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2010 Prizewinners

Emerald Quartet

Clayton Penrose-Whitmore, violin (Evanston, IL)
Kenneth Jones-Madrid, violin (Evanston, IL)
Ethan Hoppe, viola (Chicago, IL)
Alexander Hersh, cello (Chicago, IL)


The Emerald String Quartet is coached by Music Institute of Chicago artist faculty members Marko Dreher and Roland Vamos. Clayton Penrose-Whitmore and Kenneth Jones-Madrid, violins, Ethan Hoppe, viola, and Alexander Hersh, cello, are all members of MIC’s acclaimed Academy program for highly gifted pre-college musicians. The quartet recently won first place in the Jules M. Laser Chamber Music Competition sponsored by the Society of American Musicians (SAM) and were the Overall Open Division Winners and 1st Place in Strings and Piano Division in the Chicago National Chamber Music Competition of Midwest Young Artists (MYA). They were recently featured in two concerts at Music in the Loft (Chicago) and have a performance tomorrow at the Chicago Cultural Center. The four teens formed their group last summer with the goal of playing Bartok together in the 2010 Fischoff Competition, which they will do this May. When not rehearsing together, they can be heard laughing at Facebook messages they send to each other, seen trying to throw one another into dumpsters, or found building igloos in the snow or playing hide-and-seek in dark basements.

Quartet Danae

Zachary Spontek, violin (Chicago, IL)
Sophia Cho, violin (Park Ridge, IL)
Leah Ferguson, viola (Wilmette, IL)
Ben Fried, cello (Highland Park,IL)

Quartet Danaë, coached by Roland Vamos was formed in the fall of 2008 at the Music Institute of Chicago (MIC).  In just a few months  together,  Danaë garnered top prizes in national competitions, including the Junior Division Bronze Medal at the 2009 Fischoff  National Chamber Music Competition, and the Silver Medal at 2009 St. Paul String Quartet Competition.  With the last spring’s high school  graduation of violinist, Natsuki Kumagai, Quartet Danaë welcomes violinist Zachary Spontak from Fairbanks, Alaska.  The quartet has been featured on Chicago WFMT 98.7 “Introductions” and has been performed in venues across Chicago including the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Skokie Theater where their recent benefit performance raised funds to support the Art Therapy program of the New Foundation Center (Northfield, IL). Quartet Danaë has performed in master classes with Joel Smirnoff, Laurie Carney, the Pacifica String Quartet, and the Cypress String Quartet. Next month the quartet will return to South Bend, Indiana to participate in the 2010 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.

Hubert Quartet

Heeyeon Chung, violin (Columbus, OH)
Eva Kennedy, violin (Worthington, OH)
Claire Watkins, viola (Worthington,OH)
Kyle Price, cello (Worthington, OH)


The Hubert Quartet (Heeyeon Chung and Eva Kennedy, violins; Claire Watkins, viola; Kyle Price, cello) was founded at the Chamber Music Connection in Worthington, Ohio where they study with a team of associated faculty directed by Deborah Price.The group was formed at CMC this past fall as both a quartet and as the Hubért Quintet with their past violist from Accelerando String Quartet, Meredith Kufchak.  As Accelerando, the group is a three-time Honorable Mention award winner in the junior division of the OOSTA Biennial Chamber Music Competition, finalists in the 2008 and 2009 Saint Paul String Quartet Competitions, and quarterfinalist in the 2009 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.  As a quintet, the Huberts won First Prize in the 2009 OSTA Biennial Chamber Music Competition and performed for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in a special event held in his honor at The Ohio State University. Through their study at CMC, members of the Hubert have performed in masterclasses for the Cypress Quartet, Ying, Jupiter and Cavani String Quartets, Peter Salaff (Cleveland Quartet), David Finckel (Emerson SQ), Peter Wiley, Arnold Steinhardt and Michael Tree (Guarneri SQ), Claremont Trio, Richard Aaron (University of Michigan & Cleveland Institute of Music), Christopher O’Riley (From the Top), and Geoff Nuttall (St. Lawrence SQ). The members of Hubert hail from the same high school and make up the principal chairs of their high school orchestra at Thomas Worthington under the direction of Mr. Douglas Wright.  The Huberts have been featured several times representing Thomas Worthington and CMC at Ohio Superintendent Association events promoting string education in the public schools. The Huberts participation in SPSQC is sponsored by a generous donation from Barbasol® and Pure Silk® of Perio, Inc.

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