The Jury


2016  Senior String Division Jurors


Evelyne Brancart, piano

Professor, Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University

Eva Gruesser, violin

Roger Sessions chair of concertmaster of American Composers Orchestra

John Kochanowski, viola

Member, Blair String Quartet; Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University

Jeffrey Solow, cello

Temple University; Trio Combray


2016  Senior Wind Division Jurors


Kevin Cobb, trumpet

Member, American Brass Quintet

David Dees, saxophone

Professor of Saxophone, College of Visual & Performing Arts, Texas Tech University

Douglas Hill, French horn

Professor, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Allan Vogel, oboe

Faculty, California Institute of the Arts; Principal Oboist, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra


2016 Junior Division Jurors


Rieko Aizawa, piano

Member, Horszowski Trio; Piano Faculty, Longy School of Music, Bard College

Daniel Ching, violin

Member, Miro Quartet; Senior Lecturer, Butler School of Music, Univeristy of Texas at Austin

Jan Eberle, oboe

Professor, Michigan State University College of Music; Principal Oboe, Chautauqua Symphony

Anthony Elliot, cello

Professor, University of Michigan


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.