Winners of the NCEM Young Composers Award 2014 announced

Winners of the NCEM Young Composers Award 2014 announced

The 2014 NCEM Young Composers Award, presented in partnership with BBC Radio
3 and The Tallis Scholars has been won by Freya Ireland (aged 16) in the 18 years and under category and jointly by Kerensa Briggs (aged 23) and Hugo Bell (aged 22) in the 19 to 25 years category.

Freya Ireland’s Lamentations, Kerensa Briggs’ Lamentations of Jeremiah:
Jerusalem, return to the Lord thy God and Hugo Bell’s The Lamentations of Jeremiah will be premièred by The Tallis Scholars on Friday 24 October at the Church of St. John the Evangelist, Oxford in a public concert promoted by Music at Oxford as part of the Music at Oxford International Concert Season
2014/15 , and recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Early Music Show at 2.00pm on Sunday 2 November 2014.

Young composers, resident in the UK, were invited to write a new three to four minute work for a capella (unaccompanied) choir, specifically with The Tallis Scholars in mind, scored for SSATB with the possibility of dividing these voices into ten parts. They had to set verses (Lamentations) from the Book of Jeremiah, a Biblical text which mourns the destruction of the city of Jerusalem in about 600 BCE and which has inspired many composers, from Tallis to Palestrina and Gesualdo to Stravinsky.

The Award was judged in York on Thursday 8 May 2014. The shortlisted entries were presented by The Ebor Singers in a workshop setting throughout the day in the presence of the young composers, followed by an evening performance of their works by The Ebor Singers in front of a panel of judges – Peter Phillips, Director of The Tallis Scholars; Les Pratt, BBC Radio 3 Lead
Producer: The Early Music Show; and Delma Tomlin, Director of the National Centre for Early Music.

Delma Tomlin, Director of the NCEM said: “We were absolutely overwhelmed this year in terms of both the very high standard and quantity of responses to the Award. Live-streaming the finalists’ concert enabled us to share this wealth of new talent with an even wider audience throughout the UK and gave the young composers an immediately broader platform for the premier of their compositions. As the National Centre for Early Music, we are delighted that our partnership with BBC Radio 3, The Tallis Scholars and Music at Oxford extends the geographical reach of this Award across the UK. We look forward to all three performances in Oxford this October.”

Les Pratt, Lead Producer for BBC Radio 3’s Early Music Show said: "BBC Radio 3 is proud and committed to supporting young musicians in the early stages of their career, whether they are performers or composers. Our partnership in this competition is a key part of that support, and we were delighted with both the quantity and quality of this year’s entries. We are very much looking forward to recording the three pieces with The Tallis Scholars in Oxford this October and to broadcasting them as part of Radio 3’s Early Music Show.”

Peter Phillips, Director of The Tallis Scholars added: “We were thrilled that nearly 80 young composers wanted to take up the challenge of setting the Lamentations text. I was looking for music which I could interpret with The Tallis Scholars on a big occasion and so high was the standard that in the older age category we decided to give a joint prize. I can’t wait for the concert and broadcast we shall give in October.”

The York concert performance was streamed live and is available until the beginning of August 2014 at:

The shortlisted entries were recorded by music technology students from the University of York and will be available to listen to on the NCEM website: