National Centre for Early Music

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Selection Process

2013 Competition schedule
  • Closing date for applications - Friday 25 January
  • Successful Finalists notified - Friday 15 February
  • Rehearsal day at NCEM - Wednesday 10 July
  • Preliminary recitals - Thursday 11 and Friday 12 July
  • Competition Final - Saturday 13 July
Initial selection process
Finalists are selected on the basis of the CD submitted with their application. 
Preliminary recitals
Spread over two days, these 20-minute recitals are an invaluable part of the competition.  All the performances are open to the public and take place at the National Centre for Early Music and the competitors value the opportunity to perform in the competition space in a relaxed atmosphere.  Many of the musicians also appreciate getting to know York's friendly and knowledgeable audience.
This year we are delighted to welcome baritone Richard Jackson to introduce the Competition.  He will present the ensembles to the audience, inviting an exchange about  their performance and the music they have chosen, and offering constructive comments to enhance their confidence and performance in the Final.
Competition Final
The Final takes place throughout the day, each ensemble presenting a 20-minute programme in front of the public audience and the panel of judges.  The results are announced after the final concert.  Representatives of international early music festivals, performers, promoters and broadcasters are invited to attend, to offer all Finalists exposure to a broad spectrum of opportunities.
Competitors are assessed on the following criteria:
  • choice of repertory - and a sustainable interesting repertory for future performances
  • application of appropriate historical style of performance
  • musicianship
  • interpretation
  • creativity of programme planning
  • technical ability
  • presentation - stage presence, rapport with audience, professionalism
  • quality of programme notes
  • overall contribution to the early music scene
  • eventual professional viability
  • professionalism of dealings with the Festival office