Early Music America (EMA) hosted its first Baroque Performance Competition in New York on 10 October. Six period instrument ensembles performed up to 25 minute sets in front of the competition judges.

Pallade Musica were named as the winning ensemble, with a performance of seventeenth-century work from Italian composers. They were awarded $3,000 and four early music concert performances including a date at the Early Music Guild in Seattle.

Cellist Elinor Frey, said: ‘The level of playing from all groups this evening was exceedingly high, so it is a privilege to be singled out for this honour. We’re also proud to have represented Canada’s thriving early music scene at the competition.’

The EMA Baroque Performance Competition also awarded an audience-voted prize, to The Sebastians, finalists at 2011’s York International Early Music Competition. Violinist Daniel Lee said: ‘We are humbled and honoured to be chosen to receive the audience prize.’ The group performed works from Vivaldi and F. Couperin.

Maria Coldwell, executive director of Early Music America (EMA) said: ‘The winning groups are both outstanding, but that is true of all the finalists. This competition was not only an opportunity for six ensembles to compete for awards – it was also an opportunity for that audience to experience a taste of the future of early music in North America.’