Rules & Regulations - Junior Category


The Saint Paul String Quartet Competition (SPSQC) is exclusively for String Quartets (ensembles comprising 2 violins, viola, and cello). The SPSQC is open to U.S. and non-U.S. residents provided the age of each musician in the quartet is not more than 19 years on April 24, 2021, and the person is not enrolled in a college degree program. 

  • No individual may enter/compete in more than one ensemble.

  • Quartets invited to perform in the Final Rounds must retain original membership and perform the repertoire submitted in the application.

  • Competing Quartets may include ONE (1) individual who has previously won a Gold Medal. Previous winners of the Silver and Bronze medals are ALL eligible to compete.

RULES & REGULATIONS (revised 1/20/21)

There are 3 distinct rounds of competition: Preliminary Round, Haydn - BIPOC or Female Composer Round, Final Round. Applications for the Preliminary Round must be completed by 11:59pm on Wednesday, March 31, 2021.

The SPSQC requires applicants to prepare and 3 movements from the string quartet repertoire for the Preliminary Round: One movement from any of Joseph Haydn's string quartets, One movement from the Romantic/Nationalist era, and One movement from the 20th or 21st Century.  (New) An additional required piece must be uploaded by groups selected for the Finals. This upload is due April 18, 2021 (George Walker: Lyric for Strings).  

George Walker (score)                   George Walker (parts)



Applicants must upload the following to Acceptd by March 31, 2021:

1. Proof of date of birth for each quartet member.
2. A recent high quality photo (Color or BxW).
3. Application fee of $150 per quartet.
4. The following Videos of unedited recorded music*:​

Video 1: One movement from any of Joseph Haydn's string quartets.
Video 2: One movement from the Romantic/Nationalist repertoire of the 19th and early 20th century,
  OR the Debussy Quartet or the Ravel Quartet,
  OR one movement from a middle Beethoven quartet Op.59, Op.74, Op.95.
      (Op.18 quartets will not be allowed)
  OR one movement from these Schubert quartets: Quartetsatz (D.703), A minor (D.804), D minor (D.810), &  G major (D.887)
Video 3: One movement from the standard 20th or 21st Century repertoire composed after 1925.

*Any questions about repertoire should be directed to the Artistic Administrator. Please note, videos may be recorded in person OR created using Acapella, Bandlab, iMovie and similar platforms provided they are complete (unedited) takes


The Haydn - BIPOC or Female Composer Round will take place on Saturday April 24 beginning at 1pm.

Each invited SPSQC finalist quartet will perform their submitted Haydn movement AND an additional required BIPOC/Female Composer piece (George Walker "Lyric for Strings") for the jury. This Video 4 must be uploaded by
April 18, 2021. Order of performance will be randomly selected prior to event.

The Final Round will take place on Saturday April 25 beginning at 2:30pm.

Each invited SPSQC finalist quartet will perform their submitted Romantic/Nationalist AND 20th/21st Century movements for the jury. Order of performance will be the same as previous Rounds.

The 2021 Final Rounds will be adjudicated by the distinguished St. Lawrence String Quartet

2021 Schedule (tbd)

VIDEO recording preparation:
Each of the three (3) video recordings being submitted to the SPSQC for the Preliminary Round must be recorded as a complete “take” and not be edited or altered in any way. The SPSQC reserves the right to disqualify applicants entering enhanced or modified recordings. Subject to the advice and scoring by the preliminary jury a minimum of six string quartets will be selected to compete in the Junior Category Final Rounds.

The SPSQC Junior Division final rounds will take place on Saturday, April 24, 2021. Each group accepted into the Final Rounds must compete with the same repertoire submitted in the Preliminary Round.

Each ensemble should submit video recordings of their selected movements. The video recordings must show all ensemble members at all times. The picture must remain stationary (no panning, fade-in/fade-out or close-up techniques). The ensemble should fill the screen as much as possible. Each movement must be a complete take with no editing.


SPSQC2021JD - [Quartet's Name] plays [Composer last name]: Composition name, movement no. and tempo marking] + time

Example: SPSQC2021JD - Quartet Sine Nomine plays Mendelssohn: Quartet in e minor, Op.44 No.2 mvt I.Allegro assai appassionato  10min30s