The Jury


2018  Senior String Division Jurors

Victoria Chiang, viola

Artist/Faculty, Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University

Artist/Faculty, Aspen Music Festival and School

Simin Ganatra, violin

Professor of Violin & Chair of the Strings Department, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

Pacifica Quartet

Sponsored by Jeny & John Sejdinaj

Paul Katz, cello

Cello and Chamber Music, New England Conservatory

Artistic Director/Founder,

Anne-Marie McDermott, piano

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

Artistic Director of Bravo! Vail Music Festival



2018  Senior Wind Division Jurors

Carrie Koffman, saxophone

The Hartt School of Music, Dance and Theater - University of Hartford

Yale School of Music

Massimo Mercelli, flute

International Soloist

Artistic Director, Emilia Romagna Festival, Italy

Roy Poper, trumpet

Associate Professor of Trumpet, Oberlin Conservatory of Music

Former Principal Trumpet, Los Angeles Opera

Eric Reed, horn

American Brass Quintet

The Juilliard School



2018  Junior Division Jurors

Judith Gordon, piano

Associate Professor of Music, Smith College

Pianist, Chatter ABQ and Music from Salem

Daniel McDonough, cello

The Jupiter String Quartet, ensemble-in-residence

Professor of Cello, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Ryan Reynolds, bassoon

Akropolis Reed Quintet

Visiting Assistant Professor of Bassoon, Miami University, Oxford, OH

Janet Ying, violin

The Ying Quartet

Associate Professor of String Chamber Music, Eastman School of Music


Review an archive of past Fischoff Competition jurors (through 2017).

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.