Founded in 1973 in South Bend, Indiana, the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition has become the largest chamber music competition in the world and one of the most prestigious classical music prizes attainable today. Since its founding, more than 5,000 musicians have participated, many continuing to establish distinguished careers in music performance and education.
The Music Institute of Chicago has had a strong presence at Fischoff throughout the years. Students from the Music Institute's prestigious Academy for gifted pre-college musicians earned first and third place in the Junior Division of the 2012 Fischoff competition, and Academy students have taken first place in the Junior Division in four of the past five years, as well as earning five additional top medals:
2012 – 1st, Quartet Stracciatella; 3rd, Quartet Ardella
2010 – 1st, Quartet Danae; 2nd, Emerald String Quartet
2009 – 1st, Aurelia String Quartet; 3rd, Quartet Danae
2008 – 1st, Quartet Polaris; 2nd, Ridere Quartet; 3rd, Aurelia String Quartet
In addition, Music Institute ensembles in residence Quintet Attacca and Axiom Brass have received awards at the competition.
NICHOLS CONCERT HALL
The 2012–13 season marks the 10th anniversary of Nichols Concert Hall, originally designed by noted architect Solon S. Beman as the architecturally and acoustically magnificent First Church of Christ, Scientist, located at 1490 Chicago Avenue in Evanston, in 1912 (celebrating its centennial). Restored in 2003, the building has become Nichols Concert Hall, a state-of-the-art, 550-seat performance space and music education destination, which annually reaches approximately 15,000 people and hosts a world-class chamber music series, workshops and master classes, student recitals, and special events.
Other highlights of the Music Institute's 10th anniversary season at Nichols include a Billy Strayhorn festival featuring jazz great Terell Stafford in late October, the internationally acclaimed Pacifica Quartet in February, and pianist Sergei Babayan in April. Noteworthy annual events include Family Concerts in December and March; the Martin Luther King, Jr. concert with the Brotherhood Chorale in January; the Four Score Festival of contemporary music in March; and the third annual Emilio del Rosario Distinguished Alumni Concert, this year featuring violinist Rachel Barton Pine and pianist Matthew Hagle in May.