BBC Young Musician 2012 heads to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

The search to find the 2012 BBC Young Musician is under way and for the first time will be held at the new Dora Stoutzker Hall at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.

From the passionate and talented musicians eager to be part of this musical journey, 122 were selected to be heard again in the second round, the category auditions, with 25 been offered a place at the category finals in March - Monday-Friday, March 5-9 - with the semi-final on Sunday 11 March, both at the Dora Stoutzker Hall.

Marking 34 years since BBC Young Musician was launched, an astonishing 453 applications were received for 2012 with 404 hopefuls auditioned across the United Kingdom during the regional auditions.

Paul Bullock, series editor of BBC Young Musician, says: "We are thoroughly looking forward to welcoming a new wave of outstanding young musical talent to Cardiff for the next stage of the contest.

"We're also delighted to be returning to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where I'm certain the 25 category finalists will enjoy the outstanding new facilities and the excellent acoustics of the Dora Stoutzker Hall that opened earlier this year."

Five performers per category will perform in front of a panel of respected adjudicators and audience at the category finals, with the five successful category winners receiving a place in the Semi-Final. From these just three will be selected to go through to the BBC Young Musician 2012 Final in May. Audiences at home will not be disappointed as performances will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Four and BBC Two.

Rhian Williams, producer of BBC Young Musician, says: "The standard of performance in the category auditions last week was truly astounding! I'm very much looking forward to hearing the 25 performers selected to go through to the 2012 category finals again when they make their way to Cardiff in March."

Previous winners and finalists have gone on to major international careers with recent winners such as Jennifer Pike, Guy Johnston and Nicola Benedetti now enjoying great success, not only as soloists but also as recording artists.

Pianist Lara Melda, winner of BBC Young Musician 2010, explains how the competition has supported her career so far:

"Taking part in such a prestigious event has already given me several exhilarating performing opportunities all over the UK and beyond, from performing with the Borusan Philharmonic Orchestra in Istanbul to the Antakya Piano Festival in Turkey and a performance in Japan in 2012."

To launch the week, BBC Young Musician includes an evening of short recitals at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama on Sunday, March 4 as part of Music Nation Cymru, with performances from past winners; violinist Jennifer Pike (BBC Young Musician 2002), trombonist Peter Moore (BBC Young Musician 2008) and percussionist Lucy Landymore (BBC Young Musician 2010 Percussion Category Winner).

For the latest news, history of the competition and to see previous performances, visit bbc.co.uk/youngmusician

The venue for the final will be announced in January.

Category finals

  • Keyboard - Monday 5 March, 7pm
  • Brass - Tuesday 6 March, 7pm
  • Strings - Wednesday 7 March, 7pm
  • Woodwind - Thursday 8 March, 7pm
  • Percussion - Friday 9 March, 7pm

Semi-final: Sunday 11 March, 7pm

BBC Young Musician recital - Music Nation Cymru, Sunday 4 March, 7pm

Tickets: £6, student/child concession £3

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama box office: 029 2039 1391. Open Monday to Friday 10am - 5pm to purchase tickets by telephone or in person. Answering machine in operation outside of opening hours. Standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply and calls may be included in your telecom provider's call package.

A £1.75 transaction fee applies to all bookings made online with an optional postage charge of 70p.

Payments made by credit/debit card must be over the value of £5. A 50p fee applies to all credit card transactions made in person or telephone. No fees apply to bookings made by debit card.

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