The BBC Young Musician 2014 launched its search for the UK’s leading young classical musicians yesterday with the addition of a new Jazz prize and an ambassadorial role for violinist and former winner Nicola Benedetti. First held in 1978, the biennial competition has launched the careers of a number of outstanding musicians including Thomas Adès, Alison Balsom, Natalie Clein, Benjamin Grosvenor, Stephen Hough, Emma Johnson, Guy Johnston, Freddy Kempf, and 2012’s winner, 15-year-old cellist Laura van der Heijden.
‘I’m hugely excited to be returning to the familiar environment of the BBC Young Musician, which holds such extraordinary memories for me,’ said new Young Musician ambassador Nicola Benedetti. ‘I will always be grateful to the BBC Young Musician for providing me with an unparalleled opportunity and platform. Most exciting for me will be to hear new young musicians perform. This competition is one of the greatest examples of the UK’s commitment to developing young musicians, and it must be supported and recognised.’
The competition’s classical format will remain unchanged with five Category Finals (Brass, Keyboard, Percussion, Strings and Woodwind), and a competition Semi-Final where the five Category Winners will compete for three places in the Final. During the Final itself, held on May 18, 2014 at Usher Hall in Edinburgh, the three competitors will perform with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kirill Karabits.
Running alongside this will be the first ever BBC Young Musician Jazz Award, culminating in a Final on March 8, 2014 at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
For full entry details visit BBC Young Musician 2014.