Viatores Quartett wins Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy University Competition

Viatores Quartett: Umut Sağlam (Cello), K. H. Gordon Lau (Viola), Louisa Staples (Violine), Patricio Velásquez Cárdenas (Violine) © Deniz Tunçer
[Translate to English:] © Johannes Jost
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The Viatores Quartet won first prize, the Mendelssohn Prize, at this year's Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy University Competition. The string quartet studies in Johanna Staemmler's chamber music class at the Eisler and was founded here in 2023 with Louisa Staples (violin), Patricio Velásquez Cárdenas (violin), K. H. Gordon Lau (viola) and Umut Sağlam (cello). The quartet took part in the Villa Musica string quartet laboratory under the direction of Prof. Oliver Wille and was invited to the Hindemith Tage 2023.

The Mendelssohn Prize is endowed with 6,000 euros. The Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy University Competition is organised by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation in cooperation with the Rectors' Conference of German Music Universities (RKM) and the Berlin University of the Arts. The patron of the competition is Andris Nelsons, the artistic director is Prof Dr Sebastian Nordmann.

In the singing competition, Hanns Eisler students were also awarded special prizes: Rory Green, who studied with Prof. Thomas Quasthoff and Prof. Christine Schäfer, received the special prize from the Walter Kaminsky Foundation for his excellent interpretation of a song by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, while Madalena Oliveira Martins from Prof. Ewa Wolak's singing class was honoured for her outstanding performance in the first round of the competition.

Third prize in the string quartet competition went to the Sapphō Quartet, a Berlin string quartet comprising sisters Jona Schibilsky (violin, UdK) and Marei Schibilsky (violin, HfM class of Prof Stephan Forck), Johannes Rosenberg (violin, UdK) and Arnold Stieve (viola, class of Prof Diyang Mei), who met during their studies at the UdK Berlin and Hanns Eisler. As an ensemble, they have been receiving lessons from Prof. Gregor Sigl (Artemis Quartet) at the Berlin University of the Arts since 2023.

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