The 18 second-round contestants featured in the opening programme range from the ages of 12 to 19, and play a wide array of instruments from wind, string, brass and piano – including a bassoon, guitar and saxophone.
All are exceptionally talented and there are some really strong personalities, excellent stories and unbridled enthusiasm to bring classical music to a wide audience and become the next Classical Star.
Harry Cameron-Penny – Clarinet
Nineteen-year-old Harry is the principle clarinettist of the London Schools Symphony orchestra and is a very flamboyant character who dreams of a recording career. His parents were both professional musicians who tried to steer him clear of music as a career, but his love for the clarinet won through.
Verity Thirkettle – Harp
Nineteen-year-old Verity has played the harp for 10 years and is already in demand to tour and perform with orchestras. When she's not busy lugging her harp around, she enjoys practising yoga.
Danielle Audley-Wiltshier – Trumpet
Thirteen-year-old Danielle started playing a musical instrument at the age of four, when she found her dad's old cornet when her grandmother was having a clear out. She also loves sports and shopping, and has a varied musical taste including a passion for techno and rock music.
Anke Batty – Clarinet
Anke is 18-years-old and a member of the National Youth Orchestra – she also plays the piano and sings. A very focused young lady who is studying law at university.
Ben Westlake – Clarinet
Ben is 14-years-old and loves the clarinet because he feels it sounds so natural – almost like an extension of the human voice. Ben would either like to become a solo performer or a conductor, and has won awards for his playing. In his spare time he loves playing cricket and tennis.
Karen Geoghegan – Bassoon
Nineteen-year-old Karen would love to show the world the bassoon as a solo instrument, because it is not very well known. If she couldn't be a musician she would be a mathematician, and she is a big fan of tennis star Roger Federer.
Robert Torrance – Violin
Nineteen-year-old Robert cuts a fine figure at 6ft 3in and has been playing for 13 years. When not in a concert hall, he can be found indulging in his other passion on the football pitch. Robert is studying psychology at university so is an expert in juggling his time to keep up his music practice.
Jeanine Thorpe – Violin
Jeanine is 18, studies at the Royal College of Music and has always wanted to be a solo concert performer and recording artist. Although she is from a non-musical family, she couldn’t imagine life without her violin and is in her element when performing.
Lavinia Redman – Oboe
At the age of 12, Lavinia is one of the youngest contestants. She has only been playing for three-and-a-half years but has already reached top standard and even won a few competitions. She also loves drama, dancing and cycling. However, music is her first love.
Catherine Robb – Double Bass
The double bass is not the easiest of instruments to specialise in, but 17-year-old Catherine loves a challenge. She enjoys playing the double bass because it is an instrument of mystery, and she wants to show the world what it can do. She has named her double bass Maximilliano because she loves it so much!
Emil Huckle-Kleve – Violin
Seventeen-year-old Emil has been playing the violin and piano since he was six-years-old. He loves many styles of music including Muse and Queen. Aside from music, Emil also loves playing and watching football.
Benjamin MacDougall – Flute
Ben is 19 and is a scholar at the Royal College of Music. He is very keen on taking music out to people. He thrives on performing and always had an ambition to become a soloist and recording artist. Ben loves the outdoors, loves walking in his native Lakeland fells and is a very keen mountain biker.
Victoria Goldsmith – Violin
Victoria is 16 and started playing when she was six-and-half years old. She has already won several competitions. Victoria studies in Moscow and loves to compete – thriving on the pressure to perform.
Emily Hooker – Piano
Eighteen-year-old Emily was introduced to the piano at the age of six and fell in love with the sound. She has a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music and is also a keen tennis player – if she weren't a musician she would love to be a sports commentator.
Tyler Rix – Saxophone
Tyler is 14-years-old and has played the saxophone since the age of nine. He is also a talented footballer – having been signed to West Ham at the age of eight – and was on this year's winning team for the English Schools FA National Cup.
Stella Cho – Cello
When 16-year-old Stella first came to England many years ago, she loved the fact that she could communicate through music as she learned the language. She now performs as a guest soloist at the Royal Albert Hall and would love to become a solo performer.
Sophie Cashell – Piano
Sophie is 19 and studies at the Royal Academy of Music. She loves all kinds of music but has a particular passion for indie and Irish singer/songwriters. Her siblings are all musical and this familial conviviality is expressed through her playing. She also loves reading and writing poetry.
Sixteen-year-old Ian was inspired to play the guitar by Dire Straits and The Beatles. He played many styles before falling in love with the classical guitar. A lad of many guises, he also loves golf and Pink Panther movies.