The National Centre for Early Music (NCEM) is an educational music charity based in St Margaret's, a medieval converted church in the heart of York. The organisation is the national advocate of early music in England, providing experiences and opportunities of the highest quality to an ever widening and diversified community, running an ambitious national programme including the prestigious York Early Music Festival, the Beverley and East Riding Early Music Festival and the York Early Music Christmas Festival.
The NCEM has partnerships with festivals and conservatoires across Europe designed to support emerging early music ensembles and boasts two major competitions, which encourage talented young composers and gifted early music specialists - the NCEM Composers Award and the York Early Music International Young Artists Competition. These major events attract national and international interest and are supported by BBC Radio 3 and some of the finest musicians in the world.
The NCEM promotes St Margaret's as a significant venue for music and creative learning, embracing over 100 folk, jazz, world and contemporary music concerts per year. The NCEM offers the venue for hire for conferences, meetings, wedding receptions and parties. As wedding and conference venue, the NCEM has won several local tourism awards. Most recently, the venue has been ‘Highly Commended’ in the ‘Conference Venue of the Year’ category at the York Tourism Awards in 2017, and a finalist in the ‘Wedding Venue of the Year’ category at the same awards in 2018.