Early Music America Announces Naxos Recording Competition 2011

2 Nov 2010

(SEATTLE, WA) Early Music America (EMA) and Naxos will collaborate on a competition for early music soloists and ensembles, whose prize is a debut commercial CD recording, which will be produced and marketed by Naxos. EMA and Naxos hope to promote the career development of emerging early music artists and the philosophy of historically informed performance by offering to the public a CD of the highest quality.


  • Applicants must be soloists or ensembles using voice(s) and/or period instrument(s).
  • Repertoire may include western music written before 1800, performed on period instruments or reconstructions, and in a style which is historically informed.
  • Applicants must be members (individual or organizational) of EMA.
  • They must be residents of USA or Canada.
  • They must be free of contractual obligation to any recording company.
  • They must not have made previous recordings on a label with broad commercial distribution in which they were the featured ensemble or soloist.
  • Previous ensemble winners of EMA-sponsored recording competitions are excluded from applying.
  • Ensembles which include a current EMA board member or staff person are excluded from applying.

Timetable and Application Process

This is a one-time competition to take place during 2011. A letter of interest or intent, describing the ensemble and the proposed project/repertoire, must be received at EMA (by email, post, or fax) by February 1, 2011. These preliminary proposals will be reviewed by Naxos, and applicants will be advised of the viability of the proposed project by March 15, 2011. Assuming the project is viable, 4 copies of an unedited audition recording on CD (either live performance or recorded in a studio, but not edited), no longer than 30 minutes in length, and consisting of an excerpt of the proposed recording project, must be received by EMA no later than May 15, 2011. CDs should be accompanied by four copies of the program, but with no performer’s names. On a separate sheet of paper, submit names, addresses, phone numbers, instruments, and short bios of all performers, and, if an ensemble, the history of the group. Up to ten finalists will be selected by July 15, 2011 and a winner named by August 31, 2011. The recording will be made between fall 2011 and summer 2012, at a time to be arranged between Naxos and the winner.


An anonymous panel of 3 judges, selected by EMA, will select the finalists, based on performance quality. Naxos will choose the winner, based on performance quality, program concept, sales potential, and compatibility with the current Naxos catalog.


The winner will receive the opportunity to make a commercially released CD on the Naxos label, recorded by Naxos in facilities in North America. Naxos will pay all costs of recording, post-production and marketing. Naxos will own all rights in the recording, and there will be no royalties or performers’ fees paid to the winner. Performers will be responsible for paying their own travel/lodging expenses in making the recording. Additionally, EMA will include a short feature article about the winner in a subsequent issue of Early Music America magazine. The winner will also be featured on the early music radio program, Harmonia, as scheduled by the host, Angela Mariani.

Submission Information

All materials should be sent to:
Naxos/EMA Recording Competition
2366 Eastlake Ave. E. #429
Seattle, WA 98102
(206) 720-6270
(206) 720-6290 (fax)

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.