The BBC Young Musician 2018 competition has been won by the 16-year-old pianist Lauren Zhang. She triumphed with a performance of Prokofiev's formidable Second Piano Concerto, accompanied by the CBSO and conductor Mark Wigglesworth. The other finalists were 18-year-old saxophonist Robert Burton and 18-year-old cellist Maxim Calver.
Zhang started piano lessons at the age of four with Madeline Ignazito and is currently studying for her GCSEs at school in Birmingham. She has quite a competition pedigree, having won prizes at the Ettlingen International Piano Competition in Germany, Young Pianist of the North International Competition and the Wales International Piano Festival, among others, and she is also an accomplished violinist.
Zhang performs Prokofiev with the CBSO and Wigglesworth
On winning the award, Zhang said ‘It’s astonishing – I can’t quite believe it! It’s been a fantastic opportunity to play with the CBSO and the journey right from the start of the competition has been incredible.’
Zhang will be appearing on the BBC Radio 3 stage at The Biggest Weekend in Coventry on May 28, and will also feature at the BBC Young Musician 40th anniversary Prom on July 15 at the Royal Albert Hall in London.