The Aizuri Quartet, formed in 2012, consists of violinists Ariana Kim and Miho Saegusa, violist Ayane Kozasa and cellist Karen Ouzounian. The quartet has won a number of prizes, including First Prize at the 2017 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in Japan, and Third Prize at the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition in London. This season they also have been the MetLiveArts String Quartet-in-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Third prize, $2,000: Quartet Callisto (Yonjoo Seo, Hannah Lin, Adele Lee, Rowena Bakke)
The Kairos Quartet, from the Music Institute of Chicago Academy, won Junior Strings First Prize.
First prize, $5,000: Quid Nunc Saxophone Quartet (Ryan Montemayor, Jacob Brockett, Matthew Escobedo, James Pachikara)
Second prize, $3,000: The Bone Rangers (Karl Kirkpatrick, Omar Tlatelpa-Nieto, Jonah Blaek, Rafael Noriega)
Third prize, $2,000: Purple Hippopotami Flute Quartet (Sofia Frumkin, Natasha Kozintseva, Michael Mackoff, Elias Nava)
First prize, $5,000: Concept (Peyton Miller, Louis Jones III)
Second prize, $3,000: The Quintet (Oliver Mayman, Jake Lee, Nathan Lee, Danny Freiband, Tim Walters)
Third prize, $2,000: Sticks & Stones (Alex Ostrowsk, Justin Petrovych, Shane Ellis, Joe Koziara)
The M-Prize competition was created in 2016 by Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance Dean Aaron Dworkin to identify and showcase chamber music talent. The 2018 M-Prize competition featured 34 ensembles from across the United States as well as France, Austria, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Including the grand prize, more than $200,000 in prize money was distributed among the top three winners in three different categories: strings, woodwinds and open, in Junior (ages 18 and under) and Senior (ages 19-35) divisions.
Last year's grand prize was awarded to Russian Renaissance; and the 2016 M-Prize went to The Calidore String Quartet. This year's Strings jury included pianist Winston Choi; cellist Alexander Hülshoff and violin/violist Kathryn Votapek.