Past, present and future - The BBC and its Young Musician Competition
Monday 20 May 2013, 19:03
The biennial search for the BBC Young Musician of 2014
starts in earnest today. Applications for next year’s competition are now
welcome. The closing date in 26 July 2013.
Some of the Young Musician of the Year 1978 finalists L-R: Rona Murray, Humphrey Burton , Paul Coker and Michael Collins
The competition was first won by trombonist Michael Hext in
1978. The BBC competition led to the start of the Eurovision Young Musicians Competition
This year the competition sees the usual categories for
brass, keyboard, percussion, strings and woodwind. For the first time this
year, there will also be a new Jazz Award. For more information about this year’s
competition including how to apply, visit the Young Musician website.
Past competitors and winners of the BBC Young Musician of
the Year Competition are an impressive present day roll-call of soloists,
recording artists, composers, and musicians from the UK classical music scene. Some
previous winners include:
- Oboist Nicholas Daniel who won
at 18 years old, and now continues to be a successful recording artists and makes
numerous appearances in concert halls across the UK including the BBC Proms. He
is a Professor of Oboe at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and also
holds teaching posts at Indiana University and the Trossingen Musikhochschule.
In 2011 was awarded the Queens Medal for Music.
- Emma Johnson (clarinet, 1984)
had already played in the National Youth Orchestra for three years when she
entered and won the Young Musician
competition in 1984. She continued studies in English and Music at Cambridge
University. She has a busy concert schedule and has recorded many albums for
label ASV. For a
generation of clarinettists she was also the reason they were introduced to the
instrument at school.
- David Pyatt (horn, 1988),
debuted at the BBC Proms in 1993, principal horn at the London Symphony
Orchestra in 1998 and this year joined the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
- Natalie Clein (cello, 1994),
won the competition at the age of 17, going on to win the Eurovision competition
in Warsaw that year. She debuted at the BBC Proms in 1997 and was one of the
first artists to join the inaugural Radio 3 New Generation Artists scheme of
1999. She has released recordings since 1994 and now teaches at Trinity College
- Nicola Benedetti MBE (violin, 2004) – who was announced today
as the BBC Young Musician of the Year Ambassador for 2014 - took part in the
competition when she was 16, winning with her performance of Szymanowski’s
First Violin Concerto, soon after which she signed with Deutsche Grammophon. She
performed at the Last Night of the Proms in 2012 and was awarded an MBE in the
New Year’s Honours List 2013.
A quick look over competitors over the past 35 years also
reveals a similarly impressive array of now familiar names in the classical music
- Michael Collins (clarinet, 1978)
- Barry Douglas (piano & conductor, 1978)
- Stephen Hough (piano, 1978)
- Tasmin Little (violin, 1982)
- Steven Osborne (piano, 1988)
- Thomas Ades (piano, 1990)
- Colin Currie (percussion, 1994)
- Alison Balsom (trumpet, 1998)
- Benjamin Grosvenor (piano, 1994)
Applications for the competition are now welcome; the deadline for
the classical competition is 26 July. Entries for the jazz award can be
submitted from 1 – 18 August 2013.
Jon Jacob is Editor, About the BBC Blog and website.
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