2010 competition

Wales Millennium Stadium

Last updated: 17 May 2010


2010 Final

Sunday 16 May, 3pm
Donald Gordon Theatre
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Vasily Petrenko - Conductor

The three finalists performed a concerto in a bid for the title of BBC Young Musician 2010.

Lara Ömeroğlu

Lara ÖmeroğluFelix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64
Allegro molto appassionato
Allegretto non troppo - Allego molto vivace

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)
Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22

Andante sostenuto
Allegro scherzando

Prodigy is a strong thread running through musical history, and so it's fitting that Lara Ömeroğlu played a concerto by Saint-Saëns, as he also was something of a young talent. At the age of 10 he delighted an audience by inviting them to choose any of Beethoven's thirty-two piano sonatas, which he then played from memory. Rapturous applause followed, inevitably.

The world had to wait two more decades to hear the second of his five piano concertos, written in 1868, when Saint-Saëns was at the height of his powers. But in fascinating contrast to the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto we heard earlier tonight, which took six years to write, Saint-Saëns delivered his second concerto in a rather more accountancy-friendly three weeks.

While one can only admire Saint-Saëns' energy, it has to be said this was a pretty mad-cap venture, conceived at recklessly short notice by Saint-Saëns and his friend, the brilliant Russian pianist Anton Rubenstein, when they discovered a Paris concert hall had a free evening in three weeks time. Despite a predictably ropey first performance, the concerto soon became a clear favourite with audiences. It opens at an unusually slow tempo, with a haunting reference to Bach's style, through some startling premonitions of what pianists like Rachmaninov would create several decades later, to a sparkling Mendelssohn-like scherzo; and then to a free-wheeling, moto perpetuo finale that is, to say the least, a crowd-pleaser.

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Callum Smart

Callum SmartFelix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64

Allegro molto appassionato
Allegretto non troppo - Allego molto vivace

It has everything any violinist could want - flashy virtuosity, great drama and tender lyricism - Mendelssohn's E minor Violin Concerto is one of the great Romantic masterpieces.

Mendelssohn wrote it in 1844, and - tragically - it would be among his last major works. Composed for Ferdinand David, one of Mendelssohn's closest friends, the piece was an immediate hit, and quickly taken up by one of the 19th century's greatest violinists - Joseph Joachim.

Despite the effortless ease with which it unfolds, this music cost Mendelssohn a lot of effort and worry - it was six years in the writing, and Mendelssohn worried about all sorts of details - the way the cadenza fitted into the piece, and balance between soloist and orchestra; but as we listen now to music of such grace and elegance, the effort that went into its making seems invisible - surely a hallmark of any great work of art.

It's full of daring adventure - there's no introduction from the orchestra, the violin takes the lead right from the start; and the cadenza - the soloist's big moment in the spotlight, arrives unexpectedly early. After the orchestra rejoins the soloist to end the first movement in rousing fashion, the woodwind lead us into new territory for the slow second movement - a lyrical song without words that takes the soloist soaring into its higher registers; and then the horns sound fanfares to introduce the finale - a whirlwind of zest and exuberance.

This is actually Mendelssohn's second violin concerto - he wrote the first at the grand age of 13! Yet this is the one that has been seized on by every great violinist, including Jasha Heifetz, Yehudi Menuhin, Nigel Kennedy, Anne-Sofie Mutter, and Janine Jansen to name only a few. And it's a measure of Callum Smart's ability that he set himself the challenge of trying to match their achievements. They'd all be wishing him well.

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Emma Halnan

Emma HalnanCarl Reinecke (1824-1910)
Flute Concerto in D major, Op. 283

Allegro molto moderato
Lento e mesto
Finale: Moderato

Emma Halnan brought us the work that probably is the least well known in tonight's final - Carl Reinecke's Flute Concerto in D major.

Carl Reinecke was a fascinating man, whose work should be more familiar to us than it is. This concerto is the most modern we'll hear tonight - written in 1908, it's just 102 years old. And there's a link with Mendelssohn, whose concerto we've just heard: in 1845, the year Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto was premiered, Reinecke was a brilliant young pianist touring Europe, and met Mendelssohn - and Schumann - in Leipzig. He showed Mendelssohn some of his compositions - 'good as gold', apparently, was Mendelssohn's comment.

After making his name as a young concert pianist, Reinecke went on to become a very successful and influential teacher - first in Cologne, then in Leipzig where he taught in the Conservatoire founded by Mendelssohn. He also conducted the Gewandhaus Orchestra in the city, including some very distinguished occasions, such as the first performance of Brahms's great German Requiem.

After retiring from teaching, Reinecke concentrated on composition; much of his work is for the piano, and he was even praised by one of the greatest pianists of all time, Franz Liszt, who talked of his 'beautiful, gentle, legato and lyrical touch'. But the work we'll hear tonight, the Flute Concerto in D major, Op. 283, is one of his most popular, and gives the soloist opportunities to flourish in music that is both virtuosic and charming - and which seems to evoke a happy, innocent time before storm-clouds started to gather over Europe and a Great War changed the world forever.

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Friday 12 February, 7pm
BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff Bay


Callum Smart
Emma Halnan
Lara Ömeroglu
Lucy Landymore
Anna Douglass

Each semi-finalist once again performed their repertoires from the category finals (see below). Three of the performers - Callum Smart, Emma Halnan and Lara Ömeroğlu - went through to the Final, which took place on Sunday 16 May 2010.

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2010 Category Finals

Brass Finalists: Sunday 7 February 2010

Finlay Bain

Finlay BainFrench Horn - Age 18
Accompanist: Alan Jones

Hindemith: Horn Sonata, 1st Movt
Strauss: Nocturno Op. 7
Vinter: Hunter's Moon

Finlay from Ealing, London started playing the French Horn when he was 11. He performs regularly with his school's brass ensemble, brass quintet, wind octet and chamber orchestra. Outside of school he plays with the Ealing Youth Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

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Tom Berry

Trombone - Age 18
Accompanist: Elena Nalimova

Kenny: Fanfare
Schumann: Fantasie-Stücke, 1st Movt, Op. 73
Milhaud: Concertino d'Hiver

Tom from Bolton played the euphonium before taking up the trombone at 11. He always wanted to play in a big band and has been a member of the Wingates and Fodens Brass Bands. He now plays in his Manchester school's Big Band. Apart from music, Tom loves the great outdoors and often goes camping with friends.

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Anna Douglass

Anna DouglassFrench Horn - Age 18
Accompanist: Nicholas Oliver

Krol: Laudatio
Saint-Saëns: Romance in E, Op. 67
Strauss: Concerto No.2 in E Flat, Rondo

Anna from Fulbourn was given her first French Horn for Christmas when she was 8. Ten years later she has progressed to playing Principal Horn with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

She spends much of her days practising but also has to find time for four demanding A-level courses. She would love to have a career in music both as a soloist and an orchestral player.

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Sam Moffitt

Sam MoffittTrumpet - Age 17
Accompanist: Karen Kingsley

Fasch: Trumpet Concerto in D, 1st Movt
Enesco: Légende
Swayne: Lezghinka
Abreu: Tico Tico

Sam from Portsmouth leads a very musical life - he sings in his school choir, has piano lessons - his piano teacher is his accompanist for the competition - and plays in his school orchestra as well as the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

He decided to learn the trumpet because it was "pretty loud", had an "amusement factor" and would annoy his parents! He's also a major fan of Portsmouth Football Club.

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Alex Hamilton

Alex HamiltonFrench Horn - Age 17
Accompanist: Hilary Suckling

Agrell: Romp
Strauss: Nocturno Op. 7
Hindemith: Sonata, 3rd Movt
Koetsier: Scherzo Brillante Op. 96

Alex from Manchester started playing the violin at 7 before turning to the French Horn. He enjoys chamber music and is part of a brass and wind quintet. He also plays in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and follows in the footsteps of his great-grandfather, who was a member of the Hallé orchestra. He loves playing football but his music always comes first!

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Strings Finalists: Monday 8 February 2010

Glain Dafydd

Glain DafyddHarp - Age 17

Fauré: Impromptu Op. 86
Roussel: Impromptu Op. 21
Mathias: Sun Dance, 3rd Movt from Sante Fe Suite

Glain from Bangor, North Wales, started playing the harp when she was 8, inspired by a harp her mother had at home. She was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for two years and plays the piano for her school jazz band.

When her music commitments allow she loves swimming, and goes skiing to Switzerland every January.

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John Hewitt-Jones

John Hewitt-JonesViola - Age 17
Accompanist: William Cale

Walton: Concerto, 1st Movt
Schumann: Märchenbilder, 2nd Movt, Op. 113
Clarke: Morpheus

John from West Dulwich started playing the violin and piano when he was 5 and turned to the viola just 4 years ago. He also does some conducting for his college's Chamber Orchestra and sings in a barbershop group.

He's currently studying for his A levels in English, Italian and Music and when he has the opportunity, enjoys cross country running.

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Katy Smith

Katy SmithViolin - Age 17
Accompanist: Susie Summers

Tchaikovsky: Melody Op. 42
Fauré: Sonata No.1, Op. 13, 1st Movt: Allegro molto
Ysaÿe: Sonata No.6, Op. 27, Allegro giusto non troppo vivo

Katy from Peterborough started playing the violin when she was five years old. Entering the competition has always been one of Katy's ambitions and playing with professional orchestras another. She has by now played with several, including a performance with the European Union Chamber Orchestra alongside Natalie Clein in 2009. She regularly travels to Frankfurt to participate in sound tests for a German string manufacturer.

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Anne Denholm

Anne DenholmHarp - Age 18

Parry: Sonata No.3, 1st Movt: Allegro
Pierné: Impromptu-Caprice Op. 9
Beamish: Awuya
Andrès: Duke

Anne from Carmarthen has been playing the harp since the age of eight. Membership of the National Children's Orchestra inspired her to pursue the harp further and she has since had many great experiences, including playing at Buckingham Palace! She is interested in both performance and academic music.

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Callum Smart

Callum SmartViolin - Age 13
Accompanist: Nicholas Oliver

Brahms: Sonata No.3 in D Minor, Op. 108, 1st Movt
Ravel: Tzigane

Callum, from Tunbridge Wells, loved playing the violin from an early age and has performed in recitals and as a concerto soloist. As well as having made it to the BBC Young Musician 2010 Strings Category Final, he will soon be travelling to Oslo for the Yehudi Menuhin competition final. When not concentrating on his music, Callum also enjoys playing football, basketball, and tennis.

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Keyboard Finalists: Tuesday 9 February 2010

Frederic Bager

Frederic BagerPiano - Age 18

Beethoven: Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata", 1st Movt: Allegro assai
Messiaen: Prélude No.1 "La Colombe"
Chopin: Sonata No.2 in B Flat Minor, Op. 35, 1st Movt: Grave, Doppio movimento

Frederic grew up in Morges, by Lake Geneva, Switzerland. He started playing and improvising on the piano at a very young age. As a teenager he left to study in the UK. Since then he has toured China as soloist with his school orchestra and has won a number of competitions, including the Moray Piano Competition. He now lives in London and studies with John Byrne on a full conservatory scholarship.

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Sophie Dee

Sophie DeePiano - Age 16

Haydn: Sonata in E Minor Hob XVI: 34
Chopin: Scherzo No.1 in B Minor

Sophie from Faversham has been playing the piano since the age of six and has always wanted to be a concert pianist. She is a big fan of BBC Young Musician and is the first person from her school to make it to the competition category final. Sophie also plays the violin in her school orchestra and sings in the school choir.

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Yuanfan Yang

Yuanfan YangPiano - Age 13

Haydn: Sonata Hob. XVI: 46 in A Flat Major, 1st Movt
Schumann: Abegg Variations
Trad. arr. Yang: Scarborough Fair
Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No.15

Yuanfan from Manchester is the competition's youngest Category Finalist. He began playing the piano at the age of six when he picked out tunes on friends' keyboards at birthday parties and was rewarded with sweets! He says that learning the piano was like using a computer - fascinating and addictive.

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Lara Ömeroğlu

Lara ÖmeroğluPiano - Age 16

Beethoven: Sonata in B Flat, Op. 22, Allegro con brio
Chopin: Etude in C Sharp Minor, Op. 25, No.7
Ginastera: Suite de Danzas Criollas, Op.15
i. Adagietto pianissimo
ii. Allegro rustico
iii. Allegretto cantabile
iv. Calmo e poetico
v. Scherzando - Coda: Presto ed energico

London-born Lara was inspired by her sister to start learning the piano. She loves performing and the buzz of competing and is also an accomplished viola player and competitive swimmer! Lara has received numerous prizes in competitions and holds a scholarship at her school where she studies with Emily Jeffrey. Her dream is to one day record a CD of her own.

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Seán Rooney

Seán RooneyPiano - Age 16

Prokofiev: Sonata No.6, Op. 82, 1st Movt
Rachmaninoff: Prelude, Op. 32, No.10
Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No.6

Seán from Mayobridge, near Newry, Northern Ireland began learning the piano after watching his sisters' piano lessons. He enjoys 20th century repertoire and plays the organ at his local church. He was inspired to enter the competition after Benjamin Grosvenor won the 2004 Keyboard Category Final and thought he could give it a go! He won the Northern Ireland Young Musician competition in 2007 and his ambition is to be a concert pianist.

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Woodwind Finalists: Wednesday 10 February 2010

Lavinia Redman

Lavinia RedmanOboe - Age 15
Accompanist: Daniel King-Smith

Vivaldi: Concerto in A Minor, 3rd Movt
Schumann: Stille Tränen, Op. 35, No.10
Silvestrini: Le ballet espagnol (Manet)
- Six Etudes for Oboe, No.6
Colin: Solo de Concours, Op. 33

Lavinia from Clapton-in-Gordano, north Somerset started lessons on the guitar and violin but then heard her headmistress play the oboe in assembly and fell in love with the instrument. Her godfather also suggested she play a woodwind instrument because she doesn't stop talking! She competed in Classical Star at the age of 12 but hopes to go further in this competition.

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Joe Norris

Joe NorrisClarinet - Age 17
Accompanist: Julia Lynch

Penderecki: Three Miniatures
Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Sonata, Op. 128, 3rd Movt: Lullaby
Rabaud: Solo de Concours, Op. 10

Joe from Perth, Scotland, started playing the clarinet as a way into the jazz saxophone. He now plays both instruments to a high standard and organises his school's jazz band, which rehearses weekly. He performs with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and also enjoys composing. Apart from music, he likes snowboarding, playing tennis and hill walking.

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Emma Halnan

Emma HalnanFlute - Age 17
Accompanists: Daniel King-Smith (Piano), Hristo Dushev (Marimba)

Harty: In Ireland
Bach: Concerto in G minor, Largo, BWV 1056
Clarke: Spiral Lament
Godard: Valse - Suite de Trois Morceaux, 3rd Movt, Op. 116

Emma from Letchworth is studying for her A Levels. She is in a flute and percussion duo which will perform as part of her programme. She has performed at venues including the Wigmore Hall and Westminster Abbey and plays in the Hertfordshire County Youth Orchestra and a micro orchestra called Elastic Band.

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Chloé Greenwood

Chloé GreenwoodOboe - Age 17
Accompanist: Elena Nalimova

Dutilleux: Sonate
Doráti: Five Pieces:
No.1: La cigale et la fourmie (d'apres Lafontaine)
No.5: Légerdemain

Chloé from Rochdale's life is filled with performing and concert-going. She is a woodwind prefect at her Manchester school and a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. When she finds time free from all her music activities, she enjoys going to the cinema.

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Ben Westlake

Ben WestlakeClarinet - Age 17
Accompanist: Daniel King-Smith

Brahms: Sonata in F Minor, 1st Movt
Bozza: Aria
Messager: Solo de Concours

Ben from Milton Keynes took up the clarinet at eight. Since then, he has performed in music festivals and concerts all over the country. He currently studies clarinet with David Campbell in the UK and Karl Leister in Berlin. Ben's ultimate ambition is to be a conductor and, when not involved in music, enjoys playing tennis and table-tennis.

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Percussion Finalists: Thursday 11 February 2010

James Larter

James LarterAge 15

Živkovic: To the Gods of Rhythm
Froberger: Toccata No.2 in D Minor
Dyens: Tango en skaï
Bleckner: Construction

James from Northampton has always tapped away with anything he's found to hand - cutlery etc! - but first started having kit lessons when he was 10. He is a member of various ensembles including Zingaresque, a world music improvisation group and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra with whom he recently played three nights at London's Ronnie Scott's. He also enjoys composing his own works.

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Lucy Landymore

Lucy LandymoreAge 17

Živkovic: Ilijaš
Friedman: Texas Hoedown
Zappa: The Black Page
Corea: Children's Song No.1

Lucy from Cambridge is studying for her A Levels in Music, Music Technology and French. She started playing the piano at six years old but was inspired to take up the drums when she went to see her father play in his big band, 78RPM. She is a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and her school jazz band.

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Oliver Pooley

Oliver PooleyAge 17
Accompanist: Elena Nalimova

Gauthreaux: American Suite, 4th Movt
Stock: Jasmine on the Breeze
Bradley: Dance for 5 Drums
Rosauro: Marimba Concerto No.1, 4th Movt: Farewell

Oliver from Manchester had his first drum when he was 8, progressed to a drum kit a few years later and has now been playing orchestral percussion for about three years. He is a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and plays in an alternative music band.

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Delia Stevens

Delia StevensAge 18
Accompanist: Elizabeth French

Živkovic: Ilijaš
Hollinden: Cold Pressed
Creston: Concertino for Marimba, 3rd Movt: Lively

Delia, from Normanton-on-Soar, Leicestershire, started learning percussion when she was 9 and was a Category Finalist in the 2008 BBC Young Musician competition. She is currently studying for her A Levels in Music, English Literature and German and has been a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for three years.

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Hui Wai Nok

Hui Wai NokAge 18
Accompanist: Elena Nalimova

Živkovic: Pezzo da Concerto No.1
Muramatsu: Land
Pécou: Sous L'aile Du Vent
Ptaszynska: Scherzo

Angela, from Tai Po, Hong Kong, began playing percussion when she was 10 and has lived in the UK for five years. After watching the BBC Young Musician competition, she decided to study percussion performance in Manchester and was pleasantly surprised to get through to the category final! In her free time she likes playing computer games and listening to pop music from Hong Kong.

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