16 Oct 2014 (PITTSBURGH, PA) – Early Music America held its Baroque Performance Competition Finals last weekend in Chicago which showcased up-and-coming talent in the early music field in front of an enthusiastic crowd. The finalists, who traveled from throughout North America to compete, were selected from a pool of applicants by an independent panel of three judges. Ann Felter, Executive Director of Early Music America, remarked that the future of of early music in North America is strong based on the strength of the performances as well as the enthusiastic reception from the audience. “Saturday night’s finals illustrated just how much fresh talent is on the horizon in the field of early music.”
Three prizes were awarded.
The Grand Prize and Audience Prize were awarded to Infusion Baroque. “Infusion Baroque is honored to have been chosen from among all the very talented finalists at the EMA competition. It’s challenging for new ensembles like ours to gain momentum and get a foothold in the early music world. Winning this competition will give us so much in terms of publicity and performance opportunities – we’re very excited and grateful!” says Rona Nadler, harpsichordist with Infusion Baroque. The Grand Prize winner receives, among other things, a cash prize of $3,000 and engagements with five major presenters of early music to perform a concert during the 2015-16 or 2016-17 seasons. The Audience Prize, which is determined by audience vote, includes a $1,000 cash prize.
The Presentation Prize was awarded to Trio Speranza. New for 2014, the Presentation Prize recognizes the most innovative concert experience combining inventive programming, compelling program notes and undeniable stage presence. Cora Swenson and Jason Moy of Trio Speranza add, “Trio Speranza is honored to have been awarded the Presentation Prize in this year’s Baroque Performance Competition. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to perform alongside such amazing musicians and colleagues from all over the United States and Canada, and touched to see all of our family and friends that came out to support us at home here in Chicago. Congratulations to our friends from Montreal, Infusion Baroque, for winning the Grand Prize. We look forward to hearing future performances from all of this year’s ensembles, and to representing EMA at our upcoming concerts!”
Hank Knox, chair of EMA’s Competitions Committee, noted, “EMA’s Baroque Competition is a wonderful opportunity to see and hear how healthy the early music world is. We heard a wide range of repertoire and approaches, and a lot of passion from the coming generation of players. If this is the current level of musicianship, the future of our field is in good hands!” Click to see the full lineup of five finalists.
The Baroque Performance Competition was held in association with The University of Chicago Presents.
About Early Music America
Early Music America (EMA) is a not-for-profit service organization for the field of historical performance in North America. Founded in 1985, EMA’s goal is to expand awareness of, and interest in, the music of the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods. EMA’s members receive a variety of benefits along with a quarterly magazine and monthly e-newsletter.