National Centre for Early Music

[Skip navigation]
Navigation Menu

NCEM Composers Award 2013


Winners at St Mary's Bathwick as part of the Bath International Music Festival

Lilly and Joe in Bath

Finalists with Florilegium, judges and composer Christopher Fox

Winners Joseph Howard and Lilly Vadaneaux

Joseph and Lilly with Florilegium

All the Finalists
Congratulations to Lilly Vadaneaux, aged 11 (the youngest ever winner as well as youngest ever entrant of the Award) and Joseph Howard, aged 20, a student from Pickering in North Yorkshire - winners of the 2013 NCEM Composers Award which was presented in association with BBC Radio 3 and the internationally acclaimed early music ensemble Florilegium.  Their winning pieces were premiered by Florilegium at the Bath International Music Festival on 1 June.  The concert was broadcast on BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show on Sunday 23 June.  

Lilly Vadaneaux       Sarabande in F sharp minor 


   
Joseph Howard       Move!


 
Find out more about Lilly, Joseph and their pieces at the foot of this page.
 
The other finalists were, in the 18-and-under category:
Lillie Harris               The Dahomey Amazons Take a Tea Break



Kethaki Prathivadi   Vivimos El Tango



Yuanfan Yang           Crushed Suites


 
and in the 19 to 25 age category:
Se├ín Doherty            Springar



Marianna Filippi        The Charlatan's Masquerade



The award was judged at the National Centre for Early Music on Saturday 27 April.  The shortlisted entries were workshopped with the young composers during the day by Florilegium and composer Christopher Fox.  All the pieces were then presented by Florilegium in a public concert that evening. The panel of judges were  - Chris Wines, Senior Music Producer, BBC Radio 3; Ashley Solomon, Director of Florilegium and Delma Tomlin, Director of the National Centre for Early Music.
  
Thanks to Damian Murphy from the Department of Electronics at the University of York, and music technology students Sam Butterworth, Alex Habeck and Tom Garnett, for making an audio recording of the finalists' pieces. 
 
The 2013 NCEM Composers Award invited composers to create a contemporary response to one of the predominant chamber music forms of the Baroque, the dance suite. They were asked to write a new three to four minute instrumental 'dance' for the four core players of Florilegium to play, scored for: flute or recorder; violin or viola d'amore; cello or piccolo-cello; harpsichord or organ. They were encouraged to base it on any dance-form they wished and to consider all eras and cultures - old or new, from the reel to the rumba.
  
 
WINNER OF THE AGED 18 AND UNDER CATEGORY: Lilly Vadaneaux b. 2002 
Sarabande in F sharp minor 
'The viola d'amore and its resonating sound inspired me to build on a theme that came to me one day at the piano. Just like the key of F sharp minor, the theme is bright and sad at the same time. The flute and the viola d'amore carry the melody together, supporting each other like dance partners. The cello anchors the harmony with its deep, extended notes, while the harpsichord part glides up and down the keyboard in rhythmic waves. As the piece progresses, there are many changes, and the melody travels between major and minor harmonies and moves to different rhythms. The viola d'amore eventually breaks away and is alone for a moment before it is rejoined by the flute and moves towards the opening theme once again. But when it returns, the melody is never exactly as it was - the musicians are in a new place, playing echoes of something from the past, like a memory.'

Lilly Vadaneaux lives in London and is a joint-first-study composer and pianist at the Guildhall School of Music junior department, where she studies composition with Paul Whitmarsh and piano with Stephen Coombs. A number of her compositions have been performed in public - most recently Mirage, a piece for string orchestra that was performed by the St Paul's Sinfonia at St Alfege Church in Greenwich. She won the Own Composition Prize for Faraway Bells Sonata, which she performed at Wigmore Hall, in November 2011, in the Winners' Concert of the Jacques Samuel Piano Festival. Her composition Trapped, for viola and piano, was selected by the Yorke Dance Project Young Composers' Competition to be choreographed with a youth dance group and was performed in November 2012 at Swindon Dance.

 
WINNER OF THE AGED 19-25 CATEGORY: Joseph Howard b.1993
Move!
'The starting point for my piece was the baroque suite and its cross-national styles and influences. Initially I took one of the core dances of the baroque suite, the sarabande, which was originally a Spanish import from Latin America (the zarabanda), and was a lively and outrageous dance for its time; the dance only later developed a slower and more serious style in France and Germany that is most recognisable today. This later style I have fused with the modern Latin American salsa, whose characteristics reflect the original zarabanda.'

Joseph Howard began his musical studies aged 12, studying piano under the tutelage of composer Edd Caine. The first public performance of his work was given as part of York Late Music Festival 2011. He is currently a second-year music student at the University of Birmingham, where he is studying acoustic and electroacoustic composition.  Since winning the NCEM Composers Award, Joe has gone on to win the University of Birmingham Summer Festival Composition Competition with a piece called 'Eksana'.  Follow his progress on his blog at http://josephhowardblog.wordpress.com/ .
 
 
A guide with information about the baroque instruments the composers were asked to write for can be downloaded below.  It was written by the NCEM's Education Consultant, Cathy Dew in consultation with members of Florilegium.
 
BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show of 12 January focused on the viola d'amore, one of the instruments composers were invited to write for.  You can download the podcast here .
 
Click here to listen to the winning pieces of the 2012 Award held in association with vocal ensemble The Tallis Scholars.
 
Click here for the film of the 2011 Award held in association with viol consort Fretwork.
 
For further information see:
Florilegium www.florilegium.org.uk  
Bath International Music Festival www.bathmusicfest.org.uk
BBC Radio 3 Early Music Show www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/earlymusicshow