The BBC New Generation Artists for the 2022-24 intake have been announced, with the line-up including musicians from four different continents, and the scheme’s first ever accordionist and countertenor.

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The artists are: Colombian cellist Santiago Cañón-Valencia, the Berlin-based Leonkoro Quartet, New Zealand-born violinist Geneva Lewis, Scottish jazz pianist Fergus McCreadie, South African soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha, English countertenor Hugh Cutting and Scottish accordionist Ryan Corbett (pictured).

They join the New Generation artists who have been on the scheme since 2021, and remain on it until December 2023: British-Israeli pianist Tom Borrow, British mezzo-soprano Helen Charlston, Spanish violinist María Dueñas, German-Romanian baritone Konstantin Krimmel, Indian-American collaborative pianist Kunal Lahiry, the London-based Mithras Trio and British bass William Thomas.

Launched in 1999, the New Generation Artists scheme supports young musicians at the beginning of their international careers with performance opportunities in London and around the UK. These include solo recitals, performances with the BBC orchestras, and appearances at the BBC Proms, Cheltenham Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Ulster Hall, and Snape Maltings among many others venues. Through broadcasts on Radio 3 these rising stars are heard by listeners all over the UK, and across Europe through the European Broadcasting Union.

The scheme has previously helped launch the careers of leading artists such as soprano Fatma Said, pianist Beatrice Rana, guitarist Sean Shibe, clarinettist and composer Mark Simpson and violinist Alina Ibragimova.

Alan Davey, Controller BBC Radio 3 and classical music says: ‘It is a privilege for Radio 3 to be providing performance and broadcast opportunities to young artists as they embark on their international careers. This year, we are particularly proud that the New Generation Artists joining the scheme showcase a variety of instruments and voices and come from many corners of the world. This means that our audiences can experience and discover a variety of music by encountering these inspiring young performers. We hope listeners will enjoy witnessing these young artists as they push boundaries, evolve, and leave their own personal mark on the art of music.’

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Upcoming BBC Radio 3 broadcasts celebrating the New Generation Artists past and present include: a series of four Radio 3 Lunchtime Concerts recorded at the Hay Festival (broadcast from Tuesday 31 May to Friday 3 June), featuring Aleksey Semenenko (violin), the Mithras Piano Trio and soprano Ruby Hughes; performances recorded at theAldeburgh Festivalby Timothy Ridout (viola), Alexander Gadjiev (piano), Ema Nikolovska (mezzo-soprano), Kunal Lahiry (piano) and the Quatuor Arod (highlights broadcast in Radio 3 in Concert on 23 June); a series of live Radio 3 Lunchtime Concerts from the Cheltenham Festival, introduced by Ian Skelly and featuring mezzo-soprano Helen Charlston, pianists Kunal Lahiry, Tom Borrow and Alexander Gadjiev, violinist Johan Dalene and the Quatuor Arod (Tuesday 12 to Friday 15 July).

Find out more about previous musicians featured in the BBC New Generation Artists scheme here.

Who are this year’s BBC New Generation Artists?

Santiago Cañón-Valencia

Cellist
Colombian

Santiago Cañón-Valencia made his orchestral debut as a soloist when he was six years old with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá. Since then, he has appeared with all the major orchestras in his native Colombia and his international solo career has taken him around the world. He won the Silver Medal and 'Audience Favourite' Award at the 2019 XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition as well as the the 2018 Starker Foundation Award, and - as a passionate advocate for new music - has given numerous premieres, including Carlos Izcaray’s Cello Concerto 'Stringmaster'. He released his debut CD, 'Solo', in 2013.

Geneva Lewis

Violinist
New Zealander

The last two years have been busy for Geneva Lewis, who, in 2020, won the Grand Prize of the Concert Artists Guild Competition, followed by an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2021 and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2022. She has performed with musicians including Kim Kashkashian, Jonathan Biss and Mitsuko Uchida and was selected for the New England Conservatory’s Community Performances and Partnerships Program’s Ensemble Fellowship, through which her string quartet created interactive educational programs for audiences throughout Boston.

Fergus McCreadie

Jazz pianist
Scottish

Fergus McCreadie leapt to public attention after self-releasing his debut album Turas in 2018, rooted in a Scottish folk tradition. It was named Album of the Year at the Parliamentary and Scottish Jazz Awards and was shortlisted for the cross-genre Scottish Album of the Year Award 2019. A BBC Jazz Musician of the Year Finalist (2018), he frequently works with his trio, featuring long term cohorts David Bowden and Stephen Henderson.

Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha

Soprano
South African

Winner of the Song Prize, and a Main Prize finalist at the 2021 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, Masabane Cecilia started singing at an early age 'at her beautiful Mother’s knee in Limpopo province,' as the soprano puts it. After finishing her training at the University of Cape Town and the Artist Programme at Cape Town Opera, she took part in the Royal Opera House's Jette Parker Young Artists Programme for the 2018/21 Season, going on to join the Konzert Theater Bern for two Seasons in autumn 2021.

Hugh Cutting

Countertenor
English

Since winning the Kathleen Ferrier Award in autumn 2021, becoming the first countertenor to do so, Hugh Cutting has been much in demand. His recent and upcoming concert engagements include the English Concert and Kristian Bezuidenhout (Purcell Odes for a Queen), Collegium Vocale Gent and Philippe Herreweghe on tour in Europe (Bach B Minor Mass), and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Graham Ross (Bach St Matthew Passion) – to name just a few. He has recorded Purcell ‘Royal Odes’ with The King’s Consort and Robert King, alongside Iestyn Davies and Carolyn Sampson, as well as German Baroque arias with Iestyn Davies and Fretwork for Signum Classics. And he can be heard this Friday (27 May) at Kings Place, performing alongside Lucy Crowe and Roderick Williams in a programme for SoundVoice UK focussing on vocal identity concerning voice loss in terminal health conditions.

Ryan Corbett

Accordionist
Scottish

Self-taught on the accordion until the age of 14, Ryan Corbett has since won many prizes and accolades, including the Keyboard Prize, First Prize and Gold Medal at the Royal Over Seas League Annual Music Competition, becoming the first accordionist to win the Gold Medal since 1993. He has given solo recitals at the Berlin Philharmonie, amongst other venues, and, as an avid chamber musician, has been invited to play with Red Note Ensemble, Hebrides Ensemble, and the Maxwell Quartet. He frequently writes his own musical arrangements for accordion, one of which - Rameau’s ‘Entrée de Polymnie’ from ‘Les Boréades’ - was performed for Prince Charles during his official visit to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Leonkoro Quartet

String Quartet
German

Founded in 2019 in Berlin, where they still receive intensive coaching from the world-renowned Artemis Quartett, the Leonkoro Quartet has reached formidable heights in only three years, having won the first prize and nine special awards at this year's Wigmore Hall String Quartet Competition. These included, among others, the prize for the best interpretation of a Haydn String Quartet, the prize for the best performance of a 19th century work, the Britten Pears Young Artists Programme Prize, the Leeds International Concert Series Prize as well as the prize of the Esterházy Foundation. This season, the Leonkoro Quartet will play at the Laeiszhalle Hamburg, the Konzerthaus Berlin, the String Quartet Biennale of the Philharmonie de Paris, the String Quartet Festival in Heidelberg and the Rheingau Music Festival, among other venues.

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Photo: Sean Corbett

Authors

Hannah Nepilova is a regular contributor to BBC Music Magazine. She has also written for The Financial Times, The Times, The Strad, Gramophone, Opera Now, Opera, the BBC Proms and the Philharmonia, and runs The Cusp, an online magazine exploring the boundaries between art forms. Born to Czech parents, she has a strong interest in Czech music and culture.