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York Early Music International Young Artists Competition Attracts Entrants from Across the World

01 February 2009

The York Early Music International Young Artists Competition, which will take place at the National Centre for Early Music in York from 16th - 18th July as part of the 2009 York Early Music Festival, has attracted an international line up of young artists from around the world.

This prestigious biennial competition is designed to develop excellence in Early Music Ensembles by providing highly professional and experienced advice and guidance across all performing disciplines in a nurturing and inspiring environment. Seven groups have been short-listed for this year's Competition. They are: Concitato (USA); Ensemble Meridiana and Grand Désir (Switzerland); MetroMarina (Belgium); Le Tic Toc Choc (France); Purcelli Abubu (Austria) and The Marian Consort (UK). Each will present a short recital under the guidance of one of the world's most highly respected singing teachers - Evelyn Tubb - as well as entering the competition itself.

Delma Tomlin, Director of the National Centre for Early Music, is delighted by the response: "We are thrilled to announce that seven ensembles from across the world will be taking part in the 2009 Competition and look forward to enjoying what promises to be a thoroughly inspiring event for our audiences and an intensely productive three days for all the young artists involved in the competition."

The winners will have their work showcased by BBC Radio 3, receive with touring opportunities and will secure a prestigious recording contract with the award-winning Linn Records. Philip Hobbs, Recording Producer for Linn Records said: "Everyone at Linn Records is looking forward to continuing our relationship with the York Early Music International Young Artists Competition. We are absolutely delighted to be able to support these young musicians at such a pivotal point in their careers."

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

Notes to editors:

1. Biographies

Concitato (USA)

This dynamic young group of period instrumentalists features the Spanish baroque violinist - Joan Plana, Canadian baroque 'cellist - Anna Sampson and the American harpsichordist Jason Moy.

Concitato takes its name from the Italian 'concitare' meaning to incite or provoke. They perform a vast majority of instrumental music from the Baroque era and the flexibility of their core forces allows the inclusion of additional musical collaborators for larger ensemble or vocal works. Following the success of their Chicago debut in November 2008 and the completion of a series of concerts in Montreal their forthcoming performances include Austrian/German sonatas by Biber, Westhoff and Bach and French Baroque masterworks.

Concitato aims to redefine the way audiences hear the more well-known Baroque works by tastefully combining the latest discoveries in musicological research with cutting edge training from some of the most respected Early Musicians in the world.

Ensemble Meridiana (Switzerland)

Ensemble Meridiana consists of five young musicians from Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Norway. Tore Eketorp viola da gamba; Christian Kjos harpsichord; Dominque Tinguely recorde/basson; Cecilie Valtrova violin and Karel Valter baroque flute, met during their studies at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basle, Switzerland.

In March 2007 they won the first prize and audience prize in the 4th International Telemann Competition in Magdeburg and have since performed in the Bad Arolsen Baroque Festival and the Magdeburger Telemann Festtage where they received excellent reviews. In summer 2008 they performed in Kammermusik der Wartburgstadt in Bach's house in Eisenach and represented the Schola Cantorum in a tour of Romania, appearing in Romanian television and radio. Future concerts in Basle, Berlin and Leipzig are planned for 2009.

Grand Désir (Switzerland)

Grand Désir's artistic directors Anita Orme Della-Marta Recorder/Harp and Anne-Marieke Evers mezzo-soprano met at the Conservatorium of Amsterdam in 1997 where they soon formed a duo, specializing in both contemporary music and Medieval and Renaissance music. They went on to pursue further studies in Medieval music at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland where they met the other ensemble members of Grand Désir, including Tobie Miller recorder/harp/hurd-ygurdy who joins them in York. The group likes to work with different musicians for each individual programme which allows the flexibility to achieve the perfect instrumentation for each project.

Grand Désir made their debut at the 'Fringe' programme of the Utrecht Early Music Festival in 2005, since when they have given numerous performances and radio recordings in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Australia. In November 2008 Grand Désir launched their new programme 'Her Lady's Devotion and in December made a CD recording of 'Dance et Chanson. Forthcoming concerts in the Netherlands and Switzerland are planned for 2009 along with invitations to the Connecticut Early Music Festival (US) and the National Gallery in Washington DC.

MetroMarina (Belgium)

MetroMarina is a young and enthusiastic early music ensemble that focuses on the performance of late medieval music. The ensemble comprises of Christine Mothes voice; Anna Danilevskaia violin; Atsushi Moriya recorder; Tom Beets recorder and
David Catalunya clavisimbalum. Their main purpose is to revive both the well and lesser known fourteenth and early fifteenth century music by presenting innovative interpretations of the available sources, combining a virtuoso playing style with an honest respect for the original manuscripts.

The members of MetroMarina have worked with prestigious early music ensembles such as Capilla Flamenca (Belgium), Anthonella (Japan), Mala Punica (Spain) and Syntagma Musicum (Russia), and have all studied together in Barcelona where they met at the subway station MetroMarina. Since its founding in 2007 the ensemble has given concerts in Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, all gaining critical acclaim. They were recently awarded the Förderpreis Alte Musik Saarland 2009 in Germany, which includes a prestigious recording session at the Saarländischen Rundfunk later this summer.

Le Tic Toc Choc (France)

The Parisian Baroque Enemble Le Tic Toc Choc comprises of Jensenka Balic Zunic violin, Lucile Boulanger gamba and Paolo Zanzu harpsichord. Le Tic Toc Choc is particularly passionate about the re-discovery of French seventeenth century disregarded works from le Grand Siècle. The group has performed regularly together in ensemble and with orchestras and has enjoyed working under the direction of internationally renowned conductors such as William Christie, Jérémie Rohrer and Laurence Cummings.

Amongst their future projects is a recording of the sonatas by a disregarded, though outstanding, musician from the Italian Violin School: Giuseppe Matteo Alberti.

Purcelli Abubu (Austria)

Founded in 2005, the Austrian recorder quartet Purcelli Abubu comprises four music students: George Fritz; Julia Fritz; Lydia Graber and Philipp Wagner who all took part in the final of the music competition 'Prima la musica'. At the outset, the group took part in various master-classes led by prominent recorder players from the Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet, Han Tol and Dorothee Oberlinger after which they were invited to take part in concerts all over Austria and Germany. As well as their ensemble playing, the members of Purcelli Abubu regularly play as soloists and with orchestras such as the European Union Baroque Orchestra; L'Orfeo Barockorchester and the Salzburger Barockensemble.

Their programmes explore the whole variety of the repertoire for the recorder consort, encompassing Medieval; Renaissance and Baroque music and leading them to transcribe rare pieces from the 'Baldwin Manuscript' to include in their concerts.

The Marian Consort (UK)

Taking its name from the Blessed Virgin Mary, a popular focus of religious devotion on the sacred music of all ages, The Marian Consort was formed at Oxford in 2007 with the aim of pairing theoretical knowledge in the field of early music with practical performance of the sacred and secular choral works of the period, enriching performance through scholarly insight.

Although their primary focus is the music of the High Renaissance, their repertoire also encompasses the Baroque and extends as far as the present day, with particular interest in the contemporary British choral music

2. Previous winners of the internationally recognised York Early Music International Young Artists Competition (previously known as the Early Music Network IYAC) include the Palladian Ensemble, I Fagiolini, Le Jardin Secret and Stile Antico.