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presented in association with BBC Radio 3 and the Consone Quartet


(19 to 25 years)
Adam Possener 

52°N 20.5°E


(18 years and under)

Christopher Churcher


Adam Possener and Christopher Churcher heard their pieces premiered by Consone Quartet at All Saints' Church Boughton Aluph, Kent on 24 June as part of Stour Music’s 60th anniversary.

The concert will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Early Music Show on Sunday 20 November. Details of the 2023 NCEM Young Composers Award will be announced in the same programme.

The shortlisted pieces

19 t0 25 years
Anna Disley-Simpson


Thomas Kettle

Beacon - Hallucination for String Quartet

Adam Possener
52°N 20.5°E

Dominic Wills
18 and under
Phoebe Apfel​


Christopher Churcher
Jonathan Love
Scott Manson
Theme and Variations

The Award was judged at the National Centre for Early Music on 19 May when the shortlist of entries was performed by Consone Quartet.


The judges were Consone Quartet; Les Pratt, Producer BBC Radio 3; Delma Tomlin, Director of the National Centre for Early Music. Earlier in the day the shortlisted pieces were presented by the Consone Quartet in a workshop with the young composers, led by composer Christopher Fox.

52°N 20.5°EAdam Possener
00:00 / 04:46
ArborescentChristopher Churcher
00:00 / 05:37
BeaconThomas Kettle
00:00 / 04:48
Theme and VariationsScott Manson
00:00 / 04:30
MelancholiePhoebe Apfel
00:00 / 04:31
SeascapeJonathan Love
00:00 / 04:10
FantasiaDominic Wills
00:00 / 04:23
Anfang Anna Disley-Simpson
00:00 / 04:23


The National Centre for Early Music and BBC Radio 3 invited aspiring young composers to write a new piece for string quartet, working alongside BBC New Generation Artists, the Consone Quartet.

The Award is open to young composers resident in the UK up to the age of 25 and is judged in two age categories: 18 and under, and 19–25. 

Consone Quartet

christopher fox_edited.jpg

Christopher Fox


The Consone Quartet play ‘period instruments’ using gut strings. They invited young composers to enter into the musical sound world of one of their favourite composers, Fanny Mendelssohn. A talented pianist born at the beginning of the 19th century, Fanny wrote some 400 works but was never offered the acclaim that her brother Felix received.


The annual NCEM Young Composers Award was launched in 2008 and is the only such scheme in the UK. It offers a unique opportunity for young composers to engage with the instruments and performance styles of early music, and to work with leading professional early musicians. In bridging the worlds of ‘early’ and ‘new’ music, the Award complements the NCEM’s education policy, to support and nurture young composers and demonstrate to all participants that the music of previous centuries is relevant to today’s creative endeavours.


❝ I have gained confidence in myself. Hearing my piece come to life was an incredible experience ❞

❝ Christopher Fox’s insightful comments, always thinking outside the box ❞

❝ Great contacts and lots of fun! ❞

How to Apply
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