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Savvy Musician in ACTION announces national Chamber Music Competition finalists

The free Chamber Music Showcase Concert takes place at Tapp’s Arts Center during Columbia’s First Thursday event in June

Some of the country’s most innovative chamber music ensembles will be in Columbia competing for major prizes during USC’s innovative arts entrepreneurship workshop, The Savvy Musician in ACTION (SMIA).

The Chamber Music Competition, sponsored by the University of South Carolina in collaboration with Chamber Music America, is the country’s only major chamber music competition in which the judging criteria includes both artistic excellence and innovative event design.

The Chamber Music Showcase concert takes place June 4 during Columbia’s First Thursday on Main event at Tapp’s Arts Center (1644 Main St., Columbia, SC) from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The showcase concert is free to attend.

The four finalist ensembles will compete during the concert for prizes including professional management, a New York City showcase concert, and a paid residency at the University of South Carolina. 

The competition’s four finalists, selected from a large field of applicants, will each play a 25-minute set during the showcase concert. In addition to reimagining the concert experience, the program highlights each group’s stellar musicianship and creative programming.

The Finalists

Cre.Art Project

Cre.Art Project

Cre.Art Project is a chamber ensemble that works through multidisciplinary interaction gathering musicians, visual artists, dancers, actors, writers, designers and acrobats from all over the world to create unique performances. Founded in 2006 by Guillermo Laporta and Tagore González​,​ Cre.Art Project has produced shows at leading venues and festivals across Europe and America with a wide range of productions like the musical London the Show, the multimedia music series Visuality and the opera Noctum.

Peter Ferry and Xua

Peter Ferry and Xuan

Peter Ferry, percussion soloist, and Xuan, video artist, redefine the modern duo by transcending the limits of traditional performance and collaboration. Through original interdisciplinary projects involving live video and musical performance, they explore new artistic territory through percussion’s lush sonorities and rhythmic vitality, and film’s intricately constructed animations and beautifully layered imagery, all of which left critics at the Rochester Fringe Festival calling the show “Breathtaking... all that such festivals are supposed to be: funny, boundary-pushing, thought-provoking.” (Democrat and Chronicle)

Chicago Q Ensemble

Chicago Q Ensemble

Named as one of the “leaders of the new school” by Symphony Magazine, Chicago Q Ensemble is a trio of equal creative partners who develop intimate, seamless performance works grounded in contemporary and classical chamber music. Their aesthetic approach is deliberately raw and stripped-down, leaving space for audiences to connect with the performance in a deeply personal way. The ensemble rejects the traditional image of the performer as mere interpreter, striving instead to emphasize individuality, vulnerability and risk-taking.

District5

District5

Specializing in contemporary works and original transcriptions, District5 creates immersive and dramatic shows that depart from the standard concert format. By combining innovation with musical integrity, their imaginative interpretations seek to heighten the audience’s emotional connection to the music. With the U.S. premiere of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s ROTARY Woodwind Quintet already to their credit, this emerging wind quintet continues to produce one-of-a-kind performances.