National Centre for Early Music

[Skip navigation]
Navigation Menu

NCEM Young Composers Award 2014

23 September 2013

The National Centre for Early Music and BBC Radio 3 are proud to present the 2014 NCEM Young Composers Award in partnership with vocal group The Tallis Scholars, directed by Peter Phillips. The Award will be launched on BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show on Sunday 17 November 2013.

This major national award will be open to young composers resident in the UK up to the age of 25, divided into two age categories: up to 18 years and 19 to 25 years. Composers will be invited to write a new piece for The Tallis Scholars, who are currently celebrating their 40th anniversary. A shortlist of entries will be selected for the Award Day, a day-long workshop presented by The Ebor Singers at the National Centre for Early Music in York on Thursday 8 May 2014. The winning compositions will be performed by The Tallis Scholars on Friday 24 October at the Church of St. John the Evangelist, Oxford in a public concert promoted by Music at Oxford, and recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show.

Delma Tomlin, Director of the NCEM said: "We are delighted that this year's winning pieces will be premiered by The Tallis Scholars in Oxford and recorded by BBC Radio 3 for future broadcast, giving these young composers a unique opportunity to broaden their audiences so significantly at this stage in their careers. As the National Centre for Early Music, our partnership with The Tallis Scholars and Music in Oxford also broadens the geographical significance of this Award across the UK and follows on from the premieres of NCEM Young Composers Award winning pieces in Bath in 2013, Durham in 2012 and London in 2011."  

Les Pratt, Lead Producer for BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show said: "BBC Radio 3 is proud of its commitment to new music and to supporting young musicians to reach the next stage of their career. Being a key partner in a competition to find a brand new work by a young composer for a respected ensemble to perform is just the sort of stimulating creativity that we are delighted to be part of. The technical standards and breadth of originality from the young composers is always staggering and we're looking forward to working through this exciting process and to hearing The Tallis Scholars sing the winning piece during their 40th anniversary year."  

Peter Phillips, Director of The Tallis Scholars added: "I look forward to putting the unique sound of The Tallis Scholars at the disposal of these young composers, and to working with them as the competition progresses."

Applicants should register their interest in the competition by Friday 21 February 2014. Completed scores must be received no later than Friday 21 March 2014. The Award will be judged in York on Thursday 8 May 2014, when the shortlisted entries will be presented by The Ebor Singers in a workshop setting throughout the day in the presence of the young composers. That evening The Ebor Singers will perform each of the pieces in front of a panel of judges in a public concert, after which the two winners will be announced, one for each of the two age categories.

Terms and conditions and details of how to take part in the NCEM Young Composers Award 2014 will be posted at:

For further information email:


Press Contact: 
Shona Galletly, on behalf of National Centre for Early Music 
m: 07813 796 733

Notes to Editors:
1. The National Centre for Early Music is administered by the York Early Music Foundation and funded by Arts Council England, Yorkshire. 

2. BBC Radio 3 is the home of classical music and broadcasts a wide range of distinctive classical and cultural programming including jazz, world music, arts and over 30 new drama programmes a year. The station broadcasts more live classical music programming than any other and is the home of the BBC Proms, broadcasting every Prom live and over 600 complete concerts a year. Radio 3 is also committed to supporting new talent; composers, writers and new young performers through schemes such as World Routes Academy, New Generation Artists, New Generation Thinkers and is the most significant commissioner of new musical works in the country.

3. The Tallis Scholars were founded in 1973 by their director, Peter Phillips. Through their recordings and concert performances, they have established themselves as the leading exponents of Renaissance sacred music throughout the world. Peter Phillips has worked with the ensemble to create, through good tuning and blend, the purity and clarity of sound which he feels best serve the Renaissance repertoire, allowing every detail of the musical lines to be heard. It is the resulting beauty of sound for which The Tallis Scholars have become so widely renowned.