Rules & Regulations - Junior Division


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 22, 2023, 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.


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 01, 2023.

The SPSQC requires applicants to prepare and upload 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. (SEE REPERTOIRE SELECTIONS FROM PREVIOUS YEARS).
An additional piece by a BIMOC or Female Composer (Kevin Lau: String Quartet No.3  I. Gliding) will be required to compete in the Finals. Digital sheet music will be sent to each finalist group. 


Applicants must upload the following to Acceptd by Wednesday, March 01, 2023:

1. Proof of date of birth for each quartet member.
2. A recent high quality photo (Color or BxW).
3. Application fee of $160 per quartet.
4. The following unedited videos:​

Video 1: One Joseph Haydn string quartet movement.
Video 2: One Romantic/Nationalist string quartet movement,
    OR one movement from Beethoven quartets Op.59, Op.74, or Op.95.
    OR one movement from Schubert quartets Quartetsatz (D.703), A minor (D.804), D minor (D.810),
           or G major (D.887).
Video 3: One Modern/Contemporary string quartet movement. 

* Questions about Repertoire? Contact Artistic Administrator.


The Haydn + BIPOC or Female Composer Round will take place on Saturday April 22, 2023 (start time TBD).

Invited Finalist Round quartets will perform their previously submitted HAYDN quartet movement + the required BIMOC or Female composer piece (Kevin Lau: String Quartet No.3  I. Glidingin Sundin Music Hall for a live and broadcast audience. 
 - Order of performance will be randomly selected prior to event.

The Final Round will take place on Saturday April 22, 2023 (start time TBD).

Invited Finalist quartets will perform from their submitted repertoire (no substitutions) in Sundin Music Hall for a live and broadcast audience.

 - Order of performance will be the same as the previous Round.

The 2023 Final Rounds will be adjudicated by the distinguished Jasper String Quartet


Gold Medals + $1600 + Signed Award Certificates

Silver Medals + $1200 + Signed Award Certificates

Bronze Medals + $1000 + Signed Award Certificates

Haydn Prize Medals + $800 + Signed Award Certificates

BIPOC/Female Composer Medals + $800 + Signed Award Certificates

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 22, 2023. 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.


Example: Quartet Name plays Mendelssohn: Quartet in e minor, Op.44 No.2 mvt I.Allegro assai appassionato (10:30)