Welcome to M-Prize, an international chamber arts competition based in Ann Arbor, at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance!

M-Prize aims to:

Identify and showcase the highest caliber of international chamber arts ensembles

Provide a professional performance and adjudication platform for the chamber arts

Help launch and advance the careers of chamber ensembles through prizes and professional development opportunities

Evolve the breadth and depth of the chamber arts landscape and associated professional opportunities for exceptional ensembles

The next competition will be held May 1-4, 2017.

PRIZES*

Senior Division Junior Division 2016 Results
average age may not exceed 35
Grand Prize - $100,000 + performance on UMS Chamber Arts Series

The M-Prize Winner is selected from one of three 1st Place Laureate Ensembles during the Gala Concert at Hill Auditorium on May 4, 2017.

The M-Prize Winner will receive a $100,000 total cash prize for the ensemble.

The M-Prize Winner will perform on a UMS Chamber Arts Series Concert

Strings

1st Place - $20,000**

2nd Place - $8,000

3rd Place - $5,000

Winds

1st Place - $20,000**

2nd Place - $7,000

3rd Place - $3,000

Open

1st Place - $20,000**

2nd Place - $7,000

3rd Place - $3,000

Additional professional development opportunities may be awarded and may include but are not limited to performances and residencies. The Finals Rounds of M-Prize will be broadcast on Detroit Public Television and made available to PBS stations.

*Tax consequences may arise for winning ensembles.
**The $20,000 Senior Division Award that an ensemble receives as a 1st Place Laureate Ensemble is part of the Grand Prize and not additional to the $100,000. The $20,000 Senior Division Award also includes a residency at U-M during the 2017-18 academic year

ages 18 and under
Strings

1st Place - $5,000

2nd Place - $3,000

3rd Place - $2,000

Winds

1st Place - $5,000

2nd Place - $3,000

3rd Place - $2,000

Open

1st Place - $5,000

2nd Place - $3,000

3rd Place - $2,000

*Tax consequences may arise for winning ensembles.

 

$100,000 Grand Prize Winner

Calidore String Quartet

The quartet members-Jeff Myers and Ryan Meehan (violins), Jeremy Berry (viola) and Estelle Choi (cello)-are currently artists-in-residence and visiting faculty at Stony Brook University-New York. They were appointed to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two roster for the 2016-19 seasons.

Competition Dates: May 1-4, 2017
Application Deadine: Wednesday, February 1, 2017

After reviewing applications in the Preliminary Rounds, our Screening Jury of internationally renowned artists will select approximately 36 ensembles to compete in the live Semi-Final and Final rounds of competition from May 1 - 4, 2017, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Semi-Finalists will be notified of their status by Friday, March 10, 2017.

Semi-Finalists are responsible for their own travel and accommodations. Semi-Finalists should plan to travel and rehearse on May 1, 2017; adjudicated competition rounds will begin on May 2, 2017. All rounds of competition will be completed by 10PM EST on Thursday, May 4, 2017.

Jury Advisory Board Leadership

Geri Allen Jazz Pianist and Faculty, University of Pittsburgh

Lois R. Beznos Former President, Chamber Music Society of Detroit; Founder, Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson International Trio Award

Janet Cowperthwaite Managing Director, Kronos Quartet and Kronos Performing Arts Association

Roberto Díaz Violist, President and CEO, The Curtis Institute of Music

Hank Dutt Violist, Kronos Quartet

David Finckel Former Cellist, Emerson String Quartet and Co-Artistic Director, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

Kenneth Fischer President, University Musical Society

Joseph Gramley Multi-percussionist, Chamber Musician, Soloist; Associate Artistic Director, The Silk Road Ensemble; Faculty and Director of Percussion Studies, University of Michigan

Wu Han Pianist, Co-Artistic Director, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

David Harrington Violinist, Kronos Quartet

John Hollenbeck Jazz Drummer, Composer, and Faculty, McGill University

Heinz Holliger Internationally Acclaimed Oboe Soloist, Composer, and Conductor

Members of Imani Winds - Valerie Coleman, Flutist and Composer; Toyin Spellman-Diaz, Oboist; Mariam Adam, Clarinetist; Monica Ellis, Bassoonist; Jeff Scott, Hornist and Composer

Fritz Kaenzig Tubist and Faculty, University of Michigan

Joseph Kalichstein Pianist, Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio and Faculty, The Juilliard School

Martin Katz Collaborative Pianist and Faculty, University of Michigan

Ida Kavafian Violinist and Faculty, The Curtis Institute of Music

Alex Klein Grammy Award Winning Oboist

Glen Kwok Executive Director, International Violin Competition of Indianapolis and Former President, World Federation of International Music Competitions

Margaret Lioi CEO, Chamber Music America

Menahem Pressler Pianist and Founding Member, Beaux Arts Trio and Faculty, Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University

Astrid Schween Incoming Cellist, Juilliard Quartet

Lucy Shelton Soprano, Walter W. Naumburg Award Winner (twice) and Faculty, Manhattan School of Music

John Sherba Violinist, Kronos Quartet

Donald Sinta Saxophonist and Faculty Emeritus, University of Michigan

Arnold Steinhardt Former 1st Violinist, Guarneri Quartet

Carol Wincenc Grammy Award Winning Flutist and Faculty, The Juilliard School

Sunny Yang Cellist, Kronos Quartet

Aaron Dworkin | Dean
Matt Albert | Artistic Director
Heather Kendrick | Program Director
Steering Committee

Joseph Gramley Multi-percussionist, Chamber Musician, Soloist; Associate Artistic Director, The Silk Road Ensemble; Faculty and Director of Percussion Studies, University of Michigan

Melody Racine Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, Associate Professor of Voice and former Chair of Voice

Ellen Rowe Professor and Chair of Jazz & Contemporary Improvisation

Stephen Shipps Professor of Violin and Chair of Strings

Amy I-Lin Cheng Lecturer of Piano

Eligibility Application Process Repertoire Live Audition Process
  • All ensemble members competing in the Junior Division must not have reached their 19th birthday by May 1, 2017.
  • The average age of an ensemble competing in the Senior Division must not exceed 35 years of age with no individual member having reached their 41st birthday by May 1, 2017.
  • M-Prize is open to all nationalities and residents of any country.
  • Ensembles must compete in one (and only one) of three ensemble categories:
    • Strings (violin, viola, cello, bass, harp, guitar, piano, and harpsichord)
    • Winds (woodwinds, brass, piano, and harpsichord)
    • Open (ensembles of any instrumentation including, but not limited to: percussion; voice; technology including, but not limited to, turntables, laptops, and/or visual media; ensembles whose work contains a significant amount of improvisation including, but not limited to, jazz, bluegrass, world music, and/or free improvisation)
  • Ensembles must have 2-10 members with one member per part. Ensembles may not include conductors.
  • Membership of the ensemble may not change once the application is submitted. No substitute members are permitted for any rounds of M-Prize.
  • Junior Division ensembles may include individuals who have been previously awarded first place only if those individuals comprise less than half of the ensemble’s total membership.
  • Senior Division ensembles may not include any individual who has previously won the Grand Prize.
  • All ensembles meeting eligibility requirements listed above are encouraged to apply, with the exception of ensembles that have been professionally affiliated with the University of Michigan during this academic year (2016-2017). (Current School of Music, Theatre & Dance students are eligible.)
  • Online Application Requirements
    • Apply online at mprize.umich.edu
    • Create a Google Drive* folder titled [Your Ensemble Name]. The folder must include the following:
      • Preliminary Round Video Audition files
        • Each video file should contain only one piece (multi-movement works may be submitted as one file) and titled [Name of Composition].
        • The length of uploaded videos should equal the total number of minutes specified in the full repertoire requirements.
      • Current ensemble biography in PDF format
      • Comprehensive repertoire list for the ensemble in PDF format
      • High resolution ensemble photograph (.jpg)
      • Proof of Age for each ensemble member (e.g., valid Driver’s License, birth certificate copy)
    • Submit the application fee of $75 per Junior Ensemble and $125 per Senior Ensemble. Payable via credit card at http://mprize.umich.edu/app-fee.html.
    • Please note the following video requirements:
      • All members of the group must perform in each recorded selection.
      • Video audio must not be edited in any way. Multiple camera angles are acceptable.
      • Please allow sufficient time to prepare and upload videos.
      • Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
  • PLEASE READ: Google Drive Instructions
    • To ensure the Google Drive folder is approved for sharing and viewing:
      • Choose “Get Sharable Link” from the folder’s drop-down menu (just below search bar at the top). In the corner, make sure link sharing is ON by confirming the switch is colored green and moved to the right.
      • Go to “Sharing Settings” and select “Anyone with the link can access.” (If this is not visible, click the Down Arrow in the center of the screen.)
        • Click “More”
        • Select “On - Anyone with the link”
        • Save
      • Once completed, copy link and include in the respective section of the online application.

*If needed, additional Google Drive storage can be purchased for a nominal fee. Visit https://www.google.com/settings/storage.

  • Preliminary Round Video
    • Senior Division: 25-minute program that demonstrates contrasting repertoire and/or styles.
    • Junior Division: 15-minute program that demonstrates contrasting repertoire and/or styles.
    • All members of the group must perform in each recorded selection.
    • Timings are approximate for this round. Please submit a program within five minutes of your ensemble’s respective length requirements (e.g., a 23 or 28 minute program is acceptable for Senior applicants. A 31 minute program is unacceptable.).
  • Live Audition Rounds (Semi-Finals, Finals, and Grand Prize)
    • Senior Division: Ensembles should prepare a 60-75 minute program ​that demonstrates contrasting repertoire and/or styles as well as the ​best qualities of the ensemble. A variety of range is encouraged and programming will be considered in adjudication. Single movements and/or complete works are acceptable.
    • Junior Division: Ensembles should prepare a 30-40 minute program ​that demonstrates contrasting repertoire and/or styles as well as the ​best qualities of the ensemble. A variety of range is encouraged and programming will be considered in adjudication. Single movements and/or complete works are acceptable.
  • Repertoire for the Semi-Final, Final, and M-Prize rounds will be finalized after Semi-Finalists are notified of their status on March 10, 2017.
  • No changes to repertoire may be made after April 10, 2017.
  • Semi-Final Round (Live in Ann Arbor)
    • Senior Division: Each ensemble will be allotted a 20 minute audition. The jury will select 1-2 pieces from the ensemble’s submitted program (see Live Audition Rounds). Time permitting, the ensemble may choose additional selections (from their submitted program) for the remainder of the audition. The jury may stop and/or start the ensemble at any point.
    • ​Junior Division: Each ensemble will be allotted a 15 minute audition. The jury will select 1-2 pieces from the ensemble’s submitted program (see Live Audition Rounds). Time permitting, the ensemble may choose additional selections (from their submitted program) for the remainder of the audition. The jury may stop and/or start the ensemble at any point.
  • Finals (Live in Ann Arbor)
    • Senior Division: Each ensemble will be allotted a 30 minute audition. The jury will select 1-3 pieces from the ensemble’s submitted program (see Live Audition Rounds). Time permitting, the ensemble may choose additional selections (from their submitted program) for the remainder of the audition. The jury may stop and/or start the ensemble at any point.
    • Junior Division: Each ensemble will be allotted a 20 minute audition. The jury will select 1-3 pieces from the ensemble’s submitted program (see Live Audition Rounds). Time permitting, the ensemble may choose additional selections (from their submitted program) for the remainder of the audition. The jury may stop and/or start the ensemble at any point.
  • Grand Prize (Senior Division Only)
    • Senior Division: Each ensemble will be allotted a total of 25 minutes on the Grand Prize Gala Concert Program. ​The 25 minute timeframe includes all transitions between selections.​ ​This round of competition is in concert format, not audition format, and the ensemble will choose the entirety of their repertoire. ​Music on this program may be repeated from the Semi-Final or Final Rounds; however, the program must also include at least one piece not yet performed during any M-Prize round. ​Repertoire should demonstrate the breadth and depth of the ensemble's abilities, and programming will be considered in adjudication.
  • NEW: Interview Round
    • Prior to the Grand Prize Gala Concert, each ​Senior 1st Place Laureate ensemble​ (strings, winds, and open) w​ ill be interviewed, as a group, for 20-30 minutes. The interview should begin with a 6-8 minute presentation from the ensemble that illustrates the Laureate ensemble’s curatorial vision. A moderator will follow-up with questions, both from the moderator and the jury, that clarify and amplify the issues, priorities, and visions offered by the Laureate ensembles.
download guidelines

For questions about the competition, please contact Heather at mprizedirector@umich.edu