National Centre for Early Music

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Finalists 2011

Borromini String Quartet


Den Haag Piano Quintet

Habsburger Camerata


Les Ombres

Le Petit Concert Baroque

Profeti della Quinta

Quadro Melante

Sebastian Chamber Players

James Toll, Naomi Burrell violins
Sam Kennedy viola
Peggy Nolan cello

Borromini String Quartet was formed in 2008, inspired by a passion for chamber music and the practical exploration of historical performance practices. The quartet gave its debut performance at the Haydn Chamber Music Festival at the Royal Northern College of Music in 2009. The wealth and charm of Boccherini's chamber works caught the players' imagination and they have recently made a recording of his string quartets, thanks to the inspirational support of James Boyd of the London Haydn Quartet. Other projects have included a performance of Boccherini quartets and quintets with cellist Yoshika Masuda and, as principal members of The Manchester Consort, Haydn's Seven Last Words at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester. The quartet also aspires to renew links with educational institutions where its members have previously studied, including Purcell School, Royal Irish Academy of Music, Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Manchester and Cambridge Universities. They are extremely grateful for the generous loan of fine instruments from the Becket Collection, all set up in the classical style. See also


Sarah Abrams soprano
Wannah Organe, Kerlijne van Nevel mezzo-sopranos
Soetkin Baptist alto

Encantar was formed in 2006 to explore the rich polyphonic repertoire of the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in order to present it in a contemporary way to the public. The ensemble also investigates the possibility of using female voices to perform some repertoire that was written originally for men's voices. The group focuses on religious repertoire by Flemish, Spanish and Italian composers, as well as anonymous works and French and English compositions of the same period. Recent programmes have included 'Mix Méditerrané', which featured works of southern polyphonists such as Morales, Guerrero, Pisano, Festa and Palestrina, and was created especially for the organisation Jeugd en Muziek, and also 'La déclinaison de la femme', which focused on Marguerite of Austria (1480-1530). In 2009 Encantar won the Klara Tandemtrofee, as well as the public prize and the Radio Klara prize; and since September 2010 it has been ensemble-in-residence at KU Leuven. The group has made two recordings, featuring Christmas music (with the Flanders Recorder Quartet) and music from the songbook of Marguerite of Austria. See also


Kae Ogawa fortepiano
Miki Takahashi violin
Sonoko Asabuki viola
Toru Yamamoto cello
Tomoki Sumiya double bass

Den Haag Piano Quintet was established in 2009 by musicians who met at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague in the Netherlands. Growing interest in performing early romantic music on period instruments led the group to focus on the relatively unknown piano quintet repertoire. Following their debut at the Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht in August 2009, they were invited to perform in the concert series 'Spotlight on Young Artists' in the Festival de Saintes in France, and also presented concerts in Barcelona, Salamanca and Toledo in Spain as one of the selected groups of Musica Antiqua 2010. They were also chosen as 'IYAP Selected Promising Ensemble' at the International Young Artists Presentation in Antwerp in 2010.  Since taking part in the Young Artists Competition, Den Haag Piano Quintet have won first prize in the 2011 International Van Wassenaer Competition in Amsterdam.  See also


Matthew Lonson violin
Helen Roberts cornett
Nathaniel Wood sackbut
Caroline Ritchie viola da gamba
John McKean organ

Habsburger Camerata is an eclectic period instrument ensemble bound together by a common enthusiasm for seventeenth-century music. Originally established to explore the musical legacy of the Habsburg Empire, the group also presents more diverse repertoire, often preparing new editions and interpretations of unknown or rarely performed works. Based on historic precedent, the ensemble's particular combination of string and wind instruments is unusual among contemporary period instrument groups and enables it to present a wide variety of programmes as a core ensemble, and also to perform larger scale works with the addition of other musicians. Beyond their work as performers, the individual members are actively involved in a variety of related musical fields, such as instrument building, pedagogy and music publishing - an interdisciplinary background that enriches their understanding of the music. The ensemble's performances have received critical acclaim across Europe, including recent engagements in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium. See also


Anas Chen violin
Johannes Keller harpsichord

L'Istante recalls the irretrievable instance of a live performance: the moment where the musical language of a previous era speaks to today's concert public. This is L'Istante's approach to baroque music, which the two players shared from the first instance when they met in 2008 at the Schola Cantorum in Basel. They began to work together on several projects, such as the programme 'Solus', which featured virtuoso violin music of the seventeenth century from the north of the Alps and was performed with the continuo ensemble Il Profondo at venues including Tonhalle Zürich. In 2010 the duo was designated 'IYAP Selected Promising Ensemble' at the International Young Artists Presentation in Antwerp. Future projects include a collaboration with two dancers in a programme entitled 'EntreTemps', which features a fusion of baroque music, baroque dance and contemporary dance.



Sylvain Sartre flute
Varoujan Doneyan violin
Margaux Blanchard viola da gamba
Jonatan Pesek cello
Nadja Lesaulnier harpsichord

Les Ombres was founded in 2006 with the aim of linking musicological research with historically informed interpretation. The nucleus of Les Ombres is formed by musicians trained at the Schola Cantorum in Basel - all instrumentalists keen to rediscover the baroque chamber music repertoire. In addition, the ensemble devotes an important place to vocal music and dramaturgy, and has been collaborating with mezzo-soprano Mélodie Ruvio, and the actor and director Manuel Weber (a specialist in baroque theatre). Les Ombres won second prize at the À Tre international early music competition in Trossingen and has appeared in many parts of the world, including the Ambronay Festival, the Jeunes Talents Festival, the Kunstmuseum in Basel, Fabulous Fringe in Utrecht, the Sala Greppi in Bergamo and Hakuju Hall in Tokyo. It is strongly committed to young audiences, and regularly presents educational programmes, notably with the children's choir of the IRVEM (Institut de recherche vocale et d'enseignement musical). Future projects include an exploration of sacred repertoire, focusing on the cantata spirituale and the church sonata.  From September 2011, Les Ombres will be in residence at the Opera Theatre in Saint-Etienne, France for 3 years. See also .


Chani Lesaulnier, Nadja Lesaulnier harpsichords

Le Petit Concert Baroque was formed by the Lesaulnier sisters in 2002. Former students at the Escuola Superior de Musica de Catalunya in Barcelona and at the Schola Cantorum in Basel, the duo has also studied with Andreas Scholl, Paolo Pandolfo, Gerd Türk and Chiara Banchini. Le Petit Concert Baroque was a prizewinner at the Schmelzer International Competition 2005 in Melk, won second prize at the Premio Bonporti 2008 in Rovereto, and in 2010 was awarded the Basel Kiwanis Association Culture Prize. The duo has given concerts throughout Europe, including at festivals in Vienna, Stuttgart, Schaffhausen, Zürich and Utrecht. Its first CD, Al piacere del Signore G. F. Haendel, features transcriptions for two harpsichords of orchestral and vocal music of G.F. Handel and was awarded a Diapason d'Or. A second disc, of Bach transcriptions, will be released shortly. See also


Doron Schleifer, David Feldman countertenors
Dino Lüthy, Dan Dunkelblum tenors
Elam Rotem bass

Profeti Della Quinta was founded in 2002 in the Galilee region of Israel and is currently based in Switzerland, where all its members undertook further study at the Schola Cantorum in Basel. The core of five male singers is also supplemented with instrumentalists and additional singers as required. Focusing on repertoire from the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, the group has been active in researching and performing hitherto neglected repertoire, such as Emilio de' Cavalieri's Lamentations (1600) and Salomone Rossi's Hashirim asher li'Shlomo (1622-3), the first publication of polyphony in Hebrew, which they recorded on PAN Classics to critical acclaim. The ensemble has performed in various festivals and venues in Europe and Israel, and future projects include concerts with Lautten Compagnye in Germany, as well as with the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra in Israel. Profeti della Quinta are featured in a documentary film about Salomone Rossi Hebreo commissioned by Dutch TV .  See also


Georgia Browne flute
Bojan Čičić violin
Ibrahim Aziz viola da gamba
Mahan Esfahani harpsichord

Quadro Melante was formed in 2010 by four newcomers to the UK's musical scene - an Australian, a Croatian, an Iranian and a Malaysian - who have quickly become four of Britain's leading young soloists in the area of historical performance. As individual musicians in their own right, they each appear regularly with Britain's leading period instrument ensembles. Taking the name 'Melante' from the anagram used by Georg Phillip Telemann, the group uses its combination of violin, flute, viola da gamba and harpsichord to focus on baroque chamber music at its apogee. It made its debut in Oxford in a programme of works by Telemann, Rameau and Johann Sebastian Bach.


Daniel S. Lee, Alexander Woods violins
Ezra Selter cello
Jeffrey Grossman harpsichord

The Sebastian Chamber Players specialise in music before 1750. Since the formation of the group in 2001, it has performed throughout the USA, and was recently named artists-in-residence at Emanuel Lutheran Church in Manchester, Connecticut. The members of the group all studied historical performance at the Juilliard School and were postgraduate fellows in early music at Yale University.