The Viano Quartet Selected for the CMS Bowers Program
The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS) announces the nine individual artists and one ensemble selected for The Bowers Program, a highly competitive three season residency in which participants perform, tour, and teach alongside CMS artists. CMS also announces composer Chris Rogerson as winner of the Elise L. Stoeger Prize, which is awarded to recognize significant contributions to the field of chamber music composition. The Bowers Program and Stoeger Prize reflect CMS’s ongoing support and development of chamber music artists and composers throughout their careers, on stage and off.
“Each musician who makes it to the Bowers auditions finals is at the top of their game. While it is enormously inspiring to hear such playing, the uniformly high level makes it all the more difficult to arrive at conclusions,” remarked CMS Artistic Directors Wu Han and David Finckel. “This is where our incomparable jury comes in: their dedication, sensitivity, discretion, and wisdom make it possible for us to name the eventual winners, and this year our new roster of Bowers artists received enthusiastic, positive votes from the entire panel. The CMS audience has a real treat in store, and we offer these
extraordinary young players our heartiest congratulations and warmest welcome.”
“CMS Two—now the Bowers Program—was absolutely indispensable to me when I first moved to the United States,” says pianist Inon Barnatan. “It was an immediate introduction to one of the top cultural centers in the world, some of the top presenters and concert halls in the country, and a connection to a group of fantastic musicians, most of whom are still in my musical life more than 15 years later. The way that the program is structured meant that us ‘newbies’ felt completely integrated into the CMS family without a sense of hierarchy and without feeling like junior or temporary members.”
The Bowers Program has proven to be a springboard for many of today’s most successful chamber music artists, and it provides CMS itself with the next generation of artists. Approximately fifty percent the current roster at CMS is composed of Bowers alumni, the current Bowers cohort, and incoming members of the program, who perform as equal colleagues alongside CMS artists of all generations. Bowers Program artists are integrated into every facet of CMS activities for a three-season term, performing on CMS’s New York stages as well as in cities across the US and abroad alongside established CMS artists; program participants also appear as part of CMS education and community outreach programs.
The Bowers Program began as “CMS Two” in 1994 and was renamed after Ann S. Bowers in 2018, in recognition of her leadership donation to CMS to secure the development of the next generation of outstanding young musicians. Over the course of its history, 101 individual artists and 11 ensembles have completed the program, many of whom have gone on to become the world’s leading classical musicians, including Hilary Hahn, Inon Barnatan, Alisa Weilerstein, Anthony McGill, and the Miró, Escher, and Danish String Quartets, among many others.
The Viano Quartet won the first prize at the 2019 Banff International String Quartet Competition and have performed in New York, London, Berlin, Vancouver, Paris, Beijing, Toronto, Lucerne, and Los Angeles, among others. The quartet was named the inaugural June Goldsmith Quartet-in-Residence for the Music in the Morning series in Vancouver until 2025, where their focus will be to commission new works and lead extensive community engagement initiatives. Formed in 2015, the quartet has held residencies at the Curtis Institute, the Colburn Conservatory, Northern Michigan University, and Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. Summer 2023 brings re-invitations to Chamber Music Northwest and the Bravo! Vail Festival, along with appearances at the Intimacy of
Creativity Festival in Hong Kong, Ottawa Chamberfest, Minnesota Beethoven Festival, and BISQFest, among others.