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BARROCOTOUT win 2017 York Early Music International Young Artists Competition

BarrocoTout from Belgium has beat off strong competition from nine other high flying international ensembles, to win the highly respected biennial York Early Music International Young Artists Competition, organised by the National Centre for Early Music, in a day-long series of performances in York, on Saturday 15 July. 

The winning ensemble will receive a professional recording contract from Linn Records, £1,000 and opportunities to work with BBC Radio 3 and the NCEM, amongst other prizes that are set to kickstart their careers further. 

Judged by a panel that included violinist Margaret Faultless, Royal Academy of Music / Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, conductor Guilio Prandi from the Ghislieri College, Pavia / EEEmerging project, Chief Producer for Linn Records, Philip Hobbs, Pedro Memelsdorff, director and performer, Mala Punica and Graham Dixon, Head of Radio, European Broadcasting Union, Geneva, BarrocoTout were highlighted for their exciting repertoire and high-performance standards. 

The 10 finalist ensembles represented young musicians from 12 different countries: BarrocoTout (Belgium); Duo Seneca (Spain); Ensemble Agamemnon (France); Ensemble Molière (UK); Fieri Consort (UK); Il Botto Forte (Switzerland); Le Palais des Songes (France); Les Contre-Sujets (France); Rumorum (Switzerland) and The Counterpoints (Netherlands).

Each group presented their final recital to a distinguished panel in a full day of performances from 10am - 5.30pm at the performing venue of the NCEM, St Margaret's Church in York, on this the vibrant culmination of the York Early Music Festival's 40th year. 

BarrocoTout was formed in 2013 and brings together four musicians who explore work written by well-known composers, but also those who have fallen into oblivion. Carlota Garcia, flute, Izana Soria, violin, Edouard Catalan, cello, Ganael Schneider, harpsichord, the ensemble takes its name from a sketch show on the Spanish comedy show Muchachada Nui: 'Baroque Yourself'. 

The ensemble's programme on the day, To Paris and Back: Return, presented the voyage in 1737 between Hamburg and Paris, of composer Georg Philipp Telemann. In 2015 the group was selected for the eeemerging (Emerging European Ensembles) project for two years, leading to performances in Festival d'Ambronay (France), the Utrecht Early Music Festival Fringe (Netherlands) and Internationale Handel-Festspiele Gottingen (Germany) amongst several others. In 2016 the group won the Fringe audience award at Utrecht Early Music Festival and the Sinfonietta Competition.

At the end of the competition Philip Hobbs, Chairman of the Judges, said: "This was by far the most difficult decision in the eight years that I have been involved in the competition, there has been more choice than ever before and the level of musical performance has been exceptional. We are, though, very pleased that BarrocoTout is the winner, they are an extraordinary ensemble, and I am thrilled to bits."

Delma Tomlin MBE, Director of the National Centre for Early Music, added: "What a marvellous way to end our 40th year celebrations; watching, experiencing and celebrating the very exciting future talent that has been here in our midst in York. The Young Artists competition is really one of the highlights of the festival, and it is so generously supported by our Friends, Patrons and festival sponsors, who, like us, believe in investing in the education and development of young people. We certainly feel that we ended on a high, with the four prizes that were presented, and we are very much looking forward to seeing some of these bright stars again soon." 

Highlights of the York Early Music International Young Artists Competition and music from the winner's recital will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show on 30 July at 2pm.

Former winners, Sollazzo Ensemble, commented; "Winning the competition was a turning point in our career: Sollazzo Ensemble was brought to the attention of both a wider audience and professionals throughout Europe, and the opportunity to record a CD with Linn Records marks a decisive step in the continuation of our career."

"It didn't feel like a competition, more like a festival with a very friendly atmosphere."  Agata Daraskaite, Consone Quartet, winners of the eeemerging prize and EUBO Development Trust prize 2015.

For information about this year's competition, and to view the final online, visit: 
www.ncem.co.uk/youngartists2017 and follow on Facebook and Twitter @Yorkearlymusic 

Ends

Other prizes included;
Eeemerging (Emerging European Ensembles) - the winners were Rumorum (Switzerland)
Cambridge Early Music prize - the winners were Fieri Consort (UK)
Friends of York Early Music Festival prize - the winners were Rumorum (Switzerland)

Thanks are extended to all those who support the York Early Music Festival, including Arts Council England, Yorkshire; media partner BBC Radio 3; the National Centre for Early Music; tourism partners Welcome to Yorkshire and Visit York; the City of York Council; selected hotels and Creative Europe - the Culture Programme of the European Union.

The headline sponsor Hiscox Insurance is working alongside JW Creers Chartered Accountants; Harrowells Solicitors; Shepherd Building Group; University of York; Dean & Chapter, York and the many individuals who support the organisation through anonymous donations and by buying tickets each year.

Press Contact: 
Lindsey Porter, on behalf of National Centre for Early Music 
e: lportercomms@gmail.com / m: 07568 309154 / www.ncem.co.uk