At tonight's Grand Final, writer and comedienne Sue Perkins successfully emerged from the audience vote to win the BBC's first ever Maestro competition.
Before submitting to the public's choice, Sue was in second place with 67 out of a possible 80 points in the estimation of Maestro judges Sir Roger Norrington, Zoe Martlew, Dominic Seldis and guest judge, the conductor and virtuoso violinist, Maxim Vengerov.
In the Final, Sue, who was mentored during the competition by conductor Jason Lai, performed part of Bruch's Violin Concerto No 1, with soloist Tasmin Little as her 'set work'. For her own choice of work, she conducted the Finale from Stravinsky's ballet, The Firebird.
Runner up was DJ and actor Goldie, who led the judges' vote with 73 out of 80 possible points.
The third competitor in the Final, actress Jane Asher, scored 64 out of 80 points, and was eliminated after a run-off against Sue in the vote by the Maestro house orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra.
Both Sue and Goldie faced the additional challenge of performing the first movement of Beethoven's Symphony No.5 in its entirety.
Of Sue's performance, judge Dominic Seldis said, 'I can't believe what I've just seen – you made conducting Beethoven seem easy.' Maxim Vengerov added, 'Very convincing – great – Maestra!' Of Goldie, chairman of the judges Sir Roger Norrington declared, 'I've said this before – this man is a conductor.'
Sue's next conducting appearance will be at Proms in the Park during the Last Night of the Proms on Saturday 13 September. Clive Anderson presents the climax of the series as Sue takes to the stage in London's Hyde Park to conduct the BBC Concert Orchestra and soloist Lesley Garrett live in front of an audience of 30 thousand people, as well as the millions watching and listening on radio and TV. Tune in to BBC 2 TV at 7.30pm.
A revealing new documentary, Maestro: The Inside Story, will be shown over Christmas.
Maestro winner Sue Perkins tonight wowed the 35,000-strong Proms in the Park audience at the Last Night of the Proms.
Charlotte Higgins, the Guardian’s arts correspondent, was first up with a review of the Maestro Final posted on the Guardian Culture Blog at 9.53 this morning. A Spectator review has also been posted by Henrietta Bredin.
At tonight’s Grand Final, writer and comedienne Sue Perkins emerged from the audience vote to win the BBC’s first ever Maestro competition.
Virtuoso violinist and conductor Maximum Vengerov will replace Simone Young on the panel of judges for the Maestro Final on Tuesday 9 September.
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