Cameron Bray


BBC Young Musician 2020 applications now open

3:53, 11th June 2019

The search for the next BBC Young Musician has officially begun. Applications for the biennial competition are now being sought, with musicians aged 18 and under eligible to apply. The categories available this year are Brass, Keyboard, Percussion, Strings, and Woodwind.

The audition process will begin in September 2019, leading up to category finals and semi-finals in March 2020. These finals will take place at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, while the grand final will be held at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall in May 2020. There, the finalists will perform with the BBC Philharmonic, playing a concerto which they have chosen. The competition will be broadcast on BBC Four and will also see coverage on BBC Radio Three.

The competition’s previous winner Lauren Zhang says: ‘It’s a fantastic opportunity to gain performance experience, and the feedback from the jury is also extremely useful. There was also something to learn from listening to everyone else’s playing – that was an integral part of the competition for me.’

BBC Young Musician was started in 2020 and is seen as one of the top prizes available to young musicians, with leading figures in the industry taking great interest in the performers who make it to the final.

Previous winners of the competition include the cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who went on to perform at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in May of last year, and the violinist Nicola Benedetti. Notable finalists include Jess Gillam, whose recent debut album RISE reached number one in the classical charts.

Paul Bullock, the competition’s executive editor, says: ‘In 2018 we marked the 40th anniversary of BBC Young Musician in a series of events culminating in a celebratory concert at the BBC Proms. Featuring many illustrious past winners and finalists, it was a vivid reminder of the unique and important place BBC Young Musician has in the musical life of the UK. With the launch of the 2020 competition, we’re all really looking forward to hearing the next generation of talented musicians.’

Details of how to enter can be found HERE.

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