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Winners announced for the NCEM Composers Award 2010

The prestigious NCEM Composers Award 2010, now in its second year, presented in partnership with BBC Radio 3 and The Tallis Scholars, has been won by 16-year-old Owain Park and 25-year-old Alexander Campkin.

The winners, in two age categories - under 18 years, and 19 to 25 years, were announced at a special finalists' concert and awards ceremony on Thursday 20 May at All Saints Church, North Street, York, where all seven pieces were performed by the York-based Ebor Singers.  Prior to the concert all seven short-listed composers took part in a day-long workshop with the composer Christopher Fox and the Ebor Singers at the National Centre for Early Music (NCEM). The competition was judged by Peter Phillips, Director of the internationally renowned early music specialists The Tallis Scholars, Chris Wines, Senior Music Producer with BBC Radio 3 and Delma Tomlin, Director of the National Centre for Early Music.

The winning pieces written for four-part a cappella (unaccompanied) choir will receive the honour of being premiered by The Tallis Scholars at the Chester Summer Music Festival on Wednesday 30 June 2010. Highlights of this performance will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show on Sunday 11 July 2010.

Sixteen-year-old Owain Park, from Bristol, whose piece entitled Sweet Day, won the under 18 age category, is a student at Queen Elizabeth's Hospital in Bristol. He began his musical journey with the piano before becoming a chorister at St. Mary Redcliffe Church in Bristol which encouraged a love of church and choral music. He is a member of several choirs, including the National Youth Choir, the City of Bristol Choir, and the Royal School of Church Music Millennium Youth Choir. Owain also plays trumpet and organ, which has become his main instrument.

He has composed pieces for plays, concerts and church and was a finalist in the 2007 St. George's Bristol Carol Competition, and the runner up in the 2009 HMC National Composing Competition. Next year, Owain will attend Wells Cathedral School as a Music Specialist, with the organ as his first instrument, in addition to holding the position of Cathedral Organ Scholar. Owain hopes to study music at University, and gain an Organ Scholarship to an Oxbridge college. On winning the competition Owain commented: "I've thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, from working on my piece with the Ebor Singers and Christopher Fox through to the performance for the competition itself. The unique format of the competition is brilliant and offers such valuable opportunities to really hear and refine your work. It has been a wonderful day and I'm looking forward enormously to The Tallis Scholars performance at Chester Festival."

Alexander Campkin, 25, from London won the older age category with O Magnum Mysterium. Alexander studied Music at Oxford University, where he was Choral Scholar, Assistant Organ Scholar, and conductor of the Oxford Chamber Choir and Arcadian Singers of Oxford University. Alexander was recently appointed
Composer-in-Residence in Neresheim Abbey in Germany and Composer-in-Residence of the Fulham Camerata. After the winners were announced, Alexander said: "I was thrilled to have been selected as a finalist. Having such a fine choir to work with, the luxury of time, Christopher Fox's input and the opportunity to hear the other competitors' works go through the same process and meet with them throughout the day has been a tremendous experience. I'm delighted to have been chosen as a winner and am really looking forward to hearing The Tallis Scholars perform the piece in Chester and hear it on BBC Radio 3."

Delma Tomlin, Director of the NCEM said: "This year's competition attracted over 70 entrants and it has been wonderful see the competition gather in strength not only in numbers but also in the remarkably high standards these young people are working to. We have been particularly delighted by the composers' interesting choices of text. It is hugely heartening to witness such quality and creativity in the achievements of these young UK composers."

Peter Philips, Director of The Tallis Scholars added: "Each year we do this the standard goes up along with an increase in the number of entrants and somehow the maturity of writing seems to increase too. We see this as being extremely positive as the challenge of writing for unaccompanied voices is clearly one which interests and engages young people, some as young as fourteen. I'm thrilled that the kind of music which renaissance polyphony consists of has inspired teenagers to write in their own style."

Chris Wines, Senior Music Producer from BBC Radio 3 said: "BBC Radio 3 is proud of its commitment to new music and the promotion of young musicians. Being a partner in a competition to find a new work by young composers for a top ranking early music ensemble such as The Tallis Scholars is exactly the kind of exciting and imaginative idea that we are pleased to be part of. And when the technical standards and breadth of creativity from young composers is as high as we have witnessed in this year's competition the association proves even more exciting and rewarding and we are delighted to be able to bring the winning pieces to a wider audience.

All compositions from short-listed candidates were recorded by University of York music technology students and are available to listen to on the NCEM website. Information about the 2010 NCEM Composers Award will be available from September 2010 on the following websites: www.ncem.co.uk, www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/earlymusicshow and www.thetallisscholars.co.uk

The National Centre for Early Music is administered by the York Early Music Foundation and funded by Arts Council England, Yorkshire.

Ends

Press Contact:
Shona Galletly, on behalf of National Centre for Early Music
e: shona@shonagalletlypr.co.uk
t:   0113 255 1308
m: 07813 796 733
Web:    www.ncem.co.uk

Notes to editors:

 1. Winners Biographies

Owain Park, Under 18 category
Owain Park, 16, is a student at Queen Elizabeth's Hospital in Bristol. He started his musical journey with the piano and then became a chorister at St. Mary Redcliffe Church in Bristol which encouraged a love of church and choral music. Singing has remained important to Owain. He is a member of several choirs, including the National Youth Choir, Exultate Singers, the City of Bristol Choir, the Hogan Ensemble, and the RSCM Millennium Youth Choir, which gave him the opportunity to perform in last year's BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.
He has toured with choirs as a singer and accompanist around many of the Cathedrals in Britain, and as far afield as Salzburg. Recent musical endeavours include singing Britten's War Requiem, Philip Wilby's Brontë Mass, Walton's Belshazzar's Feast, and Mozart's Requiem.

In addition to the piano, Owain plays the trumpet and the organ which has become his main instrument. In March 2010 he won the Under-18 Open and Bach classes in the organ competition at the Bristol Eisteddfod for the third year running. He is the Organ Scholar at Westbury-on-Trym Parish Church, and regularly plays for services around Bristol.

Owain has written pieces for plays, concerts and church. He was a finalist in the 2007 St. George's Bristol Carol Competition, and was the runner up in the HMC National Composing Competition held last year.

For variety Owain plays in a jazz band and enjoys acting, tennis, and cooking. Next year, Owain will be attending Wells Cathedral School as a Music Specialist, with the organ as his first instrument. In addition, he will hold the position of Cathedral Organ Scholar. Owain's future intentions include studying music at University, and he hopes to get an Organ Scholarship to an Oxbridge college. He will also take his ARCO this summer.


Alexander Campkin, 19 - 25 category

Alexander Campkin (b. 1984) studied Music at Oxford University, where he was Choral Scholar, Assistant Organ Scholar, and conductor of the Oxford Chamber Choir and Arcadian Singers of Oxford University. He completed a Masters in Composition at the Royal Academy of Music in 2008, after which he began a Postgraduate Diploma in Vienna at the Universität für Musik. Alexander was a finalist in the 2008 British Composer Awards, a prize winner in the 2010 "Musica Sacra" International Composition Competition in Poland, and highly commended in the BBC Proms Young Composers' Competition. Alexander was recently appointed Composer-in-Residence in Neresheim Abbey in Germany and Composer-in-Residence of the Fulham Camerata; other commissions have been from the BBC Performing Arts Fund, the Southbank Centre, the Royal School of Church Music, the Manson Ensemble, the Royal Academy String Orchestra, the Kaxan String Quartet and Pusey House Choir, Oxford.

His music has received performances by the London Sinfonietta, the BBC Singers, the Vilnius Municipal Choir (Lithuania), Trinity Choir Cambridge, Polish Chamber Choir, National Youth Choir GB, Jeunnesse Kammerchor (Vienna) and the Tyler Youth Orchestra (Texas). Venues include the Berliner Philharmonie, Ulster Hall (Belfast), Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin), Theater des Augenblicks (Vienna), St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Duke's Hall, Cal Poly Performing Arts Centre (San Luis Obispo, USA) and Grace Catheddral (San Francisco). His music has been performed in major music festivals in the UK and Europe, and has been the subject of a number of radio broadcasts in Europe, the US and South America.

2. Finalists in the 2010 NCEM Composers Award:

Sarah Gait, 15 home-educated, from Cumbria
Winner - Owain Park, 16, is a student at Queen Elizabeth's Hospital in Bristol
Tom Harrold, 18 from Manchester currently studying at the Royal Northern College of Music
Mark Gotham, 23 from Essex, a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music and University of Oxford
Peter Foggit, 25 from London, currently studying at Trinity College of Music
Emma-Ruth Richards, 25 from Manchester currently studying at the Royal Northern College of Music
Winner - Alexander Campkin, 25 from London

3. BBC Radio 3 broadcasts classical music, jazz, world music, arts programmes and drama. Last year BBC Radio 3 broadcast over 600 complete concerts and operas from venues and festivals across the UK and beyond. BBC Radio 3 is the home of The BBC Proms and broadcasts every concert live. It supports composers, writers and new young performers and last year broadcast over 40 new drama productions. See www.bbc.co.uk/radio3