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Fischoff Competition Announces 2024 Winners

Colburn’s Trio Azura has won the competition’s Grand Prize Medal and a $15,000 cash prize


Hosted by the Fischoff National Chamber Music Association, the 51st Annual Fischoff Competition took place from May 10–12, 2024. Founded in 1973, the event has since seen over 8,000 musicians compete from numerous states and nationalities.

Trio Azura, a piano trio from the Colburn Conservatory of Music has won the $15,000 Grand Prize Medal out of 59 competing ensembles from around the world. They also received the event’s Gold Medal in the Senior String Division, plus several concert opportunities at Italy’s Emilia Romagna Festival for 2025.

The LOTUS Quartet, a saxophone quartet from Arizona State University was awarded the Gold Medal in the competition’s Senior Wind Division.

The LOTUS quartet and Trio Azura will participate in the Fischoff Double Gold Tour of the Midwestern United States this fall in concerts and outreach activities. 

The full list of winners are as follows:

Senior Division (Strings):

Senior String Division Grand Prize & Gold Medal ($15,000) 

  • Trio Azura — Colburn Conservatory School of Music, Los Angeles, CA | Members: Duncan McDougall (violin), Yejin Hong (cello), Yanfeng (Tony) Bai (piano)

Silver Medal ($4,000) 

  • Hesper Quartet — Stony Brook University, NY and Juilliard School, NY | Members: Sojeong Kim (violin), Ye jin Yoon (violin), SoHui Yun (viola), Connor Kim (cello)

Bronze Medal ($3,000)

  • Erinys Quartet — Curtis Institute of Music | Members: Elizabeth Stewart (violin), Joosep Reimaa (violin),  Marija Räisänen (viola), Stergios Theodoridis (cello)

Lift Every Voice Prize ($1,500) — For best performance of a piece by a historically underrepresented composer in the chamber music world:

  • Trio Azura 

Horszowski Trio Prize for Piano Trio ($600)Awarded to the top-ranked trio consisting of piano, violin & cello. In addition to the cash prize, the winner will be invited to the Mimir Festival to work with the Horszowski Trio and other distinguished faculty members. 

  • Trio Azura 


Senior Division (Winds):

Senior Wind Division Gold Medal ($5,000 & $5,000 Double Gold Tour Prize) 

  • LOTUS Quartet — Arizona State University | Members: GianCarlo Lay (soprano saxophone), Johnathan Lee (alto saxophone), Keegan Ewan (tenor saxophone), Jerick Meagher (baritone saxophone)

Silver Medal ($4,000) 

  • Zed — University of Texas at Austin, Butler School of Music | Members: Connor O’Toole (soprano saxophone), Jacob Feldman (alto saxophone), Marina Sakellakis (tenor saxophone), David Bennette (baritone saxophone)

Bronze Medal ($3,000) 

  • Onda Sonora — University of Oklahoma | Members: Ethan Roberts (soprano saxophone), Zach Mathews (alto saxophone), Kevin Barton (tenor saxophone), Joshua Mithuen (baritone saxophone)

Lift Every Voice Prize ($1,500) 

  • PULSE — Michigan State University | Members: Zachary Costello (soprano saxophone), Spencer Cox (alto saxophone), Owen Robinson (tenor saxophone), Michael Ethier (baritone saxophone) 


Junior Division (Strings):

Junior String Division Gold Medal ($2,500) 

  • Saphir Quartet — Barratt-Due Institute of Music, Oslo, Norway | Members: Philippe Jayer (violin/viola), Torje Råbu (violin/viola), Amanda Noor Vatn (violin/viola), Iris Kalliovirta (cello)

Silver Medal ($2,000) 

  • Breshears String Quartet — San Francisco Conservatory of Music | Members: Dustin Breshears (violin), Valery Breshears (violin), Colin Breshears (viola), Starla Breshears (cello) 

Bronze Medal ($1,500) 

  • Quartet Meraviglia — The Music Institute of Chicago Academy | Members: Elle Cho (violin), Lauren Kim (violin), Emily Chen (viola), Lucy Wu (cello)

Horszowski Trio Prize for Piano Trio ($300) — Awarded to the top-ranked trio consisting of piano, violin & cello. 

  • Trío de ÁngelesColburn Conservatory of Music | Members: Esme Arias-Kim (violin), Angela Rose Padula (cello), Caden Lin (piano) 


Junior Division (Winds):

Junior Wind Division Gold Medal ($2,500) 

  • Quid Nunc Saxophone Quartet — Ronald Reagan High School, San Antonio | Members: Andrew Diaz (soprano saxophone), Joshua Furtek (alto saxophone), Gabriel Garnier, (tenor saxophone), Noah Vu (baritone saxophone) 

Silver Medal ($2,000) 

  • Five Guys Wind Quintet — National Symphony Orchestra Youth Fellowship, Washington, DC | Members: Jayden Lee (flute), Louis Westerman (clarinet), Annie Jung (oboe), Alison Pollock (bassoon), Austin Adaranijo (French horn)

Bronze Medal ($1,500) 

  • Astraea Quartet — Lake Travis High School, Austin | Members: Quinlan Collins (soprano saxophone), Jacob Ittycheria (alto saxophone), Eli Ward, (tenor saxophone), Paige Chirempes (baritone saxophone) 

American Brass Quintet Brass Ensemble Prize ($500) — Sponsored by the American Brass Quintet, this award honors the most outstanding brass ensemble in the Junior Wind Division. 

  • The Bone Rangers — Merit School of Music, Chicago | Members: Genesis Morales (trombone), Padric Sullivan (trombone), Jonathan Martinez (bass trombone), Calleigh Riordan (bass trombone)

Kenneth Geoffroy Memorial Award ($800) — To encourage the participation of local chamber music ensembles in the Fischoff Competition, a special prize is awarded to the highest ranking junior ensemble from the Michiana region (60 mile radius of South Bend). 

  • Music For — Penn High School, Mishawaka, IN


For the string category, the 2024 senior division jury comprised Natasha Brofsky, Gilbert Kalish, Ah Ling Neu, and Ian Swensen; the junior division jury included Pamela Highbaugh Aloni, Dorothy Ro, and Paul Nitsch.

The senior and junior division wind jurors included Haley Hoops, Frank Kowalsky, Chien-Kwan Lin, Hillary Simms, Kari Landry, Nermis Mieses, and Otis Murphy; the 2024 Lift Every Voice Prize jurors were Titilayo Ayangade, Catherine Ramirez, and Rochelle Sennet.

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