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NCEM - Early Music Festival Composers Competition (14-05-09)The prestigious NCEM Composers Award 2009, presented in association with BBC Radio 3 and The Tallis Scholars, has been won by 16-year-old Elizabeth Edwards and 23-year-old Michael Perrett.
 
The winners were announced at a special finalists’ concert at the National Centre for Early Music (NCEM) in York, where all six short-listed pieces were performed by the York-based Ebor Singers. The competition was judged by Peter Phillips, Director of The Tallis Scholars, Chris Wines, Senior Music Producer with BBC Radio 3 and Delma Tomlin, Director of the NCEM.
 
The competition saw over 50 entrants from up and down the country, with the youngest aged 11 years old. The winning pieces written for four-part a cappella (unaccompanied) choir will be premiered by the internationally renowned Tallis Scholars at the opening concert of the York Early Music Festival on Friday 10 July in York Minster. Highlights of the concert will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Early Music Show on Saturday 25 July 2009.
 
There were two age categories in this competition – under 18 years, and 19 to 25 years – and the six short-listed candidates had the opportunity to work with the Ebor Singers and the composer Christopher Fox prior to the finalists’ concert. 
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Seeing is believing

PP directing Handel's Let God arise in the Grande Salle, Chateau de Flawinne, near Namur, Belgium, on May 10th

PP directing Handel's Let God arise in the Grande Salle, Chateau de Flawinne, near Namur, Belgium, on May 10th

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The successful entries were:

1)  Michael Perrett aged 20 a student at the Royal Northern College of Music living in Gosport, Hampshire. Michael’s entry is a setting of words by Isaac Rosenberg.

2)  William Blake aged 20 studying at Queens Oxford University living in Beckenham, Kent:
William’s piece is called Why art thou so heavy, O my Soul from Psalm 43 vs 5-6:
Why art thou so heavy, o my soul and why art thou so disquieted within me?
O put my trust in God. For I will yet praise him, my saviour and my God.

3) Paul Edis aged 23 from Durham:
Paul wrote both music and text:
Redemption
To cease to blame, to fail to recall
Would leave no shame or pain at all
To forgive and forget is not easy
To muddle through without reflection.
Grudge ingrained in heart and mind,
Nature’s conviction would see us blind,
And yet, if we could only unwind,
To cease to blame, to fail to recall
Would leave us free of guilt,
Happy, once and for all.

4) Thomas Neal aged 18 from Stockton on Tees:
Thomas’ piece is written in memoriam Josquin des Prez (c1450-1521) and is entitled Pange lingua:
Of the glorious body telling

5) Tom Harrold aged 17 from Glasgow:
Tom’s piece is called The Day is Done with text adapted from Longfellow:
The day is done and the darkness falls from the wings of the night as a feather is wafted downward from an eagle in his flight
And the cares that infest the day shall fold their tents like the Arabs and as silently steal away

6) Elizabeth Edwards aged 16 from Camberley, Surrey:
Elizabeth’s piece is called Arise with text from Isaiah chapter 60:
Arise! Shine for your light has come and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.

The  finals will be held in York on May 14th at the National Centre for Early Music. The judges will be me, Chris Wines (BBC) and Delma Tomlin. The occasion will be hosted by the composer Christopher Fox. See separate post for more details.

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The 2009 TSSS course in Seattle will be dedicated to the music of Victoria:

Victoria: Missa pro Victoria (a 9)
Victoria: Requiem (a 6)
Victoria: Responsories for Good Friday (a 4)
Guerrero: Duo Seraphim (a 12)
Guerrero: Hei mihi domine (a 6)

Please visit www.tsss.uk.com for details on how to apply. The course will take place between 25th July and 1st August.

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The 10th TSSS Oakham course is a special event, with some special repertoire:

Tallis: Gaude gloriosa
Sheppard Verbum caro
Tallis: In jejunio et fletu
Gibbons: O clap your hands
Tallis: If ye love me
Tallis: O sacrum convivium

Gibbons: Second Service
Byrd: Second Service

 

The course will take place between July 11th and 18th. For further details please visit http://www.tsss.uk.com

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A reminder that I shall be conducting the BBC Singers live on BBC Radio Three this Friday, February 27th. The broadcast starts at 7.00pm and runs to 9.15pm with a 20 minute interval at about 7.50pm. You can find it at www.bbc.co.uk/radio3 and then by following the links to the programme being currently broadcast. I shall be interviewed live from the platform during the concert. I would underline that the programme includes Mundy’s unbelievably splendid Vox patris caelestis.

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On May 9th and 10th, I am taking a two-day masterclass in Namur, Belgium, based in the castle of Flawinne. The music is:

Purcell: My Heart is inditing
Handel: Praised be the Lord (from Chandos Anthem No.11, Let God Arise)
Handel: As Pants the Hart for Cooling Streams
Purcell: Hear My Prayer O Lord

I shall be taking choral and orchestral rehearsals (noting the latter with a mixture of excitement and trepidation, though Benoît Douchy et Bénédicte Pernet will also be doing this) and giving a lecture on Purcell and Handel in the English context at 14.30 on the 10th May.

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