Early Music Young Ensemble Competition 2018

Listen Again

Hear the highlights from the competition as well as interviews with the competitors on BBC Radio 3 - The Early Music Show on Sunday 23rd December. A perfect opportunity for those who missed the competition or just want to hear some of the exquisite performances again!

The Winners

We're delighted to announce the joint winners of the 2018 Early Music Young Ensemble Competition were Tinka Pypker - Anders Muskens Duo and Palisander. The adjudicators decided to award a joint 1st prize with no 2nd prize, therefore the winners each receive £1,000 prize money and a recital in the London Exhibition of Early Music 2019.

About the competition

At the Early Music Shop, we have the unique opportunity of seeing young players at the start of their musical journey, often when choosing their first ‘real’ instrument. It is a joy to see these youngsters grow musically and hear their progress over the years, and for the ones that continue their musical studies, watching as their musical careers flourish and blossom.

As part of our 50th anniversary celebrations at the Early Music Shop, a Young Early Music competition seemed the perfect way to give something back to the Early Music community and bring the next generation of performers to the wider Early Music audience. We hope that this London based competition will be a welcome addition to other established opportunities for Early Musicians in York and Brighton, for both performers and audiences alike.

When and Where

The competition finals were held from 1pm – 4.30pm on the afternoon of Friday 9th November. Four ensembles performed a 35-40 minute recital in front of the adjudicators and a public audience at St Margaret’s Church, Lee Terrace, Blackheath, London, SE13 5DN


Dame Emma Kirkby, James Johnstone and Tom Beets


The Competition Final

13.00pm - Welcome
13.05pm - Tinka Pypker - Anders Muskens Duo
13.45pm - Ensemble Vergissmeinnicht
14.35pm - Palisander
15.25pm - Pocket Sinfonia
16.20pm - Results and Presentation of Prizes


Tinka Pypker - Anders Muskens Duo 

Tinka Pypker (soprano) and Anders Muskens (fortepiano and harpsichord) began collaborating together at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. They work together on solo cantatas, court airs, and lieder for soprano and keyboard spanning the 18th and early 19th century. 

Tinka was born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and she began her musical studies on the violin, but discovered her voice through singing in various choirs. She would go on to study a Bachelor's degree in singing with a minor in early muisc at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, studying under the tutelage of Lenie van den Heuvel and specialists Dorothee Mields, Peter Kooij and Pascal Bertin. Anders was born in Edmonton, Canada, and started studies on modern piano. He would go on to study a Masters in Fortepiano at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, studying with Bart van Oort, Petra Somlai, and Fabio Bonizzoni for harpsichord. 

Programme – Marianna’s Salon

“La Scusa,” Cantata (179?) - Domenico Corigliano (1770 – 1838)

Keyboard Sonata in E flat (1780) - Marianna Auenbrugger (1759-1782)

I. Moderato

II. Largo

III. Rondo: Allegro

“Deh si piacevoli”, Funeral Ode - Antonio Salieri (1750-1825)

“Abendempfindung an Laura”, K. 523 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Ensemble Vergissmeinnicht

Belonging to the rather "quiet" instruments of their time, the flute and the theorbo create an atmosphere of intimacy and familiarity that makes it worthwhile to "speak". In particular, the French music of the 17th / 18th century, which works with such subtle, differentiated material, invites its interpreters to narrate - and the one who listens, to experience, think, feel. To pursue the trail of the "speaking moment" and thus to unfold also new horizons of understanding for the development specially of the early classical music, in fall 2017 Barbora Hulcová and Antje Becker founded the Ensemble Vergissmeinnicht as which they had their debut in summer 2018 in the Friedrichskirche in Potsdam (D), the royal capital of Fredrick the Great, as well as within the “additional concerts” of the BRQ Baroque Music Festival in Vantaa (FIN).

Antje Becker was born in the North-East German city of Anklam. From 2013 to 2017 she studied Baroque Flute/Historical Performance Practice with Marion Treupel at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Munich (D) and with Wilbert Hazelzet at the Hoogeschool voor de Kunsten (HKU) in Utrecht (NL). Since fall 2017 she is continuing her studies with Christoph Huntgeburth at the Universität der Künste (UdK) Berlin. 

After gaining experience with several different baroque and classical orchestral formations such as La Banda (D), Salzburg Baroque Orchestra (AUS), Dutch Baroque Orchestra (NL) and Accademia di Monaco (D), in summer 2016 Antje Becker recorded „Arien für Nancy Storace“ for Coviello Classics with the latter and, as Solo Flutist, the opera I Cherusciby Simon Mayr as a first recording for NAXOS. Her ensemble Due Oratori, which is dedicated specially to music for obligate harpsichord and traverso, took part in the Fringe Concerts of the Oude Muziek Festival Utrecht (NL) and the BRQ Festival Vantaa (FIN) in summer 2017 and, in it’s brider setting as Tre Oratori, 2018 and will record its first CD in Decembre 2018, supported by the Jeanne d’Art Kulturstiftung and the Franz-und-Christel-Kuhlmann-Stiftung. 

Besides her musical activities Antje Becker studied Musicology and History of Art at the Universities of Heidelberg, Freiburg and Basel. She obtained her Master’s Degree with honours and is now working towards her PhD with Prof. Dr. Konrad Küster (Freiburg i. Brsg.). By regularly writing music and culture historical texts/articles Antje Becker published her first book in 2016 with a biography about the flutist and conductor Kurt Redel.  

Antje Becker was a scholar of the Stader Stiftung für Kultur und Geschichte, the Lions Club Stade, the Stiftung Altes Land, the Ingeborg-Stachel-Stiftung and is a member of the German Society of Music Research. 

Barbora Hulcová was born in Prague, the Czech Republic, in 1996. She attended a musical secondary school in Prague (ein Musikgymnasium), where she studied classical guitar with Václav Kučera. During her secondary school studies, her interest in early music developed and she started to play the lute. Since 2016 she has been studying historical plucked instruments with Jan Čižmář at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno, the Czech Republic, and the classical guitar with Karel Fleischlinger at the P. J. Vejvanovský Conservatory in Kroměříž. She has participated in many international early music courses (WinterAkademie Alte Musik Bremen, Innsbruck Barock, Admonter Lautenherbst, Miszla Barokk etc.), where she took lessons with Joachim Held, Michael Fields, Evangelina Mascardi and Cristián Gutiérrez. She is a member of different ensembles (the Baroque Orchestra of the Prague Conservatory, Castello in Aria, Le tre Grazie etc.).


Suite en ré majeur pour la flûte et la basse continue - Charles Dieupart (1667-1740)







Suite en ré majeur pour la flûte traversière et la basse continue Op. 5 Nr. 3. - Jacques-Martin Hotteterre (1674-1763)






Air "Je suis aimée" avec Double de Jacques-Martin Hotteterre pour flûte seule - Michel Lambert (1610-1696)

Sonata en sol majeur pour la flûte traversière et la basse continue Op. 19 Nr. 1 - Joseph Bodin de Boismortier (1689-1755)







Palisander prides itself on presenting imaginative, historical programmes with a wide range of repertoire; performing largely from memory, on recorders up to 6 feet tall. Comprised of alumni from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Royal College of Music, Palisander has quickly established itself as a vibrant young ensemble. “Palisander’s imaginative performance really helped them to stand out from the crowd; they carefully thought through their... seamless entertaining programme, which they delivered with great panache and which resulted in tremendous enthusiasm and cheers from the crowd." – Clare Norburn, Brighton Early Music Festival.

The group is delighted to have been selected as one of two ensembles for the prestigious Emerging European Ensembles Scheme 2019, which provides training, residencies and performances for young groups. In 2016, Palisander was selected for the St John's Smith Square Young Artists' Scheme and in 2015 the quartet was selected for the Brighton Early Music Festival’s ‘Early Music Live!’ scheme;‘the leading training and apprenticeship scheme for young early music ensembles’. The group is excited to have been chosen as Making Music UK Selected Artists 2018-2019. Winners of the June Emerson Launchpad Prize for chamber groups, Palisander has performed at the London International Early Music Exhibition, Newbury Spring Festival and London Festival of Baroque Music, as well as for London Fashion Week. Next year, with support from the Tunnell Trust, Palisander has been selected to give a concert tour in Scotland, encompassing the Isle of Skye and Isle of Eigg. The quartet's international performances include Japan, Russia, Israel and several performances in France, as part of LFJ Festivals. Palisander has featured on radio, including BBC Radio 3.

Palisander’s debut album, Beware the Spider! was released in 2017 and received a 4 star review from BBC Music Magazine, as well as being voted First Place in the Magazine’s First Listen Podcast. Robert Huggil said ‘This charming disc not only shows off the ensemble's skills admirably, but provides a programme which intrigues’. Classic FM featured a live performance film of one of the pieces on the album, which has received over 4.6 million views so far!

Palisander enjoys giving regular family concerts and workshops. This includes working for the prestigious Live Music Now scheme, founded by Yehudi Menuhin and previously, being featured artists in the Wigmore Hall’s Chamber Tots series. Palisander collaborated with puppet theatre company Rust and Stardust Productions, to develop a unique family show. Dr Dee’s Daughter and the Philosopher’s Stoneis supported by Arts Council England and has given performances across the country, including Lake District Summer Music, Cheltenham Music Festival and Wiltshire Music Centre. The group has recently been awarded another ACE grant to tour its educational project Recorder Revolution! which will bring inspiring, interactive performances to schools and music venues across England.

Programme - Beware the Spider!

Antidotum Tarantulae - Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680)

Canzon 'La Lusignuola'- Tarquinio Merula (1595-1665)

Tarantella Napoletana - Trad. Italian arr. Miriam Nerval

Il Vostro Dipartir - Maddalena Casulana (1544-1590)

The Nightmare Concerto - Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) arr. Miriam Nerval

Tarantellas II - Trad. Italian arr. Miriam Nerval

Anchor che col partire - Cipriano de Rore (c. 1515-1565) with diminutions by Riccardo Rognoni (c.1550-1620)

In Fields Abroad - William Byrd (c.1550-1623) arr. Miriam Nerval

Articulator V - Agnes Dorwarth (b. 1953)

Tarantellas I - Trad. Italian arr. Miriam Nerval

Pocket Sinfonia

Pocket Sinfonia is reinterpreting orchestral masterpieces with the fresh spontaneity and intimacy of a chamber group. Inspired by the transcriptions of Mozart, Beethoven and Weber by J. N. Hummel,

Pocket Sinfonia has created and commissioned new arrangements of orchestral works by Grieg, Prokofiev, Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky, which we perform alongside pre-existing transcriptions and traditional chamber works. Pocket Sinfonia performs programmes on both modern and period instruments. 

Pocket Sinfonia are delighted to have been selected for the Brighton Early Music Festival's Live! Scheme for 2018. They have performed across the UK and Norway including concerts at Universitetets Aulaen, Oslo, Asker kulturhus, Petworth Festival, Sherborne Abbey Festival and at the Royal Academy of Music’s Piano Festival. Future engagements include Brighton Early Music Festival, East Devon Music Festival, Herne Hill Festival and festivals in Norway as well as plans to record and release a CD of works by Mozart (arranged by Hummel) on period instruments.

“The essence of Mozart, distilled by Hummel, and performed with skill and panache by Pocket Sinfonia, four accomplished individuals who combine as a mightily effective chamber ensemble. The quartet delivered near-orchestral soundscapes while preserving every nuance and detail.” Islington Proms “I thought that the concert was magical, so impressed by the way that you all played.” Sherborne Abbey Festival 


Overture to Les Danaides - Salieri arr. Eleanor Corr

Quartet for in G major Wq 95 – C. P. E. Bach II. Adagio

Symphony in D major "Haffner" - Mozart arr. J. N. Hummel

I. Allegro con spirito

II. Andante

III. Menuetto

IV. Presto