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Launch of National Centre of Early Music Young Composers Award 2017

Now in its 10th year, the partnership between The National Centre for Early Music, NCEM, and BBC Radio 3, is growing from strength to strength, with the launch of a search to find, develop and nurture the UK's next crop of young composers through early music. The call for entries will be launched on BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show on Sunday 20th November 2017.

Confirmed musical partners are the internationally acclaimed vocal ensemble, The Tallis Scholars, directed by Peter Phillips. Composers separated into two age groups; 18 years and under and 19-25 years, will be invited to write a new piece for The Tallis Scholars. Shortlisted works will be selected for a day-long workshop presented by the Ebor Singers at the National Centre for Early Music in York on Thursday 11 May 2017. 
The two winning works, one from each category, will be premiered at a public concert given by The Tallis Scholars at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester on Saturday 16 September 2017. The performance will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show.

Delma Tomlin, Director of the NCEM said: "We are extremely excited about this opportunity for young talented musicians, and have been developing the composers award for many years. 2017 is a significant year for early music in the UK, with the 40th anniversary of the York Early Music Festival and the 30th anniversary of Beverley, and we are extremely grateful and exhilarated that we have The Tallis Scholars on board again in the 10th year of the award. 

"It's important that young people should be given the environment and structure in which to develop their music and their composing, and the award allows them the opportunity to have their works rehearsed and performed by musicians of the highest quality, in addition to achieving national recognition. With BBC Radio 3 and high profile ensembles supporting this, we are more confident of the future of early music."

Alan Davey, Controller BBC Radio 3 said: "In BBC Radio 3's 70th anniversary year we're proud to continue our commitment to supporting new talent in the field of composition inspired by early music, especially in such an important year for the NCEM and its festivals in Yorkshire. Diversity and excellence in composition is a key concern for us as an industry and I'm delighted that at BBC Radio 3 we can connect our audience with the bright stars of the future through partnerships like this with NCEM and The Tallis Scholars, to provide opportunities for new young composers to get a foot on the ladder and their first ever broadcast."

The 2017 NCEM Young Composers Award is open for registration until 5.00pm on Friday 24 February 2017. Applicants should email the NCEM at
Completed scores must be received no later than 5.00pm on Friday 24 March 2017. 

The Award will be judged at the National Centre for Early Music in York on Thursday 11 May 2017. During the day a shortlist of entries will be presented by the Ebor Singers in a workshop led by composer Christopher Fox. At 7.30pm the Ebor Singers 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 2017 will be available at:

For further information email:

Press Contact: 
Lindsey Porter, on behalf of National Centre for Early Music 
m: 07568 309154

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

BBC Radio 3
Since it launched in 1946, the Third Programme and in turn BBC Radio 3 has been a bold pioneer in the cultural world. It is one of the world's foremost presenters, creators, commissioners and curators across classical, folk, world, jazz and contemporary music as well as drama, philosophy and ideas. The station is also the most significant commissioner of new and contemporary music in the UK, with 35 new works commissioned annually and broadcasts over 600 concerts a year, including live broadcasts from the greatest classical music festival in the world (BBC Proms). Radio 3's In Concert programme alone reaches the equivalent of 250 packed concert halls a week, and the BBC Performing Groups give around 400 concerts a year in over 60 UK locations. The station has always nurtured extraordinary artistic talents, provided a platform for important scientific and political debates/announcements, and broadcast ground-breaking experimental drama - always while delivering its core aim of connecting audiences with pioneering music and culture. 

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.