2010, and open to ensembles comprising players aged below 35 years, it allows quartets to demonstrate their musicality across the breadth of the genre’s repertoire, from classical to contemporary.
You can learn more about the competition by listening to last week's Gramophone Podcast, in which Editor-in-Chief James Jolly was joined by Wigmore Hall's Director John Gilhooly and the viola-player of the Doric Quartet, Hélène Clément.