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Northern Lights Early Music Festival at Kings Place, London

The first Northern Lights Early Music Festival, to be presented by the National Centre for Early Music (NCEM) at Kings Place, London from 15 - 18 December, will include internationally renowned early music artists and the winners of the 2009 York Early Music International Young Artists Competition.

The Festival is part of the NCEM's expanding and developing early music programme, which also includes the internationally acclaimed York Early Music Festival and the Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival.

Delma Tomlin, NCEM's Director is delighted to be working in partnership with Kings Place. She comments: "Our early music festivals have been running since 1977 and we programme a year round series of folk, world and jazz concerts in York. We are fortunate to attract the highest calibre of musicians from across the world and it is a tremendous privilege to be programming early music concerts at Kings Place in their magnificent state-of-the-art concert halls and to give audiences in London the opportunity to enjoy our carefully selected Christmas programme."

The Festival opens with Joglaresa in an irresistible programme 'A Hoary Winter's Night' (Wed, 15 Dec, 7.30pm in Hall One) an Anglo-Irish mix of ancient songs that ring with pagan festive resonances, and poignant medieval carols. Well-known carols such as The Coventry Carol are mixed together with many lesser-known songs such as The Falcon Carol, As I in Hoary Winter's Night and Lordings Listen to Our Lay. The Dufay Collective (Fri, 17 Dec, 7.30pm in Hall One) follows with To Drive the Cold Winter Away: Christmas Revels from Renaissance England - a programme guaranteed to warm the cockles with their seasonal revels, while vocal specialists The Clerks (Sat, 18 Dec, 7.30pm in Hall One) will sing their challenging and spell-binding 'Qudduson' programme, which mixes the sacred music of East and West. Rubbing shoulders with these established ensembles is the exciting young winner of the 2009 York Early Music International Young Artists Competition, Ensemble Meridiana (Thur, 16 Dec, 7.30pm, Hall One), making their London debut. Its elite period instrument players are drawn from all over Europe and their 'Tastes of Europe' programme promises delights by Telemann, Corelli and Corrette.

To complement The Clerks' programme on Saturday evening, amateur singers are invited to join Edward Wickham and Merit Ariane Stephanos from The Clerks, to explore some of the music featured in the concert. This workshop takes place on Saturday 18 December at 1pm participants should be reasonably confident sight singers - and all voices (S/A/T/B) will be catered for. Music will be available to participants to study in advance and observers are welcome. Application forms must be received before 11 December.

To round off the Northern Lights Early Music Festival in celebratory style, the City of York's Early Music Instrumental Ensemble for Young People - the Minster Minstrels - will travel to Kings Place on Saturday 18 December to perform to concert-goers in the cafe foyer from 6.30pm - showcasing the skills of the young instrumentalists under the tuition of director/recorder specialist Ailsa Reid.

Tickets for the Northern Lights Early Music Festival: £13.50 - £24.50 (£29.50 for Premier seats and £9.50 for Saver seats - available one hour before the concert) are available online at or by calling the Box Office on 0207 520 1490 or in person at Kings Place. To read more about these concerts and the associated workshop follow this link

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:


The National Centre for Early Music which is based at St Margaret's Church, York, was opened in 2000 thanks to a grant of £1.5million from the Arts Council Lottery Fund. The NCEM administers York Early Music Festival, which was established in 1977, and has grown to be the largest celebration of early music in the UK. The 2011 Festival runs from 8 to 16 July and celebrates the spirit of the 1951 Festival of Britain. The Beverley and East Riding Early Music Festival (26 - 29 May 2011) remains one of the cultural landmarks of the East Riding of Yorkshire, utilizing the remarkable ecclesiastical architecture of the region to present an annual festival embracing some of the world's finest early music specialists. The 2011 Festival runs from 26 to 29 May and guest artists include The Tallis Scholars; The Academy of Ancient Music; The Burning Bush, Pamela Thorby (recorder); Jacob Heringman (lute) and Faye Newton (soprano).

2. York Early Music International Young Artists Competition
The York Early Music International Young Artists Competition, which will take place at the National Centre for Early Music in York from 14th - 16th July as part of the 2011 York Early Music Festival, invites applications from instrumental and/or vocal ensembles, in any combination, with a minimum of two musicians aged between 17 and 35 (born after 16 July 1976) to enter this prestigious biennial competition. 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.

Each shortlisted Ensemble will present a short recital under the guidance of the highly respected Australian Baroque violinist and director, Elizabeth Wallfisch, as well as entering the competition itself.

The Final of the Competition will be judged by an international panel of performers and promoters including representatives of the broadcasting, recording, festival and music promotion worlds. The winners will receive a cheque for £1,000; opportunities to work with BBC Radio 3; a concert as part of the 2012 York Early Music Festival and a professionally produced CD.

For 2011 Young Artists Competition entry requirements go to: 
The deadline for applications is 10am on Friday 21 January 2011.