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NCEM Young Composers Award 2017

The winners of the 2017 NCEM Young Composers Award, Dominic Wills (18 years and under) and Frederick Viner (19 to 25 years) had their pieces premiered by The Tallis Scholars in a concert at The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester on Saturday 16 September. The performance will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show at 2.00pm on Sunday 5 November. Details of the 2018 NCEM Young Composers Award will be announced in the same programme.


The award was presented by the NCEM in association with BBC Radio 3 and the internationally acclaimed vocal ensemble The Tallis Scholars, directed by Peter Phillips.

The finalists were:

19 to 25 years

Hugo Bell - Salve Regina

Marco Galvani - Salve Regina

Rhiannon Randle - Ave Regina

Frederick Viner - Prayer from Afar

18 years and under

Emily de Gruchy - Ave Regina Caelorum

Noah Max - Ave Regina Caelorum

James Tomlinson - Salve Regina

Dominic Wills - Salve Regina

Their Recordings can be heard below


The award was judged at the National Centre for Early Music in York on Thursday 11 May, when the shortlist of entries were performed by the Ebor Singers, directed by Paul Gameson. The judges were Peter Phillips, Director of The Tallis Scholars; Les Pratt, BBC Radio 3 Producer; and Delma Tomlin, Director of the National Centre for Early Music. There were two awards: one for composers aged 18 years and under, and one for composers aged 19 to 25.

Watch the video here

Earlier in the day the shortlisted pieces had been rehearsed in a workshop for the young composers led by composer Christopher Fox (Professor of Music, Brunel University).

The performance of the shortlisted entries was recorded courtesy of music technology students George Harris, Harry Ogden, Ben Gawne and Marco Bolt from the Department of Electronics at the University of York.

The young composers were invited to write a new work for unaccompanied choir, creating a contemporary setting for the words of a great Latin hymn, either Ave Regina Caelorum or Salve Regina. These texts come from a period in the history of the Christian church in Western Europe when there was a new interest in Mary, the mother of Jesus, elevating her to the position of 'Queen of Heaven'. They have inspired some of the most glorious polyphonic works of the Renaissance by composers from Josquin and Ockeghem to Lassus and Palestrina, many of which have been recorded by The Tallis Scholars.

Email if you would like to be added to the NCEM Young Composers Award mailing list for future awards.

The 2017 NCEM Young Composers Award is supported by the 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust and the Mayfield Valley Arts Trust