BBC Young Musician of the Year 2012 Draws to a Conclusion

United KingdomUnited Kingdom  BBC Young Musician 2012 Competition Finalists Announced  (RJ)
It is 34 years since the The BBC Young Musician contest was inaugurated. Winning the title has been the launch pad for the careers of many of today’s leading musicians, and the results are always eagerly awaited.

This year 453 applications were received and 404 candidates auditioned. The twenty-five most outstanding will now go forward to the Category Finals from Monday 5th March to Friday 9th March at the Dora Stoutzker Hall, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

With only two opportunities remaining to impress the panel of adjudicators and audience in an attempt to reach the final in May, five enthusiastic performers per category will perform at the Royal Welsh College. The winner of each evening will then receive a place in the Semi-Final on Sunday, March 11, and from these, just three will be selected to go through to the BBC Young Musician 2012 Final. Audiences at home will not miss out as performances will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Four (Category Finals) and BBC Two (Semi-Final and Final).

Previous winners and finalists have gone on to major international careers. Violinist Jennifer Pike is regarded as one of the most gifted of the younger generation of British artists and was the youngest ever winner of the competition in 2002. She will be performing in an evening of recitals at Music Nation Cymru on Sunday, March 4.

“The BBC Young Musician 2002 competition was a life-changing experience for me, not only because of the wonderful concert opportunities and recordings that it led to, but also because of the great pleasure I had taking part,” says Jennifer. “I shall always remember the very special atmosphere and I feel honoured to have met so many terrific musicians at each stage of this prestigious competition. My advice to all the participants would be to remember that once you are on stage, what matters most of all is that you enjoy communicating the music to the audience.”

Nineteen-year-old Benjamin Grosvenor is an internationally recognised pianist and came to prominence following his success at BBC Young Musician 2004, winning the Keyboard Category Final and making his Proms debut in 2011 at the opening night. “The BBC competition really helped to start my career, as it gave me exposure and brought me to the attention of the British classical music world. It opened up a lot of opportunities,” says Ben. “Before the competition, I had only given minor concerts locally, but soon afterwards I found myself, for example, touring Scotland with the Scottish String Ensemble and performing at Wigmore Hall. It was certainly a wonderful and exciting experience at the age of 11, too young to feel pressure or stress. It helped me to grow as a pianist, and caused me to expand my repertoire. The most memorable part for me was playing with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in the final – my debut with a professional orchestra.”

The 25 who have made it to the 2012 Category Finals are:

Keyboard – Monday, March 5, 7pm
Martin Bartlett (15) Piano, Hornchurch, Essex
Adam Boeker (15) Piano, Manchester/Alberta, Canada
Dominic Degavino (16) Piano, Grassmoor, Chesterfield
Victor Lim (17) Piano, Somerset/Malaysia
Yuanfan Yang (15) Piano, Prestwich, Lancs                     

Brass – Tuesday, March 6, 7pm
Jonathan Bates (16) E flat Tenor Horn, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Christopher Dunn (18) Tuba, London
Alexander Kelly (16) Bass Trombone, Hale, Altrincham
Elizabeth Tocknell (17) French Horn, Church Stretton, Shropshire
Elzbieta Young (16) Trumpet, Blackburn, Lancs

Strings – Wednesday, March 7, 7pm

Cristian Grajner-Desa (17) Violin, Heath and Reach, Bedfordshire
Julia Hwang (16) Violin, Bristol

Juliette Roos (16) Violin, Fetcham, Surrey
Joel Sandelson (17) Cello, London
Laura Van Der Heijden (14) Cello, Forest Row, East Sussex

Woodwind – Thursday, March 8, 7pm
Charlotte Barbour-Condini (15) Recorder, Stoke Newington, London
Jordan Black (18) Clarinet, Swindon, Wiltshire
Charlotte Cox (18) Bassoon, Guildford, Surrey
Lucinda Dunne (17) Saxophone, Stallington Village, Staffordshire
Luke O’Toole (18) Flute, Ormskirk, Lancs

Percussion – Friday, March 9, 7pm

James Larter (17) Percussion, Far Cotton, Northamptonshire
Hyun-gi Lee (15) Percussion, Guildford/Seoul, South Korea
Molly Lopresti (18) Percussion, Totnes, Devon

Peter Rayner (15) Percussion, Howe Green, Essex
Richard Rayner (18) Percussion, Howe Green, Essex

To launch the week, BBC Young Musician includes an evening of short recitals at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama on Sunday, March 4, as part of Music Nation Cymru, with performances from past winners; violinist Jennifer Pike (BBC Young Musician 2002), trombonist Peter Moore (BBC Young Musician 2008) and percussionist Lucy Landymore (BBC Young Musician 2010 Percussion Category Winner).

Roger Jones