National Centre for Early Music

[Skip navigation]
Navigation Menu

NCEM Announces 2010 Composers Award

01 October 2009

The National Centre for Early Music is delighted to announce the 2010 NCEM Composers Award in which they continue to develop their successful partnership with BBC Radio 3 and the internationally acclaimed vocal ensemble The Tallis Scholars. This major national award is open to composers up to the age of 25, divided into two age categories: 18 and under, and 19 to 25.

The 2010 NCEM Composers Award invites young composers to compose a new a cappella (unaccompanied) piece for Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass. 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. The winners' pieces will be premiered by The Tallis Scholars in Chester Cathedral as part of the 2010 Chester Summer Music Festival. BBC Radio 3 will record and broadcast highlights of this concert.

The 2010 NCEM Composers Award's development programme is designed to provide a thorough insight into an unaccompanied vocal group's sound and appreciate how best to write for these forces. Those wishing to take part in the Award should write to the NCEM to formally express their interest by Monday 1 March 2010, with completed scores to be received by Monday 15 March. The finalists will have the opportunity to work with composer Christopher Fox and the Ebor Singers in a special public finalists' concert to be held at All Saints' Church, North Street, York on Thursday 20 May. Their pieces will also be recorded and made available for listening on the NCEM website.

Delma Tomlin, Director of the NCEM, commented: "Working with BBC Radio 3 and The Tallis Scholar has been a great privilege and wonderful experience. We were thrilled with the high standard of entries last year and look forward to the exciting prospect of developing more young talent in 2010 and encouraging further compositions of modern a cappella works for the voice. The wholehearted support and commitment from BBC Radio 3 and The Tallis Scholars been invaluable throughout."

Chris Wines, Senior Music Producer, BBC Radio 3 added: "It has been a huge pleasure for BBC Radio 3 to work in partnership with the NCEM and The Tallis Scholars. The 2010 Award promises to be another inspiring opportunity for young composers. We are looking forward to uncovering more young talent from across the UK and being able to broadcast the winning entries to a wider audience in The Early Music Show on Radio 3."

On Saturday 3 October BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show will feature The Tallis Scholars, and their director Peter Phillips will offer young composers an opportunity to find out more about the group and how best to write for them. The programme will be available for a further week online via the Radio 3 website: and follow the links to The Early Music Show.

The inaugural NCEM Composers Award in 2009 culminated with The Tallis Scholars' performance of the winning pieces in the opening concert of the 2009 York Early Music Festival in York Minster. The winner in the older category was 21 year-old Michael Perrett from Hampshire, currently studying at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester with his piece entitled 'God' - a setting of a minstrel song from Isaac Rosenberg's verse-play 'Moses' published in 1916. The younger category was won by 16 year-old Elizabeth Edwards from Surrey, who has recently begun her A-level studies at Wells Cathedral School as a music specialist, with her entry entitled 'Arise', with text from Isaiah chapter 60.

For further information visit
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