Young Composer Awards 2018 winners revealed

national centre for early music

Andrew Blair (front, left) and Lilly Vadaneaux (front, right) have been named Young Composers 2018 by the National Centre for Early Music (NCEM).

Blair, who won in the 19-to-25-year-old category, was recognised for his piece Isole, while Vadaneaux, who won in the 18 years and under category, was lauded for her Bridge of Sighs work.

Both will be premiered in a performance by the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble at Turner Sims, Southampton, on 30 October. It will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Early Music Show.

Young composers who are resident in the UK were invited to create a new piece of work for two cornetts and three sackbuts (an early form of trombone), with optional chamber organ. They were encouraged to treat the instruments like voices, rather than a modern brass ensemble, and to evoke the spirit of Venice in their piece.

The shortlisted works from the eight finalists were each performed in a day-long workshop on 10 May, led by composer Christopher Fox and presented by The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, plus a public concert at NCEM.

Delma Tomlin MBE, director of NCEM, said: ‘Everybody involved with the NCEM loves this time of year, as a great wave of youth and potential takes over the NCEM and fills us with inspiration and new ideas. This year has been particularly challenging for those taking part, as the sackbut and cornett will be quite unfamiliar for some young people. But, what an achievement for these finalists.

‘A number of those taking part in this award have gone on to further success in their careers, and it’s very pleasing and heartening to see that the NCEM has played a role in this. This is the eleventh year of the award, and the talent on display continues to grow. We’re delighted to work together with the BBC, in nurturing and giving a platform to the composers of the future.’

Edwina Wolstencroft, editor, The Early Music Show on BBC Radio 3, added: ‘It’s a pleasure to once again be involved in the Young Composers Award, each year discovering and developing a new strand of musical talent and providing a professional platform and environment for young composers to present their work.’