EMA Presents 3rd Medieval/Renaissance Music Competition

15 Sep 2009 (SEATTLE, WA) Early Music America, with the generous support of a private donor, will sponsor the third EMA Medieval/Renaissance Performance Competition on Oct. 7, 2009.  The winner of the competition will receive a cash prize (the Unicorn Prize) and be guaranteed 3 concert performances sponsored by EMA and concert presenters in Pittsburgh (Renaissance & Baroque), Milwaukee (Early Music Now), and Seattle (Early Music Guild). The purpose of this competition is to encourage the development of emerging artists in the performance of medieval and Renaissance music.

The three finalist ensembles will compete in a live concert at Corpus Christi Church, 529 W. 121st St. in New York City at 7:30 pm on October 7, 2009. The concert is open to the public with a suggested donation of $10.  An independent panel of 5 judges, selected by EMA, will judge the final competition and select the winner at the end of the concert. This year, for the first time, there will also be an Audience Prize; the audience will be asked to vote for their favorite ensemble at the end of the concert. There will also be a coaching session for the finalist ensembles with Grant Herreid (free and open to the public) at Corpus Christi Church from 1:30-5pm on October 6.

The finalists in the competition (in alphabetical order) are:

Ensemble Alkemia (Dorothéa Ventura, Jean-François Daignault, Pierre-Alexandre Saint-Yves, and Dany Wiseman, voices and instruments); their program “Amor y Guerra” features secular music from the Spanish Renaissance Cancionero Musical de Palacio; they are based in Montreal, Quebec.  
Musica Fantasia (Julie Ryning, soprano; Ji-Sun Kim, recorders; Katelyn Clark, keyboards); their program  “O Rosa Bella” features 14th-century music from Italy; they are based in Montreal, Quebec.  
Plaine & Easie (Linda Tsatsanis, soprano; Shulamit Kleinerman, violin; John Lenti, lute; Nathan Whittaker, bass violin); their program explores the lute song’s encounter with the emerging violin family in the late 16th-century, with special emphasis on Morley and Dowland; they are based in Seattle, WA.  

The previously announced finalist ensemble, the Old Hall Trio (Boston), has withdrawn from the competition.

Winners of EMA’s two previous competitions have developed successful careers in the early music field. Asteria, the 2004 winners and Ensemble La Rota, the 2006 winners, have both produced recordings and booked numerous concerts and tours since winning the competition.

Contact: Maria Coldwell
206-720-6270; fax 206-720-6290
mcoldwell@earlymusic.org

About Early Music America
Early Music America serves and strengthens the early music community in North America and raises public awareness of early music. EMA was founded in 1985 and provides its 3,000 members with publications, advocacy, and technical support. EMA publishes the quarterly magazine Early Music America. "Early music" includes western music from the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods, performed on period instruments in historically-informed styles. For more information, contact Early Music America at 206-720-6270 or 888-SACKBUT, or visit our web site at www.earlymusic.org.