L’APOTHÉOSE have won the 2019 York Early Music International Young Artists Competition in York, scooping three awards in all.

The Spanish group were awarded first prize at Saturday's event when competing against nine other highly talented international ensembles.

Organised by the National Centre for Early Music, as the climax to the 2019 York Early Music Festival, the biennial competition featured a day-long series of performances from the ten ensembles.

L’Apothéose receive a professional recording contract from Linn Records, £1,000 in prize money and opportunities to work with BBC Radio 3 and the NCEM.

The ten finalists were: L’Apothéose, from Spain; Consort Laurentien, Canada; Due Oratori, Netherlands; Duellists, Great Britain; Duo Arnal-d’Anfray, France; El Gran Teatro del Mundo, Switzerland; El Parnasillo, Spain; Ensemble Feuervogel, Germany; Ensemble .q.p.i.t., Switzerland, and The Butter Quartet, Netherlands.

The musicians in those groups came from 14 countries, spanning four continents.

Each group presented their final recital to a distinguished panel on Saturday at the NCEM, as the culmination to nine days of world-class music at the festival, presented in locations around the city.

L’Apothéose received two more prizes: the £500 Friends of York Early Music Festival Prize and the £1,000 EUBO Development Trust Prize for the Most Promising Young Artists.

Formed in December 2015, L’Apothéose's line-up comprises Laura Quesada on flute, Víctor Martínez on violin, Carla Sanfélix on cello and Asís Márquez on harpsichord. Saturday's winning repertoirefeatured works by Carl Philipp Stamitz and Georg Philipp Telemann.

On the judges' panel were keyboard player Carole Cerasi; the director of the Alamire Foundation, Bart Demuyt; Linn Records' chief producer, Philip Hobbs; lutenist and director of performance at Oxford University Elizabeth Kenny, and the director of Göttingen International Handel Festival,Tobias Wolff.

Panel chairman Bart Demuyt said: "What a wonderful day it has been in York and the calibre of music we have heard has been outstanding.

"We are delighted that L’Apothéose won the prize: they demonstrated extraordinary talent and we wish them, and indeed all the competitors, the very best of luck in their future careers. I would also like to thank the festival for the work they are doing to promote the young generation of musicians."

Dr Delma Tomlin, director of the National Centre for Early Music, added:

"This year’s competition has brought together young musicians of the highest calibre from Europe and beyond and it has been a joy to welcome them to York.

"A perfect end to nine days of glorious music, the competition has been one of the festival’s highlights and we have been thrilled with the high standard of the music we enjoyed.

"We are grateful to our patrons and festival sponsors for their continued support, which give these rising stars many exciting opportunities."

Winners L’Apothéose said: "We are so delighted to win not one, but three prizes against such fierce competition. It is an amazing opportunity and the recording contract with Linn Records will help our work to be enjoyed by everyone. We have loved being in York with its friendly festival-like atmosphere and we’ve received the warmest of welcomes."

Past winners, Sollazzo Ensemble, said: "Winning the competition was a turning point in our career. Sollazzo Ensemble was brought to the attention of both a wider audience and professionals throughout Europe. The opportunity to record a CD with Linn Records marked a decisive step in the continuation of our work."

The eeemerging+ Prize was awarded to The Butter Quartet, giving direct access to the pan-European scheme.

The Cambridge Early Music Prize award went to El Gran Teatro del Mundo, who will perform a paid concert in Cambridge, which must take place within three years of the competition date.

Highlights of the competition and music from the winning recital will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show on July 28 at 2pm.

Charles Hutchinson