“York Early Music International Young Artists Competition” – 2019 edition

York Early Music Competion 2019

Applications until January 18th. Finals will be on July 10th to 13th

National Centre for Early Music at York (United Kingdom) has announced the 2019 edition of the biennal York Early Music International Young Artists Competition.


  • Ensembles (instrumental and/or vocal, in any combination) must have a minimum of two members. Soloists are not eligible.
  • There is no restriction to the maximum number in the ensemble, but competitors should be aware that future professional viability may be limited for larger groups.
  • All ensemble members must be adults, with their average age being 32 years or under on 13 July 2019. Individuals must be aged 36 years or under.
  • Competitors must perform repertory from the period ranging from the middle ages to the nineteenth century using historically informed playing techniques, instruments and stylistic conventions
  • Applications are welcomed from ensembles of all nationalities
  • There is no restriction to the number of ensembles in which any individual can take part

The competition fee  – to be paid before sending the application – amounts to 100 British Pounds (about €112,00 at today’s rate).


First prize
  • a CD recording professionally produced by Linn Records, to be recorded in York with Linn’s chief producer, Philip Hobbs. Travel and accommodation will be provided
  • £1,000 cash prize
  • a paid concert as part of the 2020 York Early Music Festival
YEMF Friends Prize
  • A cash prize of £500 awarded by the Friends of the York Early Music Festival to their chosen ensemble
Eeemerging Project Prize
  • Following the success of the prestigious eeemerging project 2014 -18 (eeemerging.eu), the partners are seeking funding from Creative Europe for an enhanced programme going forward. If their bid is successful, a prize will be awarded at the competition by a panel of the project partners to their chosen ensemble, giving direct access to the programme. Eligibility requirements are likely to include: the majority of the ensemble members being EU residents, and the length of time the ensemble has been established. Further updates will be posted here.
Cambridge Early Music (CEM) Prize
  • A paid concert in Cambridge to take place within three years of the competition date, awarded by a member/s of Cambridge Early Music’s Board of Trustees or staff to their chosen ensemble. The concert will be subject to the availability of the artists on the dates offered, and subject to negotiation of fees. If any member of the winning ensemble has attended one of Cambridge Early Music’s Summer Schools as a full-time participant, a further award of £500 will be made to the chosen ensemble.

Selection procedure and final phase

After a first selection based on CDs sent by competitors, chosen groups will be invited to take part – with expenses partly covered by the organizers – to the final phase taking place in York from July 10th to 13th. Finalists will perform an informal 20 minute recital before a public audience; on the last day they will present to the Jury a different 20 minute program. Keyboard instruments (organ, variously tuned harpsichords, fortepiano) will be supplied by the National Centre for Early Music. The candidates will be evaluated by an international panel of performers and promoters such as Tobias Wolff, Barbara Maria Willi, Elizabeth Kenny, Bart Demuyt, Philip Hobbs.

Competitors will be assessed on the following
  • choice of repertory – and a sustainable interesting repertory for future performances
  • application of historical style of performance
  • musicianship
  • interpretation
  • creativity of programme planning
  • technical ability
  • presentation – stage presence, rapport with audience, professionalism
  • quality of programme notes
  • overall contribution to the early music scene
  • eventual professional viability
  • professionalism of dealings with the Festival office
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