NCEM Young Composers Award 2016

December 22, 2015 in All Opportunities, Composers by mwhiteside

The National Centre for Early Music and BBC Radio 3 are delighted to announce the 2016 NCEM Young Composers Award in partnership with Theatre of the Ayre, directed by one Europe’s leading lutenists Elizabeth Kenny, with mezzo soprano Clare Wilkinson and Nicholas Mulroy, tenor.

This major national award is open to young composers resident in the UK up to the age of 25, divided into two age categories: 18 years and under; and 19 to 25 years. Composers are invited to create a contemporary response to one of the most intimate musical forms of the Renaissance, the lute song. They must create a new piece for lute and either a male (tenor) or female (mezzo-soprano) singer. The music must set one of four selected poems – see the pdf document at the foot of this page.

The winning works will be premiered by Theatre of the Ayre in a public performance which will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Early Music Show.

Applicants must register their interest in the award by 5.00pm on Friday 19 February 2016 by emailing the National Centre for Early Music at . Completed scores must be received no later than 5.00pm on Friday 18 March 2016. The Award will be judged at the National Centre for Early Music in York on Thursday 12 May 2016. During the day a shortlist of entries will be presented by Theatre of the Ayre in a workshop led by composer Christopher Fox. At 7.30pm Theatre of the Ayre will perform each of the pieces in the presence of a panel of judges, after which the two winners will be announced, one for each of the two age categories.

Please read the pdf documents below before you start as they contain the full details of what you are asked to write: Terms and Conditions, Writing for the Lute and Selected Poems.

If you would like further information about the Award or to be added to the mailing list, please email

For further information see:

BBC Radio 3 Early Music Show

Elizabeth Kenny and Theatre of the Ayre

The winning pieces of the 2015 NCEM Young Composers Award, performed by the Dunedin Consort, will also be broadcast on 1 November. For details of the 2015 Award click here