Next year’s York International Young Artists Competition postponed until July 2022

Winners: L’Apothéose in the grounds of the National Centre for Early Music after their success in the 2019 York International Young Artists Competition. Picture: Jim Poyner Photography

THE 2021 York International Young Artists Competition is to be postponed for a year.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the prestigious classical music event will take place on July 13 to 16 2022 instead and subsequently will be staged every two years.

The competition is open to Early Music ensembles with a minimum of three members, who must have an average age of 32 years or under with a maximum age of 36. 

The ensembles must demonstrate historically informed performance practice and play repertory from any period, spanning the Middle Ages to the 19th century, on period instruments. 

This longstanding competition for young ensembles takes place at the National Centre for Early Music, St Margaret’s Church, Walmgate, as part of York Early Music Festival. 

​Recognised as an international platform for emerging talent in the world of Early Music, the competition attracts musicians across the globe, offering a boost to young professional careers with opportunities for performance, recording and broadcasting and international exposure.  

“Every year, we are overwhelmed by the superb quality of the performances from these fantastically talented young artists,” says NCEM director Delma Tomlin

The 2019 competition final included ten ensembles with artists from 14 different countries. Winners L’Apothéose, from Spain, received a professional recording contract from Linn Records, a £1,000 prize and chances to work with BBC Radio 3 and the NCEM.  

NCEM director Dr Delma Tomlin says:“The competition brings together young musicians of the highest calibre and is one of the highlights of the York Early Music Festival. With the competition attracting artists from all over the world, in the current climate we decided to move it to 2022.

“Every year, we are overwhelmed by the superb quality of the performances from these fantastically talented young artists and we hope that up-and-coming ensembles will take the opportunity to enter this world-renowned competition.” 

2019 winners L’Apothéose say: “Winning the York competition was an extremely important and prestigious recognition of our career, and taking part was an immensely joyful experience.” 

Fellow former winners Sollazzo Ensemble say: “Winning the competition was a turning point in our career, bringing us to the attention of both a wider audience and professionals throughout Europe.”

For details of how to apply, ensembles should go to or send an email to

Sollazzo Ensemble and BarrocoTout re-live York triumphs in NCEM online concerts

Sollazzo Ensemble: 2017 winners of the York Early Music International Young Artists Competition

THE National Centre for Early Music’s lockdown season of free concerts from York presents a double bill of Sollazzo Ensemble and BarrocoTout on Saturday.

“We have selected the very best concerts from two ensembles who won the York Early Music International Young Artists Competition in 2015 and 2017 respectively,” says director Dr Delma Tomlin.

To view these concerts for free at 1pm, follow or log on to the NCEM website,

Directed by mediaeval fiddle player Anna Danilevskaia, joined by sopranos Perrine Devillers and Yukie Sato, tenor Vivien Simon, fiddle player Sophia Danilevskaia and harpist Vincent Kibildis, the Swiss group were recorded on July 11 2015.

Formed in 2014 in Basel, Switzerland, where the members were all studying at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, that year they were selected for the “EEEmerging” programme supported by Creative Europe, going on to win the main prize in the YorkEarly Music International Young Artists Competition and the public’s Friends of York Early Music Festival Prize in 2015.

They built their winning performance around Jehan de Cordoval and Jehan Ferrandes, two blind fiddle players in the 15th century court of Burgundy, playing works by Guillaume Dufay and Loyset Compère, among others, that they would have peformed .

Cordoval and Ferrandes caught our attention because, unlike many medieval musicians known today, they were famous exclusively as performers, not as composers or theorists,” said Anna.

BarrocoTout: 2015 winners of the York Early Music International Young Artists Competition

“Soloists before the time of soloism: the simple fact of their existence and their success offers us a perspective on the richness of the musical scene at the Burgundian court in the 15th century.” 

BarracoTout, from Belgium, were recorded on July 15 2017 when winning the York Early Music International Young Artists Competition, having been selected in 2015 for the EEEmerging programme (EEE standing for ‘Emerging European Ensembles’)

Carlota Garcia, flute, Izana Soria,violin, Edouard Catalan, cello, and Ganael Schneider, harpsichord, presented To Paris And Back: Return, a programme of 17th and 18th century works by Henri-Jacques de Croes, Jean-Marie Leclair and Georg Philipp Telemann.  

In 2018, they recorded their first album for Linn Records, La Sonate Égarée, an album dedicated to Henri-Jacques de Croes.

Izana Soria said of her fellow Belgian: “Born in Antwerp, de Croes was an important innovator of his time. He was maître de musiqueof the Chapelle Royale in Brussels and Frankfurt, and, like Telemann, able to synthesise the Italian, French and German styles in his sonatas and symphonies.

“The Largo of his sixth sonata has an operatic lyricism, whereas the Fuga combines markedly rhythmical passages, typically baroque dissonances and pre-classical articulations, with a polished and convincing result.”

Formed in Brussels in 2013, BarrocoTout take their name from a sketch on the Spanish comedy show Muchachada Nui: Barroco Tu (meaning “Baroque yourself”), and their mission is to explore work written for their four-piece formation by well-known composers, while also re-discovering other composers who have fallen into oblivion.