Skip Navigation

Alumni Win Banff International String Quartet Competition

Alumni Win Banff International String Quartet Competition

Published on September 4, 2016

Alumni Win Banff International String Quartet Competition

Congratulations to the alumni of the Rolston String Quartet, who won the top prize at the 12th Banff International String Competition, held in Banff, Alberta from August 29–September 4. The quartet received a cash prize of $25,000, a 50-concert tour of Europe and North America, and a professional recording at the Banff Centre. 

The Rolston String Quartet is comprised of Luri Lee (violin), Jeffrey Dyrda (violin), Hezekiah Leung (viola), and Jonathan Lo (cello). Prior to its success in Banff, the ensemble had also won the Grand prize at the Chamber Music in Yellow Springs Competition, along with awards at the M-Prize and Bordeaux International String Quartet Competitions. They are currently the Graduate Quartet-in-Residence at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.

Every member of the quartet is an alumnus of The Royal Conservatory. Mr. Dyrda studied through The Royal Conservatory Certificate Program, the internationally acclaimed system of music study and assessment. All other members studied at The Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School, The Royal Conservatory’s internationally recognized centre for professional training in music performance at the postsecondary and postgraduate levels. Mr. Lo and Ms. Lee also participated in the school’s Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency Program

Alumnae Win Medals at 2016 Summer Olympics

Alumnae Hilary Caldwell and Kylie Masse both earned bronze medals at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio. Masse, a native of LaSalle, Ontario was third-fastest in the 100m backstroke, setting a Canadian record in the process. British Columbia resident Caldwell won her medal in the 200m backstroke. Both women studied piano through The Royal Conservatory Certificate Program.

Of the 314 athletes who competed in Rio at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, 22 were alumni of The Royal Conservatory. They competed in 15 different sports, from archery to triathlon, and hailed from communities across Canada.

Alumna Appointed to Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Clarinetist Sonia Sielaff has been earned a position in London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. She was named E-flat and Sub-principal Clarinet of the acclaimed orchestra. She studied with Joaquin Valdepeñas our Glenn Gould School. Prior to her appointment, the Minnesota native played with the Norwegian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, and recorded with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Bergen Philharmonic.