The Jury


2015 Senior String Division Jurors


Kirsten Docter, viola

Member, Cavani Quartet; Cleveland Institute of Music

Gilbert Kalish, piano

Distinquished Professor, SUNY Stony Brook; International Program Director, Music@Menlo; Artist, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

Ani Kavafian, violin

Professor of Violin, Yale School of Music; Artist Member, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

Keith Robinson, cello

Member, Miami String Quartet; Kent State University


2015 Senior Wind Division Jurors


James Campbell, clarinet

Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University; Artisitic Director, Festival of the Sound

Louis Hanzlik, trumpet

Member, American Brass Quintet; Orpheus Chamber Orchestra; The Juilliard School; University of Connecticut

Roland Pandolfi, horn

Oberlin Conservatory; Principal Horn, St. Louis Symphony (ret.)

Donald Sinta, saxophone

Served as the Earl V. Moore Professor of Saxophone, University of Michigan's School of Music, Theatre & Dance, 1997-2014


2015 Junior Division Jurors


Alexandra Kazovsky, violin

Member, Ariel Quartet; College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati

Timothy Lovelace, piano

Associate Professor of Collaborative Piano, University of Minnesota

Astrid Schween, cello

Member, Boston Trio; University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Faculty, Interlochen Center for the Arts

John Thorne, flute

Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University; Former Associate Principal Flute, Houston Symphony


Review an archive of past Fischoff Competition jurors (through 2013).

The Fischoff takes great pride in inviting the nation's finest musicians and music educators to serve as Competition jurors.  Each Competition Division – string, wind, and junior – is adjudicated by the finest professional specialists in each field.  Jurors come together to form a larger panel for the Final round.

Selecting the “best” ensemble from all of the competitors can be a Herculean task.  The jurors do have some formulas on which they can rely.  However, their decisions are guided primarily by their own musical integrity and experience as performers and instructors.  They listen for interpretation – tempi and dynamics; ensemble performance – balance within the ensemble, blend, and unity of the members; technical accuracy – rhythm and intonation; and overall performance – poise, artistic impression, and expression.

Jurors individually rank the ensembles in each division. These rankings are combined, then averaged for each ensemble to arrive at a group’s composite ranking.  Rankings are a good method for determining the prize winners, but the real value for these young musicians comes from the written comments of the jurors.  The juror evaluations are distributed to all performing ensembles at the completion of the Competition.  From the written comments, the musicians gain valuable and constructive feedback, which is intended to stimulate their growth as artists and ensembles.

Identifying conflict of interest issues is very important to the integrity of the Competition.  During all Competition rounds, ensembles perform anonymously, identified to the jury only by number.  Conflicts of interest between jurors and ensembles or any individuals within an ensemble are carefully addressed and handled appropriately.

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