The San Francisco Bay Area-based Telegraph Quartet has been declared the winner of the 2016 Naumburg Chamber Music Competition. The Competition’s final round, which took place Friday, September 23 at the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City, featured 55-minute recitals from several chamber groups in front of a panel of internationally renowned musicians. The Telegraph’s final round program was comprised of works by Haydn, Webern, Britten, Leon Kirchner, and George Rochberg, an example of its commitment to both canon and non-standard repertoire.
"We are incredibly honored to have won the Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Award just this past Friday,” says violinist Joseph Maile, speaking on behalf of the Telegraph Quartet. “As students we grew up hearing about this competition from many of our beloved mentors — SFCM teachers Mark Sokol of the Concord Quartet and Ian Swensen of the Meliora Quartet, both of whom were previous winners of the Naumburg Award. Just having a crack at competing for the Award has always been on our bucket list. We have many musical friends and family to thank for their help leading up to the competition and we are especially grateful for the support we received from the coaches of the SFCM Chamber Music program who set aside a small part of the Thursday chamber class for us to have a mock audition: both the performing and comments from faculty and students were invaluable for us to have days before we competed in New York.”
The Quartet, comprising SFCM alumni Eric Chin ‘12 (violin), Joseph Maile ‘12 (violin), and Pei-Ling Lin ‘12 (viola), as well as Jeremiah Shaw (cello), has seen immense success since its founding in 2013. It received the Grand Prize at the 2014 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition and has performed at prestigious venues around the world. The Telegraph Quartet has given several master classes at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and two of the members (Maile and Lin) are currently part of the Pre-College division faculty and teach collegiate chamber music, as well. (Click here for more information.)
The various categories of Naumburg Awards are held in high esteem among the pantheon of music prizes. The Chamber Music Award, first given out in 1965, is one of the most distinguished awards in the chamber music world. Previous winners, including the Emerson, Miró, and Brentano quartets, have gone on to become some of the most successful chamber groups performing on the concert circuit. This year’s award includes a recital at Carnegie Hall and the commissioning of a new work by composer Robert Sirota.