Rules & Regulations - Senior Division


The Saint Paul String Quartet Competition (SPSQC) is exclusively for advanced  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 30 years on April 23, 2022

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

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



There are 2 distinct Rounds of competition: Preliminary Round and Final Round. ​

Preliminary Round: Applicants are required to prepare and submit Two Complete Works of contrasting styles and periods from the standard string quartet repertoire. Email your repertoire selections to SPSQC Artistic Administrator for approval.

Submitted videos will be viewed by a jury of professional chamber musicians. This panel will listen to each applicant Quartet and evaluate each performance with detailed written comments in the following categories: Tone Quality, Intonation, Ensemble & Balance, and Musical Ideas.  

Final Round: Finalists will be required to perform selections from their submitted works. They will also be required to perform Zhou Tian String Quartet No.1, Movement 1 - Presto.


Applicants must upload the following to Acceptd by Tuesday, March 01, 2022:

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 two videos of recorded music (Each piece must be performed in their entirety for the video. Repeats are optional):

Video 1: Unedited video performance of a Standard String Quartet composition

Video 2: Unedited video performance of a Standard String Quartet composition (contrasting from Video 1 in style and period)

Upon Acceptance to the SPSQC Senior Finals:

1. Send confirmation of participation in the SPSQC final rounds on April 23, 2022

2. Prepare the required BIPOC Female Composer work (Zhou Tian String Quartet No.1, Movement 1 - Presto) for performance in St Paul on April 23, 2022. Digital sheet music will be sent to each group. 

NOTE: Performance videos can be from either the 2020-21 or 2021-22 academic years but must adhere to all eligibility requirements.



The Final Round will take place on Saturday April 23, 2022, (time TBD).

Invited Finalist quartets will perform in Sundin Music Hall for a live and broadcast audience. Each quartet will create a program not to exceed 30 minutes in length from both submitted repertoire (no substitutions) and the required BIPOC/Female composer piece (Zhou Tian String Quartet No.1, Movement 1 - Presto). 

The 2022 Jury will be the distinguished Catalyst String Quartet


1st Prize - $2000 + Medals & Signed Award Certificates

2nd Prize - $1600 + Medal & Signed Award Certificates

BIPOC - $800 + Medal & Signed Award Certificates

2021 Schedule

VIDEO recording preparation:
Each of the two (2) 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. 

The SPSQC Senior Category Final Rounds will take place on Saturday, April 23, 2022. Each Quartet accepted into the Finals must compete with the same repertoire submitted in the Preliminary Round.

Each Senior Category ensemble should submit video recordings of their 2 selected works (complete). Each piece must be recorded as a complete p
erformance (no editing or fadeout between movements). The video recording 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.


(Revised 02

[Quartet's Name] plays [Composer last name:] [Composition title] + length of performance - SPSQC_2022_SENIOR

Example: Quartet Name plays Mendelssohn: Quartet in e minor, Op.44 No.2  (27:10) SPSQC_2022_Senior