ND's Quartet-in-Residence, the Solera Quartet, Wins 2017 Pro Musicis International Award

Author: Noelle Elliott

The Solera Quartet has been selected for the 2017 Pro Musicis International Award. In their history-making win, the Solera Quartet is the first and only American chamber ensemble chosen for

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this distinction. Pro Musicis will present the Solera Quartet in its debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall and at the Annual Award Gala at The Consulate of France in New York City where the Quartet will be awarded the Father Eugène Merlet Award for Community Service. Other prizes include a state of the art recording at Yamaha Artist Services as well as career development opportunities and numerous other performances. 

For over 50 years Pro Musicis has been auditioning concert artists in Paris and New York City to select musicians for the Pro Musicis International Award. A jury of distinguished musicians in each city bases their decisions on two main criteria: high level of performance demonstrating artistic inspiration and passion for social outreach. Historically, Pro Musicis has awarded up to three artists per year. For the 2017 competition, however, the Pro Musicis jury (headed by pianist Gilbert Kalish and including cellist Timothy Eddy of the Orion String Quartet, violinist Carmit Zori, and soprano Lucy Shelton) chose the Solera Quartet as sole recipient of the competition’s awards.

The prestigious family of Pro Musicis artists includes:

Natalie Dessay, soprano and Laurence Olivier award-winning actor

Kim Kashkashian, Grammy award-winning violist

Joseph Lin, first violinist, Juilliard String Quartet

Peter Oundjian, conductor and first violinist, Tokyo String Quartet, 1981-1995

Christopher O’Riley, pianist and host of NPR’s From the Top

Cynthia Phelps, principal viola, New York Philharmonic

Erin Keefe, concertmaster, Minnesota Orchestra

Father Eugène Merlet, a French Capuchin Franciscan priest and musician, founded Pro Musicis in Paris in 1965 to nurture and share the artistic inspiration of the world’s finest concert artists. He pioneered the concept of a classical music award combined with a social mission to help promote Pro Musicis’ values: “Music is vital for the well being of all. The spiritual message of music must be at the heart of all we do. The greatest joy in life is derived from giving joy to others.”