Early Music
in Loire Valley

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This International Early Music Competition in Loire Valley is open to all instrumental ensembles performing repertoire from the 17th and 18th centuries on period instruments (Baroque chamber ensembles).

The next edition of the competition will be in 2021 !

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Co-organized by Stradivaria- Ensemble Baroque de Nantes and Anacréon, the aim of this competition is to promote ensembles of young musicians who specialize in this repertoire.

2019 edition

« Cello in the 18th century »

2019 edition took place on 31st of May and 1st of June in Nantes and in the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud.

The selected ensembles were :

  • Chiave d’Arco , 4 musiciens, Suisse
  • Ensemble Cascando, 3 musiciens, Pays Bas
  • Favole Musicali, 4 musiciens, Allemagne
  • Peregrinus, 3 musiciens, France
  • Etrange Eclat, 12 musiciens, France
  • La Barque de Charon, 3 musiciens, France
  • Understories, 3 musiciens, Espagne



The jury was composed by a President, musicians and personalities from the musical world

William Christie

William Christie

President of the jury Harpsichordist, founder and director of Les Arts Florissants.Daniel Cuiller (crédits Studio-Garnier)

Daniel Cuiller

Violinist, director of Stradivaria – Ensemble baroque de Nantes

Nicolas Bucher

Organist and harpsichordist
Director of Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles

Hidemi Suzuki

Cellist/Conductor Orchestra Libera Classica

Alice Orange

Artistic advisor of the Festival of Sablé

Henri-Frank Beaupérin

Henri-Franck Beaupérin

Titular organist – The Great Organs of Sylvanes

Philippe Muller

Cello Professor at « Manhattan School of Music » in New-York City and at « Conservatoire National » de Paris

The winners of the 2019 edition

Etrange Eclat

2nd Prize

Etrange Eclat - Demi-finale -31/05


Etrange Eclat is a very young ensemble was born with the musical meeting two friends: Gauthier Broutin (cellist) and Nora Dargazanli (harpsichord) at the CNSMD of Paris. Quickly, they start to play more often together and share projects, welcoming other members in their ensemble.

They will wait until 2018 and meet Agnès Boissonnot-Guilbault (violin) to create the  Etrange Eclat ensemble. Joined by Chloé Lucas (conterbass and violone) and Noémie Lenhof (viole de gambe and cello) they strat to compse a great team of bass.

They start to care about the bass bow repertoire with the idea that the separation between viola and cello is not that cleare as we can think nowadays, and that it exist and large proposition of hybrid instruments in the XVIIs and XVIIIs centuries. In this way, the ensemble is working on the sounds that can offer a blend of their instruments.

In order to touch a larger repertoire as the sonates avec dessus, concertos and cantatas, the ensemble wish to grow and welcome new members on the team.

Dans la vie ou dans le songe
Tout a cet étrange éclat
Du parfum qui se prolonge
Et d’un chant qui s’envola
 Louis Aragon, Les Lilas


Audience Prize

Understories - Demi-finale - 31/05


The Early Music Ensemble UnderStories first came together in 2018 after the encounter of Clara   Pouvreau and Bartolomeo Dandolo Marchesi at the Musikhochschule Frankfurt. Its three members are among the most promising of their generation. Laureates of numerous international competitions as the Bach competition Leipzig, the Förderpreis Alte Musik Saarland in Saarbrücken or the Göttingen Händel competition to name a few, they have had the chance to work with artists such as Beatrice Martin, Kristin von der Goltz, Catherine Jones, Petra Müllejeans, Lars Ulrik Mortensen and Amandine Beyer among others.
They appeard in numerous festivals such as the Utrecht Oude Musik Festival, the Ambronay Festival, Stockholm Early Music Festival, MA Bruges Festival, York early music festival and collaborated with orchestras such as the orchestra of the eighteenth century or the Freiburger Barockorchester.

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Presentation Stradivaria & Anacréon



Since 1987, Stradivaria – Ensemble Baroque de Nantes, directed by the violinist Daniel CUILLER, revive the music of the greatest Baroque composers. The Ensemble performs this particular repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries respecting the historical requirement of this musical heritage.

This approach needs a real commitment from all Stradivaria members, singers and instrumentalists. Fitted with a perfect knowledge of baroque works, they render with authenticity the sound qualities of this repertoire, playing on instruments in accordance with the organological criteria of this period.

Their work on style, phrasing, ornamentation, and on technical requirement, made us to recognize today the “Stradivaria sound”.

« Recreate in performing, showing rather than demonstrating, and let the music speaks… »




Anacréon is a non-profit organisation created more than 25 years ago to promote baroque music and young baroque music ensembles. Anacréon organise each year a season with 7 to 10 concerts, and favours in its programming the discovery of young talents.

This is why Anacréon invited many artists long before they were known, such as:
Patricia Petibon, Violaine Cochard, Magalie Léger, Ophélie et Héloïse Gaillard, Julien Martin, Justin Tailor, Salomé Gasselin, Claire Antonini, Blandine Rannou, Jean-François Novelli …


2017 edition

The winners of the 2017 edition

The Taylor Consort

1st Prize and Audience Prize


Taylor Consort photo site

The Taylor Consort is a chamber music ensemble that brings together young musicians who have an interest in historically informed interpretation and who share a common sensibility and enthusiasm. Conceived by the harpsichordist and fortepianist Justin Taylor soon after his victory at the International Musica Antiqua Harpsichord Competition in Bruges, the ensemble takes pleasure in championing repertories as varied as the trio sonata, Romantic chamber music with a fortepiano, and Baroque vocal music.

The young ensemble has already performed in Paris (at the Hôtel de Soubise, the Petit Palais, the Singer-Polignac Foundation), at the Easter Festival in Deauville, at the Dijon Opera, in Rouen (at the Corneille Chapel), at the Fringe Festival in Utrecht (Netherlands), at the Festival of Pont-Croix, at the Festival of Saint-Michel en Thiérache, at the Misteria Paschalia Festival in Kraków, and at the Anacreon Festival in Angers. The Taylor Consort has also been featured on the “Génération Jeunes Interprètes” show on the national radio station “France Musique”.

The Taylor Consort works closely with the mezzo-soprano Eva Zaïcik. During a residency at the Cité de la Voix in Vézelay, they deepened their approach to eighteenth-century French vocal music. This exciting work on French cantatas will lead to the recording of a first disc for the prestigious Alpha Classics label. The ensemble is currently in residence at the Singer-Polignac Foundation in Paris.

More information on their Website !



2nd Prize



L’Apothéose was born in December 2015 like a space of celebration, reflection and experimentation for its members. From its beginnings, they wanted to take the historical interpretation to the highest level, maintaining clear ideas and joining all their knowledge to convey to the listener the emotional content and rhetoric of each composer. They receive the recognition of the public in each concert for its vigorousness and expression.

They have been the early music winner ensemble at “Circuitos FestClásica 2018”, 1st prize, Bärenreiter prize and Eeemerging prize at the international “Göttingen Händel Competition” 2017, 2nd prize at “Concours International de Musique Ancienne de Val de Loire” 2017 and 2nd prize at the “Förderpreis Alte Musik Saarland” 2016 in Saarbrücken.

Its interpreters have a solid classical and historicist academic training and have been part of ensembles such as the Capilla Real de Madrid, La Madrileña, Bachorchester Mainz, Insula Orchestra and the Spanish National Orchestra among others. As a group, they have received advice from Richard Egarr, Jana Semerádová, Claire Guimond, Kristin von der Goltz, Jesper Christensen, Alberto Martínez or Guillermo Peñalver.

Its chamber music repertoire ranges from the early baroque to the end of classicism, traveling through all the great European nations and their different styles.

Follow L’Apothéose on their website or on their Facebook page!

2015 Edition

Italian art of King Louis XIV’s France

The 2015 Edition took place on 16th and 17th May 2015 in Nantes and Angers.

The ensembles selected :

  • L’Archivolte, France
  • Con GRAZia, Austria
  • Ensemble La Concordia, France
  • Les Contre-Sujets, France
  • L’Escadron volant de la Reine, France
  • Les Fous Divertissants, France
  • The Goldfinch Ensemble, Netherlands
  • Ensemble Melante, France
  • Memento Mori, Switzerland
  • La Nef des Fous, France
  • Presqu’Ensemble, France
  • Les Ramoneurs, USA

The winners of the 2015 edition:

L’Escadron Volant de la Reine: 1st Prize and Audience Prize

The Goldfinch Ensemble: 2nd Prize

Photos and Videos




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This competition is co-organized by Stradivaria and Anacréon. The competition is supported by the Loire region,  the City of Nantes and the City of Angers. In partnership with FEVIS and REMA – European Early Music Network.

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