VC INTERVIEW | Kara Kane on the Fischoff Nationwide Chamber Music Competitors


The Violin Channel not too long ago mentioned the upcoming competitors with its government director, Kara Kane.


Inform us concerning the Fischoff Nationwide Chamber Music Competitors. When was it based? What’s the competitors’s main mission?

In 1973, Joseph Fischoff and the members of the South Bend Chamber Music Society needed to discover a distinctive method to encourage younger music college students to check chamber music. They determined to host a chamber music competitors, and within the first yr, six ensembles participated. 49 years later, on common 125 ensembles compete, representing 31 completely different states and 23 nationalities.

Mr. Fischoff and his associates couldn’t have identified that their experiment, and abiding ardour for educating younger college students the nice craft of chamber music, would launch the careers of a whole bunch, and improve the lives of 1000’s of aspiring musicians. Since its founding, greater than 7,600 musicians have competed, lots of whom have gone on to distinguished careers in music efficiency and training, together with Grammy award winners: Indiana native violinist Joshua Bell, the genre-defying modern ensemble Eighth Blackbird, the Pacifica Quartet, and 2022 Grammy Award nominee, Imani Winds.

Fischoff distinguishes itself from all different music competitions by remaining true to its core mission: to encourage and educate younger musicians within the self-discipline and expression of chamber music. Dedicated to music training, Fischoff companions with its distinguished competitors alumni to ship free, modern music packages to youngsters and youth. Packages are introduced in faculties, neighborhood facilities, and after-school packages. Via these packages, Fischoff has served over 91,500 youth within the tri-state area since 1995; and on an annual foundation, reaches greater than 4,000 college students, lots of whom are in under-resourced faculties inside our neighborhood. Fischoff’s packages give native college students first-hand, up-close, private experiences with a number of the best chamber musicians on this planet.


Who’re some previous prize winners, who’ve gone to realize celebrated careers?

Fischoff has a protracted record of distinguished chamber ensembles in each the string and wind chamber music world. They embrace: Miro Quartet, Pacifica Quartet, Calidore Quartet, Eighth Blackbird, Dover Quartet, Chiara Quartet, Jupiter String Quartet, Jasper String Quartet, Ariel Quartet, Tesla Quartet, Telegraph Quartet, Verona Quartet.

Esteemed wind ensembles embrace Imani Winds, PRISM Quartet, Akropolis Reed Quintet, Kenari Quartet, Barkada Quartet, Axiom Brass, and WindSync. View the total record of winners:

Fischoff medalists additionally embrace VC Artists & Younger Artists: Calidore Quartet, Dover Quartet, Merz Trio, Notos Piano Quartet, Ulysses Quartet, Verona Quartet, and Viano String Quartet. 


Because the competitors’s Govt Director since 2020, what would you say is your group’s long-term imaginative and prescient for the annual competitors because it approaches its fiftieth yr and past?

In the beginning, Fischoff approaches our fiftieth anniversary with an infinite sense of gratitude. It’s unimaginable to see this germ of an concept shared amongst associates in South Bend, emerge right into a premiere competitors that has been an essential a part of so many unimaginable musicians’ journeys. There are such a lot of beneficiant spirits and organizations which have helped us get right here. Because of this, we’ll look ahead to forging extra collaborations and partnerships. We’re dedicated to dwelling out these life classes chamber music teaches us — by way of collaboration and teamwork we’re in a position to obtain one thing larger collectively.

Over our subsequent 50 years, we’ll proceed to domesticate and construct our strengths. Fischoff has seen our pre-college musicians flourish, and with the creation of a separate junior wind division in 2019, we look ahead to together with much more younger wind and brass musicians as a part of the competitors.

With the small, nimble measurement of our ensembles, paired with their entrepreneurial spirit, Fischoff sees a giant alternative to assist proceed to maintain classical music alive and related. Because the nation’s largest competitors, we have now at all times needed to incorporate and domesticate as many chamber musicians as doable. We look ahead to with the ability to proceed to do that by welcoming an much more numerous group of musicians throughout the globe. We are also working to encourage these nice musicians to maintain being curious of their repertoire decisions and discover modern methods to attach with their audiences.


Essentially, what do you see because the function of chamber music in at this time’s society?

At Fischoff we see the function of chamber music as an essential mechanism to have interaction our neighborhood within the life classes chamber music teaches us — the artwork of listening, the rewards of collaboration, and the wonderful issues we are able to obtain by way of teamwork.

Chamber ensembles are excited to carry out in intimate areas the place their music will help present a lens into the world round us, and provide an setting to have interaction in dialogue.

From its roots in houses throughout eighteenth-century Europe to the numerous venues the place a way of house is created, chamber music remains to be about making music collectively, amongst associates. Ensembles have the liberty to decide on their members and current the music that speaks to them. We at all times look ahead to the journey chamber musicians will take us on.


This yr, the senior classes have added a brand new particular “Raise Each Voice” Prize which will probably be introduced to 1 ensemble for one of the best efficiency of a piece composed by a Black, Hispanic, Latino, or Latina composer. Inform us about this new prize and why this celebration of range is a crucial driver in your group?

Fischoff is happy to announce its inaugural Raise Each Voice Prize for one of the best efficiency of a piece by a traditionally underrepresented composer throughout the chamber music world. For this inaugural prize, we’re specializing in works by Black composers and/or Hispanic/Latino/a composers whose heritage originates from Latin America. (Future years could spotlight extra underrepresented teams).

The profitable ensemble and runner-up will take part in a particular soiree efficiency in South Bend on Friday night, Might 20. Moreover, the profitable ensemble will carry out on the Gold Medalist Live performance on Sunday, Might 22, and can obtain a particular money award of $1,500. The Raise Each Voice movies of all collaborating ensembles will probably be featured on Fischoff’s social media on Friday, Might 20, as a part of the Fischoff Competitors Raise Each Voice Digital Live performance.

The Fischoff board and workers are dedicated to creating room on our mainstage for wonderful performances of works by traditionally underrepresented composers. Fischoff is happy to introduce this new prize to encourage senior division ensembles to delve into these unimaginable works and to assist broaden the chamber music canon. With our nationwide and worldwide presence within the chamber music world, Fischoff has a outstanding alternative to showcase new and underrepresented voices.


What is going to this yr’s gold medal-winning ensembles obtain?

Fischoff awards over $40,000 in money prizes together with primary stage efficiency alternatives. Each Senior Division Gold medal winners win a $3,500 money prize and return for separate live performance and outreach excursions of the Midwest within the fall after the Competitors. The Senior String Gold Medalist may even be awarded a video recording within the acoustically gorgeous Guarneri Corridor in Chicago, sponsored by Darnton & Hersh Positive Violins.

The 2 Gold Medal Winners will compete on Sunday, Might 22 for the Grand Prize. The winner of the Grand Prize may even win an extra $10,000 prize and a residency on the Emilia Romagna Pageant in Italy. Junior Division Gold Medal Winners in each the winds and string division every obtain a $2,300 money prize and carry out dwell on NPR’s From the High, which showcases America’s most excellent younger classical musicians.


What particular excellent components do you’re feeling lots of your previous gold medalists have possessed?

There are such a lot of unimaginable musicians that come by way of Fischoff, and lots of are worthy of the gold medal annually. Our Inventive Director, Tom Rosenberg, at all times provides the teams a pep discuss on the Saturday of the competitors letting them know that those who win have a steadiness of expertise, deep love and understanding of chamber music, and timing. A lot of our teams come again to Fischoff a number of instances as a result of it takes time to gel as a bunch and get that timing good.


Who’s eligible to enter this yr’s competitors classes?

The Fischoff Competitors is open to string, wind, brass or combined instrumental ensembles of three–6 musicians. Rulebook with full eligibility particulars & Entry Kind out there at:

The appliance deadline for this yr’s competitors was March 2 nevertheless, hold your eyes on within the fall as we launch the appliance deadline for the fiftieth Anniversary Competitors which will probably be held Might 12-14, 2023.




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