Two student chamber ensembles from the Bienen School of Music – Fuse Quartet and Trio Noré – advanced in the 47th Annual Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, which moved to an online format for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Fuse Quartet advanced to the semifinals of the senior wind division. The quartet consists of doctoral saxophone student Joe Connor (MM19), and master’s students Chris Forbes, David Schreck, and Julian Velasco, all of whom study with associate professor of saxophone Taimur Sullivan. Fuse Quartet was also recently named the first prize winner of the 2020 Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Chamber Winds Competition.

View more Fuse Quartet competition videos

Trio Noré advanced to the quarterfinals in the senior string division. The trio's regular members are Muzi Zhao, a piano student of James Giles; Daniel Kim, a violin student of Desirée Ruhstrat; and Andrew Byun, a cello student of Hans Jørgen Jensen. However, for the Fischoff Competition, EunAe Lee, a doctoral piano student of Giles, performed in place of Zhao.

View more Trio Noré competition videos

This year’s competition pool included 130 ensembles representing 16 nationalities. Jurors followed competition guidelines remotely, utilizing the pre-recorded performance videos of entrants to determine finalists. Results were announced online May 7–9, 2020, the original dates of the competition, which is typically held on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.

Pictured, top: Trio Noré with Jennifer Higdon, 2018 winner of the Bienen School of Music's Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Music Composition; Fuse Quartet

  • Taimur Sullivan
  • James Giles
  • Desiree Ruhstrat
  • Hans Jensen