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NCEM Composers Award Welcomes Young Yorkshire Composers

04 February 2009

The new NCEM Composers Award, a national competition open to young composers aged up to 18 years and 19 to 25 years who are invited to compose a new a cappella piece (unaccompanied) for Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass has attracted prospective entrants from across the UK. Further budding young Yorkshire composers could follow in the footsteps of last year's winner, Kerrin Tatman from Beverley Grammar School, by registering their interest with the National Centre for Early Music no later than Friday 27 March.

Since winning the prestigious Award (formerly the Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival's Young Composers' Competition) in April 2008, Kerrin has continued to develop his compositional skills and says:"Winning the competition was a great learning experience and a brilliant vote of confidence in my work. This year I'm looking forward to the London premier of the Introit and Kyrie from the Requiem which I'm currently composing. I'm also writing the music and playing 'cello for another new work for the Beverle-ybased theatre group 'No Soup Productions' and taking it to this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe for ten days, before I start my studies in composition in either Manchester or London."

Peter Phillips, director of The Tallis Scholars, and competition judge in 2008 and 2009 and last noted: "I was extremely impressed with the overall standard of the young composers in 2008 and I look forward to what I am sure will be another round of interesting work of an equally high standard. For us as performers, this forward-thinking new competition offers a thrilling way to celebrate and encourage young composers to develop modern a cappella writing."

Delma Tomlin, Director of York Early Music Festival and the NCEM added:"We are very excited about the current level of interest from across the country in the NCEM Composers' Award from and look forward to discovering more young talent from our own region.

"The first year of this exciting new partnership with BBC Radio 3 really is a fantastic opportunity for young composers as the winning pieces will receive the honour of being premiered by The Tallis Scholars in the opening concert of the 2009 York Early Music Festival at York Minster on 10 July, which will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3."

The selection process of the NCEM Composers Award involves an outstanding comprehensive development programme for the shortlisted finalists, who will work alongside the well-known composer Christopher Fox, in a series of workshops at the NCEM in May 2009. The compositions will then be performed by York's own Ebor Singers at a public performance on Thursday 14 May in the presence of the young composers. The pieces will be recorded by music technology students from the University of York and will be available to listen to on the NCEM website.

Young composers must submit expressions of interest to the NCEM by 27 March 2009 and final scores must be submitted by Friday 3 April 2009. The Award will be judged by Peter Phillips, Director of The Tallis Scholars; Chris Wines, Senior Music Producer BBC Radio 3 and Delma Tomlin, Director of the NCEM and the winners will be announced from the NCEM on Thursday 14 May.

Information and applications are available to download from or

Alternatively you can contact the NCEM on 01904 632220 or email

The National Centre for Early Music is administered by the York Early Music Foundation and funded by Arts Council England, Yorkshire.


Press Contact:

Shona Galletly, on behalf of National Centre for Early Music
t: 0113 255 1308
m: 07813 796 733