Competitors announced for 2018 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition

Musica Viva Australia is thrilled to introduce the selected live competitors of the eighth Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition (MICMC).


Competitors announced for 2018 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition

From 1 to 8 July 2018, sixteen of the world’s top young ensembles will compete forprize money of over $150,000 in a week of intense heats and semi-finals at theAustralian National Academy of Music (ANAM), culminating in nail-biting finals at theMelbourne Recital Centre on 8 July 2018.

“There are several points of peak excitement during the build-up to MICMC, but surely the most exciting milestone is the selection of the live competitors themselves,” saysWilma Smith, Artistic Director of the competition. “For the first time, applications were made totally online, including videos of the required repertoire. For the panel of three preliminary adjudicators, Zoe Knighton (Flinders Quartet), Timothy Young (Ensemble Liaison, ANAM) and myself, the quality and diversity of entries made it extremely difficult to select just 16 groups.”

The result is a global line-up of rising stars, with fifteen nationalities represented by groups based in eight different countries. Two Australian ensembles are among the chosen competitors, one in each stream.

The selected string quartets are the Barbaro Quartet (Australia), theBaumQuartett (South Korea), theCallisto Quartet (USA), theEliot Quartett, (Austria/Russia/Germany), theGoldmund Quartet (Germany), theIdomeneo String Quartet(Belgium/Hungary/ Spain), Quatour Agate (France) and theThaleia Quartet (Japan).

The talented trios are the Amatis Piano Trio (Netherlands/Germany/UK), theBukolika Piano Trio (Poland), theClarendon Trio (Australia), theMerz Trio (Australia/USA), theMosa Trio (Netherlands/Belgium),Trio Gaon (Germany/South Korea),Trio Marvin (Russia/Kazakhstan/Germany) andTrio Sōra (France/Latvia).

A stellar jury awaits them, featuring Sonia Simmenauer, director of a leading international chamber music agency; Melbourne pianist and composerIan Munro;Simin Ganatra, first violinist of the Pacifica Quartet;Gerhard Schulz, former second violinist of theAlban Berg Quartet;Yura Lee, solo violist, and first violinist of theEnso Quartet;Alasdair Tait, cellist, and Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT), andKyril Zlotnikov, cellist with theJerusalem Quartet.

MICMC is one of the most prestigious events of its kind. The competition is open to string quartets and piano trios of all nationalities whose members are under the age of 35. For the first time, it will be delivered by Musica Viva Australia in partnership with the Australian National Academy and the Melbourne Recital Centre.

“It is wonderful to see the music community welcome these remarkable young musicians from around the world to Melbourne”, says Mary Jo Capps, CEO of Musica Viva Australia, “to share the excitement as they perform and to witness the benefits that this celebration of incredible artistry brings to the Australian musical landscape. Lifelong friendships and global musical partnerships form at MICMC. We are proud to help forge these bonds together with our partners at ANAM and Melbourne Recital Centre.”

“Listening in to the future of music being made is one of the most exciting experiences available to us,” says Nick Bailey, General Manager of ANAM. “Based in the South Melbourne Town Hall, ANAM is delighted to welcome to our home some of the finest young ensembles on the planet, providing a taste of what is in store for the world of chamber music in the coming decades.”

Melbourne Recital Centre CEO Euan Murdoch adds: “Elisabeth Murdoch Hall at Melbourne Recital Centre is the best place to showcase the brilliance of these young ensembles in the finals of the competition. We’re delighted to continue our longstanding relationship with MICMC and can’t wait to meet the musicians whose careers will skyrocket as a result of their participation in this internationally significant competition.”

In each stream, there will be generous cash prizes for the top three groups, as well as for the best performance of a newly commissioned work (soon to be announced). The overall winning group will receive an additionalGrand Prize of $30,000 sponsored by The Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne, a tour arranged by Musica Viva and multiple career development opportunities.

“We are excited to be the Grand Prize Partner for MICMC, and to sponsor this great initiative,” says Professor Gary McPherson, Ormond Chair of Music and Director of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at The University of Melbourne. “We have a keen interest in the work and ongoing success of Musica Viva, not least as the company’s goals align with our own as a leading provider of music study and performance.”

Preparations are well underway to bring all 56 young musicians and their instruments together in Melbourne. “The selection process was difficult but immensely satisfying and we were filled with awe at the technical prowess and emotional and musical maturity of our young colleagues,” concludes Smith. “I can guarantee that with competitors of such high quality, the eighth MICMC will be a thriller!”

With subscription packages available in February and single tickets on sale from April 2018, it pays to get in fast; there won’t be another opportunity to witness such intense music-making until the next MICMC in 2022.

For further information, please visit



Heats 1-5 July 2018 Australian National Academy of Music

Semi-Finals 6 July 2018 Australian National Academy of Music

Finals 8 July 2018 Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre

Subscription packages on sale February 2018
Single tickets on sale April 2018
Grand Prize Winners’ Tour November 2018