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A Lute Song

Outline

Young composers from across the UK are invited to compose a new work for solo voice and lute, which utilises the remarkable skills of Theatre of the Ayre, directed by one of Europe's leading lute players, Elizabeth Kenny.

A shortlist of entries will be presented by Theatre of the Ayre in a workshop led by composer Christopher Fox at the National Centre for Early Music, York, on Thursday 12 May 2016. At 7.30pm on the same day, the Theatre of the Ayre will perform each of the pieces in the presence of a panel of judges, after which the winning pieces will be announced, one for each of the two age categories. The panel of judges will comprise: Elizabeth Kenny, lutenist and director of Theatre of the Ayre; Les Pratt, Producer BBC Radio 3; and Delma Tomlin, Director of the National Centre for Early Music.

The winning work(s) will then be premiered by Theatre of the Ayre in a public performance. This concert will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show.

The brief: to create a contemporary response to one of the most intimate musical forms of the Renaissance, the lute song.

Composers are invited to create a new piece for the lutenist, Elizabeth Kenny, and either a male (tenor) or female (mezzo-soprano) singer. The music must set one of four poems chosen by the award judges. The style of setting should take its inspiration from the lute songs of composers such as John Dowland and Thomas Campion, music of great subtlety which nevertheless always communicates the form and emotions of the text it sets as clearly and directly as possible. Although the lute music of the Renaissance is usually played from tablature notation, for this occasion you are free to use either staff notation (treble and bass clef) or tablature if you are comfortable with it.

The work will last between 3 and 4 minutes.

The selected poems and application forms can be accessed from the National Centre for Early Music website www.ncem.co.uk/composersaward2016 .


Award Rules
  • Entry is open to all UK residents aged up to 25 at the time entry closes.
  • There are two categories for the awards as follows:
    • 18 years and under on the date of submission (born on or after 19/03/97)
    • 19 - 25 years on the date of submission (born between 18/03/90 and 17/03/97)
  • Applicants and winners of past awards are eligible to enter the 2016 award.
  • Employees and close family members of the BBC, the NCEM and Theatre of the Ayre, and persons connected to the award and their close relatives are not eligible to enter. Proof of age, identity and eligibility may be requested.
  • The composition should be scored for one singer (mezzo-soprano or tenor) accompanied by a lute.
  • Compositions may be in either staff notation (treble and bass clef) or tablature.
  • Compositions must set one of the four selected poems posted on the NCEM website at www.ncem.co.uk/composersaward2016 
  • The composition should be between 3 and 4 minutes' duration.


How to enter
  • Entrants must register their interest in entering the award by emailing education@ncem.co.uk by 5.00pm on Friday 19 February 2016, stating which age category they wish to enter.
  • Application forms are available on the National Centre for Early Music website at www.ncem.co.uk/composersaward2016.
  • Entrants should send by post two copies of the score in an A4 format (preferably produced on computerised publishing software), together with a completed application form, to: The Music Administrator, National Centre for Early Music, St. Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TL. Digital files will not be accepted.
  • Entries in the form of completed scores should be received no later than 5.00pm on Friday 18 March 2016. Entries received after the deadline will not be considered.


Judging criteria

The shortlisted entrants will be judged on the following criteria:
  1. skill of compositional techniques
  2. innovation of composition fused with an awareness of effective writing for a solo singer and lute
  3. expressive response to the chosen text

Selection process
  • A shortlist of up to 8 entrants will be chosen by a judging panel consisting of a member of the National Centre for Early Music, the BBC, Theatre of the Ayre and a professional composer, and will be notified no later than Friday 15 April 2016.
  • The judging panel is unable to give feedback to unsuccessful applicants.
  • All shortlisted entrants must attend a workshop at the NCEM on Thursday 12 May 2016, led by composer Christopher Fox, where they will have an opportunity to hear their compositions presented by Theatre of the Ayre. The workshop will be video recorded and made available on the internet.
  • The workshop will be followed the same evening, Thursday 12 May, by a public performance at 7.30pm at the National Centre for Early Music, when the pieces will be performed in the presence of the panel of judges. The panel of judges will select and announce the winners at the end of the concert, based on the aforementioned criteria, and will award them the prize.
  • Should a shortlisted entrant not be available after reasonable attempts to contact him/her, the NCEM reserves the right to select another entrant to attend the workshop or - where applicable - to be awarded the prize.
  • The NCEM's selection of the winners is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • Reasonable transport and accommodation costs for the workshop and Finalists' concert will be reimbursed by the NCEM to the finalists, and to one parent/guardian of those under the age of 18.

The Prize
  • The prize offered is a performance by Theatre of the Ayre of the winning compositions in a public concert. This concert will be recorded for broadcast by BBC Radio 3.
  • There will be no cash equivalent and the prize cannot be transferred.
  • The winner will receive a complimentary set of tickets to this concert for themselves and up to two members of their family/friends.
  • Reasonable transport and accommodation costs for this concert will be reimbursed by the NCEM to the winners and up to two members of their family/friends.

Copyright and permissions
  • By submitting your composition, you grant to the BBC, NCEM and Theatre of the Ayre, free of charge, permission to use the material in any way they want (including modifying and adapting it for operational and editorial reasons) for services in any media worldwide (including on the sites accessed by international users).
  • In order that the BBC can use your composition you must confirm that your composition is:
    1. your own original work
    2. has not previously been performed or published
    3. does not infringe any UK laws
    4. you have the right to give the BBC permission to use it for the purposes specified above
  • Copyright in your composition will remain with you after the premiere and the aforementioned permission is non-exclusive. You can continue to use the material in any way you wish and you can also permit others to use the material.
  • All entries, including composers' details, may be used in publicity campaigns post award. Photographs of winning entries may also be used in publicity campaigns.
  • The shortlisted entrants must agree to take part in any post-award publicity if required.
  • Any competitor under the age of 18 who attends a workshop or public performance must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • The shortlisted entrants may be filmed and/or interviewed and will be required to assign to the BBC/NCEM/ Theatre of the Ayre the copyright and other rights for all purposes (including use in all media now known or which may hereafter become known) in their contribution for broadcast for the full period of copyright and any extensions, revivals or renewals thereof.
  • The shortlisted entrants will grant the BBC/NCEM/ Theatre of the Ayre the unlimited right to edit, copy, add to, take from, adapt or translate their contributions for broadcast or performance. The entrants also waive irrevocably any "moral rights" they may have under the laws of any jurisdiction.
  • The shortlisted entrants will grant the NCEM/ Theatre of the Ayre the right to perform the piece after the premiere.
  • Contributions cover all contributions made by the shortlisted entrants in connection with the production of any BBC programme including, but not limited to, their performance (including rehearsals) and spoken, written and artistic materials (including audio and video recordings thereof).
  • The NCEM reserves the right to:
    1. cancel or adapt the award
    2. vary or change the prizes
    3. disqualify any entrant who breaches the rules or who commits a fraud, at any stage, if in their opinion it is deemed necessary or if circumstances arise outside its control.
  • In so far as it applies, the programme accords with the BBC's Code of Conduct for Competitions and Voting, details of which can be found on the BBC's Standards and Guidelines website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/competitioncode.
  • The promoter of the award is the National Centre for Early Music and is subject to the law of England and Wales.
  • Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these rules and agree to be bound by them by entering the award.
  • The NCEM Young Composers Award is intended as an educational project and preference will be given to those who have not yet embarked on a professional career.

Personal data

  • The personal data you provide will be processed by the NCEM in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 for the purposes of administering the award.
  • You can see the NCEM's Privacy Policy at http://www.ncem.co.uk//?idno=240 .
  • If you give your consent on the application form, your contact details will be used by the NCEM to send you details of future educational activities and events. You may unsubscribe from this service at any time.
  • The personal data of all entrants will be passed to the BBC for the purposes of judging the award and recording of the winners' scores. After the award, the BBC will destroy all personal data except that of the winners, which will be kept in programme records.
  • Personal data passed to the BBC will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and will not be passed by the BBC to any third party.
  • You can see the BBC's Privacy Policy at http://www.bbc.co.uk/privacy/ .

General Information
  • Composers interested in entering this award should email the Music Administrator of the NCEM at education@ncem.co.uk to register their interest by 5.00pm, Friday 19 February 2016.
  • Following registration, two hard copies of the score should be sent by post along with an application form to the NCEM to arrive no later than 5.00pm, Friday 18 March 2016. Digital files will not be accepted. Applications should be addressed to: The Music Administrator, National Centre for Early Music, St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TL. The scores should be in A4 format and ideally produced using computerised publishing software.
  • All entrants will be informed by 5.00pm on Friday 15 April 2016 whether or not their pieces have been shortlisted for performance at the NCEM.
  • All shortlisted candidates will be expected to attend a full day workshop and evening performance at the NCEM on Thursday 12 May 2016. The workshop will be led by composer Christopher Fox and Theatre of the Ayre.
  • At 7.30pm on Thursday 12 May 2016, the shortlisted pieces will be performed in front of a panel of judges and an invited audience. The winning piece(s) will be announced that evening.
  • The winning piece(s) will be performed by Theatre of the Ayre at a public concert. BBC Radio 3 will record the concert for future broadcast. Each finalist will be awarded tickets to the concert for themselves and up to two members of their family/friends and their names and educational institutions (if appropriate) will be listed in the programme.
  • The finalists must be prepared to work with the NCEM and its partners to raise the profile for this award. This will include consent to be photographed and filmed during the process and to supply information for press materials and conduct radio and television interviews if requested. The publicity materials gathered will be used by the NCEM and its partners on their websites and in general publicity material. It is understood that the NCEM and its partners have the right to perform, record and broadcast the winning piece(s) subject to the usual Performing Rights contractual arrangements.
  • It is recommended that all interested candidates listen to recordings of Renaissance lute songs, such as those posted on the NCEM website at www.ncem.co.uk/composersaward2016
  • Application forms can be accessed via the National Centre for Early Music website at www.ncem.co.uk/composersaward2016.
  • Compositions must set one of the selected poems posted on the NCEM website at www.ncem.co.uk/composersaward2016 .