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2011 Prizewinners

Quartet Toujours

Hee yeon Chung, violin (Columbus, OH)
Kaho Sugawara, violin (Dublin, OH)
Eva Kennedy, viola (Worthington, OH)
Ruthie Cordray, cello (Worthington, OH)


Quartet Toujours came together after members of their previous quartets graduated.  The “new” quartet consists of members Kaho Sugawara, violin, and Ruthie Cordray, cello, of the Arcobaleno String Quartet (SPSQC Bronze Medalist 2009) with Heeyeon Chung, violin and Eva Kennedy, viola, of the Hubert Quartet (SPSQC Bronze Medalist 2010). The four members of QT also played together as members of Octet Abbraccio, an energetic group featured on NPR’s From the Top performing the fabulous finale movement of Mendelssohn’s Octet last spring. Each of these groups was formed through the Chamber Music Connection based in Worthington, Ohio under the mentorship of Deborah Price, artistic director. This year, the quartet won the string and piano division and the Grand Prize at the Chicago Discover Chamber Music Competition. QT looks forward to participating in the quarterfinals of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in May. They are also thrilled to have the opportunity to appear again on NPR’s From the Top which will be taped on April 26 in Carmel, Indiana. In addition to performing the third movement of Shostakovich’s Quartet No. 3, the quartet, along with host and pianist Christopher O’Riley, will be accompanying American singer and song writer Michael Feinstein. In addition to coaching with Debbie Price and a team of CMC faculty coaches, QT has performed in masterclasses for guest artists including members of the Brentano String Quartet and the Cavani String Quartet, Peter Salaff and Melissa Kraut. The four young ladies making up QT take pride in their diversity. In addition to playing their repertoire, they enjoy singing it as well as Christmas and Holiday songs. QT can be sighted going on quartet dates at concerts, the mall, movies, and many other fun places.

Inferno String Quartet

Nina Sandberg, violin (Houston, TX)
Seamus Dewsnap, violin (Houston, TX)
Benjamin Zannoni, viola (Houston, TX)
Erik Wheeler, cello (Houston, TX)


The Inferno Quartet was formed in Fall 2009 at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, Texas. The quartet has been coached primarily by Professor Lawrence Wheeler of the University of Houston, as well as Professors Kenneth Goldsmith and James Dunham of Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. They have participated in master classes given by the Leipzig Quartet, and Dr. Juliet White-Smith. In addition to performing two concerts per semester at HSPVA, the Inferno Quartet has performed on the KUHF program “The Front Row,” as part of the St. Cecelia Chamber Music Society series at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, at Houston’s downtown Discovery Green Park, and were recently featured performers at an NPR/KUHF major donor concert. The quartet has been invited to the finals of the St. Paul String Quartet Competition, and to the quarterfinals of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (Junior Division).

Malik String Quartet

Matt Lammers, violin (Eden Prairie, MN)
Melissa Deal, violin (Bloomington, MN)
Mark Hatlestad, viola (Maplewood, MN)
John Belk, cello (Maple Grove, MN)


The Malik String Quartet was formed in the summer of 2009 at the Stringwood Chamber Music Festival and has continued studying master chamber works under the tutelage of Ray Shows in the Artaria Chamber Music School. As well as receiving first prize at the 2011 MNSOTA State Chamber Music Competition, they have performed in masterclasses given by Peter Howard, the Jupiter, St. Lawrence, and Takacs string quartets and have been featured live on Minnesota Public Radio and in the “Over the Back Fence” program in SE Minnesota Public Radio. Each member of Malik has served as a principal player in the premier orchestra of Minnesota Youth Symphonies. In May, they will be competing as finalists in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in Indiana and in June will return to Stringwood Festival 2011 in the Advanced Quartet division.

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