Competitions 2011

Competitions 2011: (UK)Winners Announced for the First NCEM Instrumental Composers Award

Contributed by Admin on Oct 26, 2011

“The first NCEM Instrumental Composers Award, presented in partnership with BBC Radio 3 and the internationally acclaimed viol consort Fretwork, has been won by Bertie Baigent (16 ) and Sarah Gait (17) in the under 18 years category, and by Chris Roberts (22) in the 19 to 25 years category.

The winners of this prestigious new Instrumental Composers Award were announced at a special finalists’ public concert on Tuesday 25 October at All Saints Church, North Street, York, where all seven shortlisted works were performed by Fretwork.  

The winning pieces‘In Memoriam In Nomine’ by Bertie Baigent, ‘Death-Fires’ by Sarah Gait and ‘my o'erflowing teares’ by Chris Roberts will be premièred in a concert to be given by Fretwork on Wednesday 21 December 2011 at Kings Place, London. This concert will be recorded by BBC Radio 3 and broadcast on The Early Music Show at 1.00pm on Sunday 15 January 2012.

Bertie Baigent from Oxford commented after the event: “I’m thrilled to have won and was really pleased with the performance which sounded so different from what I had envisaged, but better. I’m very excited about Fretwork performing my work in London and the broadcast.”

Sarah Gait from Wigton, who had also been a finalist in the 2010 NCEM Composers Award, added: “I was both shocked and thrilled to have won and very happy that all the work I’ve put into this piece has had such a great result. It has been really inspiring to work with Fretwork and share the experience throughout the day with the other finalists.”

Chris Roberts from Teesside, winner of the 19 – 25 age category said: “This was a great opportunity for me and it was a fantastic experience to work with such an amazing ensemble. I am currently doing a PhD in musicology at Leeds University where I’m an active member of the early music department and play the viol myself which I think has helped enormously in understanding the viol consort. I really enjoyed writing for Fretwork’s particular collection of instruments. The workshop process was very helpful, it was a bit nerve-racking hearing my piece performed but as the day went on the piece just got better. I think competitions such as these are a really good way to develop as a composer."

Prior to the concert the finalists took part in a day-long workshop led by the composer Christopher Fox and Fretwork. The competition was judged by Chris Wines, Senior Music Producer, BBC Radio 3, Richard Boothby of Fretwork and Delma Tomlin, Director of the National Centre for Early Music.

Delma Tomlin said: “We were extremely pleased by the response we’ve had to the Award and were delighted by the overall high standard and level of invention these young composers have applied to these new compositions.”

Chris Wines added: “BBC Radio 3’s involvement demonstrates how important our commitment is to the artists of tomorrow. The gauntlet thrown at the feet of young composers this year represents the most challenging test to date, and yet the wide-ranging and imaginative response to the challenge has shown remarkable resourcefulness and creativity on the part of the young musicians. We are pleased, with our partners – the world renowned viol consort Fretwork and the NCEM – to be able to share the winning pieces with the wider Radio 3 audience.”

Richard Boothby, Fretwork said: “We are honoured to take part in this Award for young composers. Our commitment to new music has grown over the years, and we see it as vital that the viol consort has a future with a new repertory written for it by today's composers. The standard of composition is very high and we are extremely impressed by the response the composers have had to the challenge of writing for these instruments."

The finalists will receive a recording of their compositions made on 25 October by music technology students from the Department of Electronics at the University of York.

The 2012 NCEM Composers Award featuring The Tallis Scholars will be launched on 15 January on BBC Radio 3’s Early Music Show. Outline details of the Award will be available on the NCEM’s website at in the New Year.

The National Centre for Early Music is administered by the York Early Music Foundation and funded by Arts Council England, Yorkshire. 

Visit the National Centre for Early Music website for more information on the Centre and competition.