The Jury


2017  Senior String Division Jurors


Julie Rosenfeld, violin

First Violinist, Colorado String Quartet; Professor of Violin and Chamber Music, University of Missouri School of Music

Rhonda Rider, cello

Chair of Strings, Boston Conservatory at Berklee; Triple Helix Piano Trio

James Dunham, viola

Shepherd School of Music, Rice University; Co-director: MM in String Quartet; Axelrod String Quartet, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC

Anne Epperson, piano

Professor of Collaborative Piano and Chair of Chamber and Collaborative Music Department, Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University; Visiting Professor of Collaborative Piano, Butler School of Music, University of Texas, Austin


2017  Senior Wind Division Jurors


John Rojak, trombone

American Brass Quintet; Director of Brass Studies, NYU

Julie Feves, bassoon

California Institute of the Arts; Long Beach Symphony Orchestra

David Jolley, French horn

Chair of Brass, Manhattan School of Music; Professor of Horn, Stonybrook University

Kenneth Tse, saxophone

Professor of Saxophone, University of Iowa; President, Comité International de Saxophone and North American Saxophone Alliance


2017 Junior Division Jurors


James Howsmon, piano

Oberlin Conservatory of Music

Annie Fullard, violin

Cavani String Quartet; Cleveland Institute of Music Quartet-in-Residence & Director, Young Artist Program / Preparatory Chamber Music at The Cleveland Institute of Music

Catherine Ramirez, flute

Artist-in-Residence (Flute/Chamber Music) St. Olaf College (MN)

Bruce Uchimura, cello

Professor of Cello/Director, Western Michigan University Symphony Orchestra; Merling Trio


Review an archive of past Fischoff Competition jurors (through 2016).

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.