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NCEM Composers Award 2011

The National Centre for Early Music (NCEM) and BBC Radio 3 present the 2011 Instrumental Composers Award which, for the first time, involves the world's foremost viol consort, Fretwork. This prestigious national award, now in its third year, is open to composers living in the UK in two age categories: up to 18 years and 19 to 25 years, who are invited to write a new piece for a six-part viol consort.

Delma Tomlin, Director of the NCEM says: "We are delighted this year to be working with Fretwork, who are internationally acclaimed for their work with composers such as Orlando Gough, George Benjamin and Sally Beamish, and specialists in skilfully weaving together early and contemporary musical ideas. The Award's format will provide the young composers ample opportunities to benefit from the invaluable wealth of knowledge and expertise in the workshops with Fretwork but also in sharing the experience in a supportive environment with their fellow competitors."

Applicants must register their interest in the Award by Friday 24 June 2011 and submit their completed scores no later than Friday 16 September to the NCEM. Full details of the Award, terms and conditions and further information about writing for viols, are available on the NCEM's website:

Fretwork will present the shortlisted compositions in a workshop setting at the NCEM in York, on Tuesday 25 October 2011 in the presence of the finalists and there will be a public concert at All Saints Church, North Street, York, at 7.00pm on the same day where each of the pieces will be performed by Fretwork in front of a panel of judges: Delma Tomlin, Director of the NCEM; Chris Wines, Senior Music Producer BBC Radio 3 and Richard Boothby of Fretwork, after which the two winners will be announced, one for each of the two age categories. The winning pieces will be premièred by Fretwork on Wednesday 21 December 2011, at Kings Place, London as part of the Christmas Season. This concert will be recorded for broadcast on Radio 3's Early Music Show in the new year of 2012.

Chris Wines, Senior Music Producer, BBC Radio 3 says: "It has been a huge pleasure over the last two years for BBC Radio 3 to work in partnership with the NCEM. Joining forces with the superbly talented and innovative Fretwork promises that the 2011 Award will be another inspiring opportunity for young composers. We relish the opportunity to uncover 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."

Richard Boothby of Fretwork added: "Fretwork have mostly commissioned composers who are, what shall we say, "mature". Therefore, it's great to have the opportunity to see what the younger generation will come up with.  We're looking forward to working with these young composers and playing their works and are expecting great things!"

For further information about this Award please visit:

To hear the members of Fretwork talking and demonstrating how to compose for a viol consort, visit:

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