String Quartet Smack Down VIII - Sami Seif - Composer String Quartet Smack Down VIII - Sami Seif - Composer

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String Quartet Smack Down VIII

February 25, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EST

golden hornet string quartet smackdown

The Golden Hornet String Quartet  plays Reflections, excerpted from Orientalism (String Quartet) at their String Quartet Smack Down VIII event.

Golden Hornet’s String Quartet Smackdown is a bracketed, NCAA basketball style tournament competition which brings original four-minute string quartet compositions head-to-head in front of a live, participatory audience. It’s like NCAA March Madness for the ears!

Every Fall, composers from around the globe are invited to submit through an open, no-cost entry process. Following submission, a diverse panel of judges selects sixteen compositions to be performed live at the String Quartet Smackdown, which takes place in February at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX.

A professional string quartet performs the pieces LIVE* for the in-person and/or virtual audience. This performance is broken into four rounds:

Round 1 (Round of 16): One minute of all sixteen pieces
Round 2 (Quarterfinals): Two minutes of eight pieces
Round 3 (Semi-finals): Three minutes of four pieces
Round 4 (Finals) : Full four minutes of two pieces

The audience uses their cell phones or a mobile app to vote, and their responses appear live on screen. The winner of each bracket moves on in the tournament! (*In 2021, the pieces will be pre-recorded prior to the livestream to minimize technical disaster.)

In a riotous – and usually very close – finish, the audience determines the String Quartet Smackdown champion!


February 25, 2023
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EST


Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
1120 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704 United States
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