Entertainment & Arts

BBC Young Jazz Musician: Teenage trumpeter Alexandra Ridout wins

Alexandra Ridout plays at the BBC Young Jazz Musician competition
Image caption Alexandra Ridout has been playing trumpet since the age of eight

A 17-year-old trumpeter has won the BBC Young Musician Jazz Award 2016, beating her older brother to the title.

Alexandra Ridout, from Aylesbury, competed against her brother Tom, 21, and three other finalists for the prestigious prize.

Following her victory, Ridout, who started playing trumpet when she was eight, said: "I can't believe I even got this far.

"I wasn't expecting to win, but now that I have, it's incredible."

The teenager, who is a member of the Junior Jazz Department at The Royal Academy of Music and a player with the National Youth Jazz Collective, currently studies both jazz and classical trumpet at The Purcell School of Music.

Her victory came at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff, on Saturday 12 March, where her performance included a version of Stevie Wonder's Golden Lady, played on flugelhorn.

BBC Young Jazz Musicians - finalists

  • Alexandra Ridout - trumpet (17 years old)
  • Tom Ridout - saxophone and recorder (21 years old)
  • Tom Smith - saxophone (20 years old)
  • Noah Stoneman - piano (15 years old)
  • Elliott Sansom - piano (21 years old)

All five finalists performed alongside the Gwilym Simcock Trio, for judges Tim Garland, Gwyneth Herbert, Zoe Rahman, Byron Wallen and Julian Joseph.

Joseph said: "We were enchanted by Alexandra's presence as a musician, her sound, but I think most importantly there was a relationship with the blues and swinging that sounds important in her playing.

"We all heard that, and we all felt that, and it really tipped the decision in her favour."

The BBC Young Jazz Musician prize - which is awarded biennially - was established in 2014, as an adjunct to the long-running Young Musician competition.

The first winner was saxophonist Alexander Bone, who performed on Saturday night as the judges deliberated.

He called the competition "an incredibly inspiring night".

"All the finalists, BBC staff, presenters, musicians etc. are such an amazing, genuine group of people," he wrote on Facebook. "It was an absolute honour to be involved."

The competition will be broadcast on BBC Four on 13 May, two days before the BBC Young Musician classical final takes place at the Barbican in London.

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