BBC Young Musician 2010's youngest Category Finalist wins the Walter Todds Bursary

Yuanfan Yang

Last updated: 16 May 2010

As tensions mount for the BBC Young Musician 2010 Final, held at the Donald Gordon Theatre, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff (Sunday, May 16) BBC Wales can reveal that the winner of the Walter Todd Bursary goes to Yuanfan Yang. At 13, the youngest Category Finalist this year, Yuanfan made it to the Keyboard Category Final, where he premièred his own arrangement of Scarborough Fair.

The Walter Todds Bursary is presented in memory of the late Walter Todds, co-founder of the BBC Young Musician competition, where a bursary of £1,000 is allocated at the discretion of the BBC to the performer who did not reach the Final but who showed great promise.

At only 13, Yuanfan Yang holds an impressive CV. Born in Edinburgh and raised in Leeds, he started learning to play the piano at six, passed his Grade 8 with distinction at eight and achieved his Diploma of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music when he was 10.

He now lives in Manchester and is currently studying with Murray McLachlan at Chetham's School of Music. He has won titles at the 2009 Manchester International Piano Concerto Competition, 2009 Chetham's Yamaha Piano Competition and 2009 Ryszard Bakst Chopin Prize. Yuanfan has performed with Manchester Camerata, played at the BBC Radio 3 Pianothon and featured on Radio 3's 'Performance on Three'. In August 2010 he will perform all of Chopin's 24 Etudes in recital.

Yuanfan is also a prolific composer. His performance of his own piece Fantasy in G was broadcast under the title of Yuanfan the Piano Man on CBeeBies and BBC TWO. He premières his own piano concerto in E flat minor at Chetham's in June.

Tonight (Saturday, May 15) BBC TWO viewers can see who out of the five Semi Finalists make it to the final. They are Anna Douglass (brass category winner), Callum Smart (strings category winner), Lara Ömeroğlu (keyboard category winner), Emma Halnan (woodwind category winner) and Lucy Landymore (percussion category winner).

They will be competing for the coveted title of BBC Young Musician 2010, a £2000 cash prize and a stunning trophy, created by Swansea jewellery designer Mari Thomas, who took her inspiration from the performances of the 25 Category Finalists.

"I think I was the only person at the Category Finals with a sketch book," said the artist. "It is a real honour to be asked to create the trophy. I was completely inspired by the competition. I've tried tapping into the energy and fluidity of the performances- they really were astounding and it's so exciting to think that the winner of this amazing competition will be taking home my trophy."


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