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Thalia Ensemble wins the York Early Music International Young Artists Competition

Thalia Ensemble from the Netherlands has won the prestigious biennial York Early Music International Young Artists Competition organised by the National Centre for Early Music, which culminated on Saturday 13 July as part of the 2013 York Early Music Festival. 

The group won over robust competition from an outstanding line up of 10 ensembles, featuring young musicians from 16 different countries. The ensembles were: Der Musikalische Garten (Germany); Duo 1702 (Denmark); Duo Domenico (UK); Ensemble Daimonion (Switzerland); Ensemble Versailles (Germany); Les Mélomanes (UK); On Air (Germany); Repicco (UK); Seldom Sene (Netherlands) and the Thalia Ensemble (Netherlands).

Each ensemble gave their final recital, which were recorded by BBC Radio 3, in front of a panel of judges comprising: Laurence Cummings (Chairman of the jury), conductor and harpsichordist; Bart Demuyt, director of the Laus Polyphony Festival in Antwerp and of the Alamire Foundation; Philip Hobbs, classical recording producer and engineer; Wieland Kuijken, one of the most influential pioneers of the viola da gamba and Stevie Wishart, composer and performer. 

Belén Nieto Galán flute, Sarah Aßman oboe, Diederik Ornée clarinet, Hylke Rozema horn and José Rodrigues Gomes bassoon impressed the judges with a programme entitled 'Grand Finale: The masters' last wish' in which they presented excerpts from the very last quintets written by the two grand masters of the wind quintet: Danzi and Reicha.

The winners received a cheque for £1,000; opportunities to work with BBC Radio 3; a concert as part of the 2014 York Early Music Festival and a CD recording produced by Linn Records. 

Highlights of the York Early Music International Young Artists Competition and music from the winner's recital will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show on Sunday 11 August 2013 at 1.00pm. 

At the end of the competition, Laurence Cummings, conductor and harpsichordist, and Chairman of the Judges, said: "What a fantastic final! A day full of joyous music-making which showed every affect from the transcendent euphoria to the death knoll of a lament. The standard of playing was superb. Altogether a very uplifting experience and lovely for the jury to sit back and soak it all in." 

The Competition was presented by distinguished singer, coach and language specialist, Richard Jackson who added: "During the two days of workshops and the competition day itself I have been particularly impressed by the great scholarship these very talented young musicians have shown in devising and preparing their programmes. They clearly love what they do and it has been wonderful to see such great expressivity both musically and physically in their performances. It has also been a great pleasure to witness the importance of give and take within each ensemble's performance and the wonderful atmosphere across all three days - full of interest and support for one another." 

Delma Tomlin MBE, Director of the National Centre for Early Music said: "The overall standard of this year's Competition has been especially high which has given our judges a tough but thoroughly enjoyable task over the last three days. We have been impressed not only by the ensembles' excellent musicianship and fine ensemble playing but also their warm acknowledgement of their fellow competitors and our audiences' appreciation of their performances. We wish them all great success in their future careers." 

The EUBO Development Trust Prize, presented by Paul James, Director General of the EUBO, for the most promising young artists was won by Der Musikalische Garten from Germany with their programme: '...A 2 Violin. Verstimbt'. The York Early Music Festival Friends Prize, presented by the Friends Administrator, Jillian Johnson MBE, was awarded to Duo Domenico from the UK with their programme 'The Birth of the Violoncello: Part II'.

For information about this year's competition click here
To view the final online until 24 August click here

The next York Early Music International Young Artists Competition will take place in 2015 as part of the York Early Music Festival. Information will be the National Centre for Early Music website at:

The Competition is supported by the National Centre for Early Music, BBC Radio 3 and Arts Council England, Yorkshire.


Press Contact:Shona Galletly 
T: 07813 796 733

Notes to Editors:
1. Thalia Ensemble - Winners of the 2013 York Early Music International Young Artists Competition
Belén Nieto Galán flute
Sarah Aßmann oboe
Diederik Ornée clarinet
Hylke Rozema horn
José Rodrigues Gomes bassoon
The Thalia Ensemble, five dynamic young musicians from all corners of the World, met at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Devoted to studying historical instruments and performance practice, they have worked with some of the leading specialists in the field of early music.  The ensemble varies in size between duo and octet settings to embrace the full repertory of chamber music for wind instruments from 1750 to 1850.  Since their foundation in January 2011, Thalia Ensemble has performed classical and early romantic chamber music in various Dutch and German concert series as well as organising its own concert series in 2011/12 with three different programmes and 9 concerts in Amsterdam, Hoorn, Hilversum and Breda.  In August 2012, Thalia Ensemble was one of the Selected Promising Ensembles at the International Young Artists Presentation in Antwerp.

2. Der Musikalische Garten - Winners of the EUBO Development Trust Prize
German Echeverri Chamorro, Karoline Echeverri violins
Annekatrin Beller cello
Daniela Niedhammer harpsichord
The members of Der Musikalische Garten met in Basel as current and former students of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. The ensemble focuses on German music of the 17th century, especially in scordatura repertoire, which involves changing the tuning of a stringed instrument to explore its technical and tonal possibilities. Der Musikalische Garten combines a great variety of sounds and rhetorical possibilities with technical virtuosity and a profound knowledge of historical performance.  Hailing from Spain and Germany, its members perform with other well-known ensembles such as la Cetra, Gli Incogniti, Concerto Soave, Capriccio Barockorchester, Batzdorfer Hofkapelle and Cappella Gabetta.  Der Musikalische Garten was a Selected Promising Ensemble at the International Young Artists Presentation in Antwerp 2011; they won second prize and the Audience prize of the International van Wassenaer Competition in Amsterdam 2011; and they took part in the Young Artists Residency Programme in Ambronay 2012. In April 2013, the ensemble won the First Prize and the Audience Prize of the competition "Förderpreis Alte Musik des Saarländischen Rundfunks" (SR Radio, Germany) and the Biber Prize of the international H.I.F. Biber Competition (Austria).

3. Duo Domenico - Friends of York Early Music Festival Prizewinner
Jonathan Rees, Vladimir Waltham cellos
Duo Domenico explores the 17th-century repertoire written for the rich diversity of four-, five- and six-stringed bass instruments of the period, as well as the virtuosic works written in the 18th century for the instrument which supplanted them - the violoncello. Named after Domenico Gabrielli, the first composer to publish works naming the violoncello as intended instrument, the duo delve into his works and those of his contemporaries such as Vitali and Jacchini, but also into the starkly contrasting works by 'cello virtuosi such as Boccherini, Barrière and Abel. Vladimir Waltham and Jonathan Rees formed the duo in 2012, playing in multiple venues in the London area and benefiting from tuition by Joseph Crouch and Jonathan Manson. In the Spring of 2013, the group will take their programme on tour to venues in London, Bristol, Somerset and Devon.

4. The York Early Music International Young Artists Competition was created in 1985. Previously known as the Early Music Network IYAC, the Competition attracts young artists from all over the world. Previous winners are:  1985 Paul Goodwin (oboe) and Nicholas Parle (harpsichord); 1987 The Locke Consort; 1989 Joint winners: I Fagiolini and Musikfreunde (renamed Florilegium); 1991 The Palladian Ensemble; 1993 Mhairi Lawson (soprano) and Olga Tverskaya (fortepiano); 1995 The Amarillis Consort; 1997 Voce Poetica; 1999 The Private Music; 2001 Apollo and Pan; 2003 Savadi; 2005 ensemble Fidicinium (York Early Music Festival Friends' Prize: Stile Antico); 2007 Le Jardin Secret; 2009 Ensemble Meridiana (York Early Music Festival Friends' Prize: Grand Désir); 2011 Profeti della Quinta (York Early Music Festival Friends' Prize: Encantar)

5. York Early Music Festival is supported by the Arts Council England, Yorkshire; the Cultural Programme of the European Union; the City of York Council; media partner BBC Radio 3; the National Centre for Early Music and tourism partners Welcome to Yorkshire and members of the York Hoteliers Association.