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NCEM hosts the Consone Quartet in Creative Europe programme EEEmerging: Emerging European Ensembles

The National Centre for Early Music, York - one of eight major partner organisations involved in a four-year programme supported by Creative Europe designed to develop young ensembles - welcomes the Consone Quartet back to Yorkshire this month. Winners of the European Union Baroque Orchestra prize at the York Early Music Festival's International Young Artists Competition in July last year, the quartet will give the opening concert in the 2016 Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival (2pm, Friday 27 May, Toll Gavel United Church) as well as taking a key role in a number of creative learning partnerships.  

Highlights of the Consone Quartet's residency at the NCEM include two innovative educational projects. With members of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Beverley Grammar School pupils, they will work with feeder primary schools to create an opera based on Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. With NYMAZ Connect:Resound, the quartet will not only perform to a live audience of Key Stage 2 pupils, but will reach out to an online audience of students in rurally isolated schools across England. 

In preparation for the schools' broadcast, the quartet will receive coaching and support from the NYMAZ Connect:Resound team and the education specialist Cherry Forbes from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. This training will provide the quartet with approaches to adapting performances to suit different age groups and the different considerations needed when performing for an online audience. 

Delma Tomlin MBE, Director of the NCEM says: "We are delighted to welcome the Consone Quartet back to Yorkshire and hope that they will both enjoy and benefit from the wide variety of excellent training and concert experiences on offer to them throughout their stay with us."

During the EEEmerging: Emerging European Ensembles project, a large-scale European cooperation project promoting the emergence of new talent in early music led by the Centre culturel de rencontre d'Ambronay, France, the NCEM is hosting six residencies in York between 2015 and 2018. The first residency with the ensemble Les Contre-Sujets from Paris took place just before the 2015 Christmas Festival, and the Goldfinch Ensemble from The Hague will be in residence in December 2016.

Tickets for Consone Quartet at Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival: Adults £12.00 (Concessions £10.00; Students £5.00) are available from the NCEM Box Office tel: 01904 658338 and online at


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

Notes to Editors:
The National Centre for Early Music is administered by the York Early Music Foundation and funded by Arts Council England, Yorkshire. The NCEM has a thriving creative learning programme which includes the biennial International Young Artists Competition (July 2017) for emerging ensembles and a year-round music programme focusing on young people living in challenging circumstances across York and the Humber region. 

EEEmerging: Emerging European Ensembles aims to increase equality in the options open to young ensembles, to give them excellent working conditions along with support and organisation for their projects, and to help them to confront the realities of the early music market in Europe. The project is run by eight co-organisers, supported by 37 international partners and six European professional networks. This dynamic programme is funded by Creative Europe and led by the Centre culturel de rencontre d'Ambronay, France. It brings together Ars Ramovš, Ljubljana, Slovenia; Centre de musique ancienne de l'Université de musique de Bucarest, Romania; Centre de musique ancienne de Riga, Latvia; Ghislieri Musica, Pavia, Italy; Internationale Händel-Festspiele Göttingen, Germany; Ozango Productions, Strasbourg, France; and the NCEM in the UK. 

The scheme aims to find and select the best emerging ensembles in Europe. Each selected ensemble will benefit from several periods of residency hosted by the EEEmerging partners, designed to give them time together to learn the important skills of ensemble playing, as well as to support them with artistic coaching and training in outreach, organisation and marketing. Ensembles will receive support over a 1-3 year period.

Consone Quartet
Agata Daraskaite, Magdalena Loth-Hill - violins
John Crockatt - viola
George Ross- cello
Winners of the 2016 Royal Over-Seas League Strings/Keyboard Ensemble Prize, the Consone Quartet is dedicated to exploring and recreating the sound-worlds of the classical and early romantic string quartet repertoire through period instrument performance. As well as performing on period instruments, each member of the quartet is also a modern string player. The quartet's recent success at the finals of the York Early Music International Young Artists Competition brought them the EUBO Development Trust prize and a place on the prestigious eeemerging project (European Emerging Ensembles) supporting young early music ensembles within the framework of the Creative Europe programme. They were invited to perform at the 2015 REMA showcase in Prague and at the 2015 Concerts in the West series.
The quartet performed for the BBC programme "Between the Ears" which was broadcast on Radio 3 and have participated in master classes with Lucy Russell, Catherine Martin, Jean Patterson, members of Florilegium (UK) and Ironwood (Australia). In 2013 the Consone Quartet was awarded the Century Fund Prize in the RCM Historical Performance Competition and have recorded works by Giovanni Antonio Giaj and Daniele Castrovillari with the Ballo Baroque Ensemble. In April 2014 the Consone Quartet travelled to Bolivia to perform with the Arakaendar Choir, directed by Ashley Solomon.

Connect: Resound is an action research project exploring how digital technologies can be used to deliver music education and enrichment activities to children living in rurally isolated areas.  The concert on 24th May offers young people opportunities to engage with and be inspired by live classical music, played authentically by high-calibre performers in the early stages of their professional careers. The collaboration with NYMAZ particularly seeks to open up this opportunity to those young people who do not live within an easy distance of a live arts venue, for whom access to inspiring performances and musical role models can be extremely difficult. Watching a live-stream allows these rurally isolated young people to be part of a performance event while it is happening, and to share in the excitement of seeing and hearing music being brought to life.

The concert will be a mix of live music, educational information about the instruments and pieces being played and introductions to the musicians, offering insights into the paths they have taken to reach professional levels. The performance will be enhanced by an online resource which teachers and young people can access in advance to more deeply explore the music they will hear played.