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Retrospective: Early Music America Competition Winners, pt. 1

Time capsule for this episode: 1759

In celebration of Early Musica America’s 25th anniversary, we’re looking back at the past winners of its competitions, which include three recording competitions and three Medieval/Renaissance performance competitions. This is part one of each group’s road to success since winning.

Ensemble La Rota explores the Middle Ages

The Montreal-based Ensemble La Rota won in 2006 for their dynamic program of medieval repertoire. Almost immediately the quartet was given a recording contract with the Canadian label ATMA Classique. Around the same time, they also won or were finalists, in several international competitions. La Rota has concertized extensively on both sides of the Atlantic, appearing at many prestigious early music festivals.

Asteria and the Medieval Love Duet

In 2004, the winner of the inaugural Medieval/Renaissance performance competition was Asteria, a duo comprised of soprano Sylvia Rhyne and lutenist Eric Redlinger. Since then, the duo has performed across the U.S., and throughout Europe and Mexico. The fruits of their labor are evident in the recording of Burgundian chanson, a repertoire they specialize in.

Catacoustic Consort and the Italian Baroque

The Cincinnati-based Catacoustic Consort was the winner of the 2002/03 EMA/Naxos recording competition. Director Annalisa Pappano credits the ensemble’s ensuing professional success to the win, both on a local and national level. The recording prize gave the ensemble an opportunity to make a CD with Naxos Records. Entitled “The Italian Dramatic Lament,” the recording offered international recognition and acclaim.

Featured Release: Jordi Savall

Our featured release is an Alia Vox label recording of music from the time of Louis XV. Jordi Savall directs Le Concert des Nations in a program that revolves around the Concert Spirituel, a special concert series founded in Paris during Louis XV’s reign.

The program focuses on three immensely popular composers heard throughout the life of the series, including Arcangelo Corelli, Jean-Philippe Rameau, and Georg Philipp Telemann. Savall not only directs, but appears as soloist in a performance of Telemann’s Ouverture and Suite in D major for viola da gamba, strings, and basso continuo.

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