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NCEM Young Composers Award 2015

The National Centre for Early Music and BBC Radio 3 are proud to present the 2015 NCEM Young Composers Award in partnership with Scotland's leading baroque ensemble, the internationally acclaimed Dunedin Consort. The Award will be launched on BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show on Sunday 30 November 2014.

This major national award is open to young composers resident in the UK up to the age of 25, divided into two age categories: 18 years and under and 19 to 25 years. Composers are invited to write a new piece for the Dunedin Consort which is directed by the award-winning conductor, organist, harpsichordist and scholar, John Butt.  

Delma Tomlin, Director of the NCEM said: "We are delighted to be able to offer the shortlisted young composers the opportunity to take part in a day-long workshop with the outstanding musicians in the Dunedin Consort. The winning pieces will also be performed by the Dunedin Consort and recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show. As the National Centre for Early Music we are particularly keen to ensure that the award offers young composers a unique opportunity to have their works rehearsed and performed to an extremely high standard and for the winning pieces to receive national recognition. We look forward to welcoming the Dunedin Consort and young composers in to the supportive and nurturing environment we have created for this Award."

Les Pratt, Lead Producer for BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show said: "Supporting new music is something BBC Radio 3 has always been committed to and it is part of the BBC Music strategy, as is encouraging young musicians in the early stages of their careers.  We're delighted to continue our partnership in this award for 2015 and are excited to hear what the young composers will make of this new challenge.  The wealth of inventiveness from the young composers is always impressive, and we're looking forward to working through this stimulating process and to hearing the Dunedin Ensemble perform the winning pieces next year."

John Butt, Director of the Dunedin Consort said: "It's a great privilege for Dunedin to be involved in this wonderful project. New music for old instruments and historical vocal techniques is one of the growth areas in composition today, particularly given the tremendous skills that historical performers have developed. And new, unusual, sounds for these forces surely help provide added inspiration for the interpretation of historical repertories."

Applicants must register their interest in the award by 5.00pm on Friday 20 February 2015 by emailing the National Centre for Early Music at

Completed scores must be received no later than 5.00pm on Friday 20 March 2015. The Award will be judged at the National Centre for Early Music in York on Thursday 14 May 2015. During the day a shortlist of entries will be presented by the Dunedin Consort in a workshop led by composer Christopher Fox. At 7.30pm the Dunedin Consort will perform each of the pieces in the presence of a panel of judges, 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 2015 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. Dunedin Consort takes its name from Edinburgh's castle (Din Eidyn) and, like the famous landmark, has great cultural significance in Scotland's capital city and beyond. Under the musical direction of John Butt the Dunedin Consort has consolidated its existing strength in baroque and classical repertoire, winning the 2008 Midem Baroque Award and the 2007 Gramophone Award for Best Baroque Vocal Album (for its recording of the original Dublin version of Handel's Messiah). More recently, the ensemble was awarded the 2014 Gramophone Award for Best Choral recording for its recording of Mozart's Requiem; a unique attempt to reimagine the original performance of Mozart's Requiem, using a new scholarly edition by Mozart scholar David Black and utilising the same forces used at the likely first performance of the piece at Mozart's own memorial service in the Michaelkirche in Vienna.

The Dunedin Consort has performed at music festivals in Scotland (including the Edinburgh International Festival), Canada, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Israel and France, broadcasts frequently on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Scotland, and enjoys a close relationship with Linn Records.