Juror Insights

One of Fischoff’s greatest traditions is connecting young competition ensembles with our distinguished jurors, who are comprised of today’s leading chamber musicians, mentors and teachers.  In order to share the amazing wisdom of our 2021 competition jurors, Fischoff will be hosting several events.

Live Zoom Events


Friday, May 14, 2021

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm (ET)

Commissioning New Works: An Insider's View of Where to Start, Lessons Learned, and a Composer's Perspective

Watch the recorded event here


Join Fischoff juror, Kari Landry (Akropolis Reed Quintet), and Jeffrey Scott, composer and hornist (Imani Winds), in a conversation revealing the how-tos of creating and commissioning new works. Landry and Scott share lessons learned from their collaboration on Homage to Paradise Valley, featured on Akropolis Reed Quintet's recent album, Ghost Light.


4:00 pm - 5:30 pm (ET)

Behind the Scenes of Music by Black Composers, a Guided Tour with Rachel Barton Pine

Fischoff juror and internationally recognized violinist, Rachel Barton Pine, hosts a celebration of music by Black composers. For the past 20 years Barton Pine has worked to #ExpandTheCanon in classical music. Join her as she shares and performs selected gems from the more than 900 works by 450+ Black composers she has uncovered. Joined by Fischoff Board of Director, Composer, and retired Dean of the Raclin School of the Arts, Dr. Marvin Curtis who will facilitate the Q&A.


Saturday, May 15, 2021

11:00 am - 12:15 pm (ET)

Inspiration Everywhere: What I Have Learned From Great Musicians Who Don't Play Classical Music

Join Michael Kannen, Fischoff juror, cellist and Director of Chamber Music at the Peabody Conservatory, and founding member of the Brentano String Quartet, as he reflects on the great non-classical musicians who have most helped him become a better classical musician and chamber music player, and who have helped him understand the importance of what we do as musicians.


Additionally, we have gathered some Juror Insights to share with you: masterclasses, teaching techniques and thoughts on collaborating as a chamber ensemble.



Interviews & Lessons Learned


Pam Highbaugh Aloni, violin 

This episode explores the important value of "Respect" - key to the success of any quartet. At minute marker 23:25, the members of the Lafayette String Quartet explore their 35 years of a life in chamber music together.


Valerie Coleman, flute/composer

Interview on Flute Unscripted - Speaks about the origins of Imani Winds and her new role at the Frost School of Music as professor of chamber music, flute, entrepreneurship and how she is spreading her wings as a composer.


Elizabeth Freivogel, viola

The Jupiter Quartet video interview on competitions, rehearsals, sound, management, group dynamics, and making a living in a changing musical world.


Michael Kannen, cello

Role of the Cello in Chamber Music



Tips & Techniques


Gail Williams, horn

Sarah Willis from Horn Hangouts delves into "Breathing and Blowing and Singing Dogs" with Gail Williams

A master class with Ms. Williams at the Western Illinois University Horn Festival

Horn & brass warm-ups with Gail Williams and Andrew Bain. Do your daily duty with these exercises.


Zachary Shemon, saxophone

Motivation in the Face of Cancellations and Exercises for Tone and Control





Rachel Barton Pine, violin

Podcast on how to make arrangements for string ensemble of your favorite pop or rock song.

Find additional information and resources as a follow-up from Rachel Barton Pines' live Juror Insights session exploring Music by Black Composers.


Kari Landry, clarinet

Kari discusses musical entrepreneurship as a key component in the success of the Akropolis Reed Quintet on the Candid Clarinetist podcast.