The Strad News – Arete Quartet wins the 19th Lyon International Chamber Music Competition


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The 19th Lyon International Chamber Music Competition (CIMCL) concluded on 26 April in Lyon, France, holding its final round at the Hôtel de Ville. This year’s competition was dedicated to string quartets. First prize was awarded to the Seoul-based Arete Quartet, receiving €10,000. The second prize of €6,000 was won by the New York-based Hesper Quartet, and the third prize of €4,000 by the Paris-based Varen Quartet. All three quartets also received complete sets of Corelli Solea strings.

The Arete Quartet also won many of the special prizes, including the audience prize, the €2,000 SEAM Prize for commitment to contemporary repertoire, the €1,000 prize for the best interpretation of a contemporary piece, the €2,000 prize for the best performance of the first movement of Lucien Durosoir’s second quartet, awarded by Musiciens entre guerre et paix, and the Belle Saison prize, which comprises concerts, a residency, and artistic project development.

The Villecroze Music Academy prize was awarded to the Hesper Quartet, receiving a 2025 residency and masterclass with violist Miguel da Silva. The winners may also be further engaged for concerts at numerous international festivals.

The Arete Quartet was established in 2019 and comprises violinists Chaeann Jeon and Eunjoong Park, violist Yoonsun Jang, and cellist Seonghyeon Park. It won first prize in both the 2021 Prague Spring International Music Competition and the 2023 International Mozart Competition Salzburg.

’We would like to thank everyone who supported us, as well as our company, Mok Productions, and the Art Sylvia Foundation,’ the quartet said in an announcement post on social media. ’We ask for your continued interest and support.’

This year’s CIMCL panel comprised violinists Goran Končar from the Zagreb Quartet, Luc-Marie Aguera from the Ysaÿe Quartet, Mihaela Martin from the Michelangelo Quartet, violist Marie Chilemme from the Ebène Quartet, and cellists Kyril Zlotnikov from the Jerusalem Quartet and Niklas Schmidt from the Fine Arts Quartet and Fontenay Trio.

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