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M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition: jury announced, deadline for application approaches


The application deadline for M-Prize, the University of Michigan’s new international chamber arts competition—with an unprecedented grand prize of $100,000—is fast approaching. All applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Tuesday, March 1.

In addition, the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD), which runs M-Prize, has announced the complete jury for the new competition, which offers the largest cash prize of any competition of its kind. The roster includes 15 celebrated artists representing many instruments and genres. Avid chamber musicians who are active in a wide variety of ensembles and organizations, the jury includes:

·      Rachel Barton Pine (violin, member of Trio Settecento)

·      Timothy McAllister (saxophone, member of the PRISM Quartet)

·      David Shifrin (clarinet, member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and artistic director of Chamber   Music Northwest)

·      Joseph Gramley (percussion, member and associate artistic director of the Silk Road Ensemble)

·      Cristina Pato (bagpipes and piano, member of the Silk Road Ensemble)

·      Mark Summer (cello, co-founder of the Turtle Island String Quartet)

·      Toyin Spellman-Diaz (oboe, member of Imani Winds).  

A complete list of jury members and the equally prestigious advisory board—which includes members of the Kronos, Juilliard, and Guarneri quartets, as well as pianist Joseph Kalichstein and violinist Ida Kavafian—can be found at

M-Prize includes two age divisions: Junior (ages 18 and under) and Senior (ages 19-35). From the pool of applicants, approximately 36 ensembles will be selected to compete in live semi-final, final and grand prize competitions in Ann Arbor, Michigan, May17-19. All semi-finalists will be notified by Friday, April 1.

The $100,000 grand prize winner will be selected from one of three Senior Division Ensemble Finalists at a gala concert at Ann Arbor's renowned Hill Auditorium on May 19. Cash prizes of between $2,000 and $20,000 will also be awarded to first, second, and third place winners in three categories in the Junior and Senior divisions.

Sponsored by the Office of the Provost at the University of Michigan, with additional support from an anonymous donor, M-Prize, which was announced in October 2015,  is open to ensembles of between three and eight members and will include categories for strings and winds as well as an "open" category for ensembles that can include mixed instrumentation, technology, voice and improvisation.

The M-Prize finals concert on May 19 will be broadcast on Detroit Public Television and made available to PBS stations throughout the country. In addition to the cash prize, the grand prize winning ensemble will also be presented by University Musical Society (UMS) of Ann Arbor on their chamber music concert series the following season. 

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November 2012
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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower