Reggio Emilia - International String Quartet Competition "Premio Paolo Borciani"

Created in 1987 and dedicated to the founder and 1st violin of Quartetto Italiano, the competition takes place every three years in Reggio Emilia and it is organized by the Fondazione I Teatri.
The past 12 editions have produced six star quartets: Keller, Artemis, Pavel Haas, Bennewitz and Kelemen. The Jury is formed by well-known musicians and the first prize includes a money amount, an international tour and a residency project.

The Prize has now become one of the most important competition in the world.  It takes place every three years at the Teatro Municipale Valli of Reggio Emilia, promoted and organized by Fondazione I Teatri of Reggio Emilia.

Six out of the past eleven editions had a winner: Keller Quartet (Hungary) in 1990, Artemis Quartett (Germany) in 1997, Kuss Quartett (Germany) in 2002, Pavel Haas Quartet (Czech Republic) in 2005, Bennewitz Quartet (Czech Republic) in 2008 and Kelemen Quartet (Hungary) in 2014.  Their career began with winning the Premio Borciani and long tours in Europe, the United States and Japan, offered to the winner as part of the First Prize.

Every year the music program of the Competition includes a contemporary piece for quartet – specially commissioned or chosen from today’s major repertoire – by an important living composer: Marco Stroppa (1994), Luciano Berio (1997), Salvatore Sciarrino (2000), Wolfgang Rihm (2002), Peter Maxwell Davies (2005), Giovanni Sollima (2008), Giya Kancheli (2011), Thomas Adès (2014), Silvia Colasanti (2017), Toshio Hosokawa (2020-21).

The jury of experts, specifically selected for each edition, includes world-famous musicians, musicologists, music critics and music organizers.   

Originally planned for June 2020, as a consequence of the Covid-19 the 12th edition of the Competition is now scheduled in June 2021, from 5th to 13th. The Competition consists of four rounds for all the admitted Quartets, and one final round to which only 3 Quartets will be admitted.

The world premiere of "UTA-ORI. Weaving Song for string quartet", a contemporary piece commissioned to the Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa, will be performed. The Jury chaired by Emmanuel Hondré (Philharmonie de Paris) also featured Martin Beaver (Tokyo String Quartet), Francesco Dillon (Prometeo Quartet), Anthea Kreston (former Artemis Quartet), Alexander Lonquich, Kim Kashkashian, Jana Kuss (Kuss Quartet). 

The pre-selection commission includes Émilie Delorme (Director of Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et danse de Paris), Jeanne Maisonhaute (Tana Quartet), Geneviève Strosser, Francesco Filidei, Music Advisor of "Premio Paolo Borciani". The Competition is organised thanks to the collaboration of Max Mara, and it is supported by the Chamber of Commerce of Reggio Emilia.


Marina Basso
Fondazione I Teatri
Piazza Martiri del 7 Luglio, 7
42121 Reggio Emilia

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