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Launch of York Early Music International Young Artists Competition 2017

Applications are now open for the prestigious biennial York Early Music International Young Artists Competition, which is run by the National Centre for Early Music, NCEM, in York. It is recognised as a major international platform for emerging talent in the early music world, and takes place from 13-15 July as part of the 2017 York Early Music Festival. 

Attracting ensembles from all over the globe, the competition offers a major boost to young professional careers, with opportunities for performance, recording and broadcasting, in addition to international exposure and a route to further opportunities.  

The last time it took place was in 2015. 40 ensembles applied, with 170 musicians from 34 countries. 10 exceptional young ensembles were selected and invited to York to take part. The winners have the opportunity to make a professional recording with Linn Records, in addition to performing in future Festivals in York, and other prizes. Special prizes include a place on the prestigious pan-European eeemerging programme (

Delma Tomlin MBE, Director of the NCEM says: "We are delighted to be in a biennial year for the competition, particularly as we will announce the winners as part of our 40th anniversary celebrations. The award has grown over the years, and the level of talent and dedication that we see in these young artists never ceases to amaze us. 

"As we look forward to a year of significant music making and performing, we are excited by the week that will be dedicated to the international artists, and re-commit ourselves to providing the very highest standards of professional and experienced advice and guidance, across all performing disciplines. This is a momentous occasion and we welcome young artists to submit their applications, so that they too can experience the nurturing and inspiring environment here at one of the most important centres for early music in Europe."

The competition invites applications from instrumental and/or vocal ensembles, in any combination, with a minimum of two musicians. All members must be adults. Competitors must perform repertory from the period ranging from the middle ages to the nineteenth century, using appropriate historically informed playing techniques, instruments and stylistic conventions. 

Young artists who are interested in entering the 2017 Competition can find all the entry requirements at

The deadline for applications is Tuesday 17th January 2017.
Applications should be sent to: The Music Administrator, National Centre for Early Music, St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TL Tel:+44 [0]1904 632220, email

The Competition is supported by the National Centre for Early Music and Arts Council England.

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

Notes to editors:

The York Early Music International Young Artists Competition, previously known as the Early Music Network IYAC, has for more nearly three decades attracted young artists from all over the world. Previous winners include the Palladian Ensemble, Stile Antico, Le Jardin Secret, Ensemble Meridiana, Profeti della Quinta, Thalia Ensemble and 2015 winners, Sollazzo Ensemble:

2017 Competition schedule
Closing date for applications - Tuesday 17 January
Successful finalists notified - Wednesday 1 February
Rehearsals at NCEM - Wednesday 12 July
Informal recitals - Thursday 13 and Friday 14 July
Competition Day - Saturday 15 July

The pre-competition stage is judged by audio recording.  Selected ensembles will then be invited to the National Centre for Early Music in York from 12 - 15 July 2017.  

During Thursday 13 July and Friday 14 July, each ensemble will give an informal preliminary recital, introduced to the audience by performer and musicologist John Bryan.  

On Saturday 15 July the competition will take place before an international jury.  The announcement of the winners will take place directly after the final concert.