BBC Young Musician, the renowned UK talent contest for young classical performers, returns to BBC Four, Radio 3, iPlayer and Sounds this October for its 23rd instalment.

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The biennial competition has been celebrating up-and-coming musical talents from across the UK for five decades. During that time, it has launched the careers of performers including Nicola Benedetti, Mark Simpson and Sheku Kanneh-Mason.

The 2022 BBC Young Music Category Finals were recorded in early July at Saffron Hall in Saffron Walden, Essex. They follow the format that has served the competition so well, presenting some of the best young performers in the fields of brass, keyboard, percussion, strings and woodwind.

The panel of judges for the Category Finals was chaired by Anna Lapwood, organist, broadcaster and director of music at Pembroke College. Category judges for this year's competition included violinist Jennifer Pike, clarinettist Emma Johnson, horn player and BBC Young Musician 2016 Grand Finalist Ben Goldscheider, and percussionist Paul Philbert.

The competition will culminate with the BBC Young Musician Grand Final, in which the five Category Winners compete for the prestigious title. Recorded at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on Thursday 29 September, the Grand Final is scheduled for broadcast on BBC Four and BBC Radio 3 on Sunday 9 October, with a presenting team featuring saxophonist and broadcaster Jess Gillam, pianist, composer, and producer Alexis Ffrench, and BBC Young Musician regular Josie d’Arby.

The category finalists are:

Strings

Aki Blendis (14, violin); Clara Sophia Wernig (16, violin); Dawid Kasprzak (16, violin); Edward Walton (16, violin); Jaren Ziegler (16, viola)

Woodwind

Alex Buckley (18, clarinet); Isaac Skey (14, flute); Lucas Dick (17, clarinet); Sofia Patterson-Gutierrez (17, flute); Thomas Priestly (18, saxophone)

Brass (pictured above)

Daniel Hibbert (17, horn); Florence Wilson-Toy (17, trumpet); Imogen Moorsom (18, French horn); Phoebe Mallinson (16, trumpet); Sasha Canter (18, trumpet)

Percussion

Eric Zhang (15); George Garnett (18); Jordan Ashman (17); Joshua Gearing (17); Sophie Warner (18)

Keyboard – all piano

Dida Condria (19); Duru Erdogan (18); Ethan Lock (17); Firoze Madon (18); Jacky Zhang (14)

Each finalist will perform a concerto with the BBC Philharmonic led by Mark Wigglesworth in front of an expert jury chaired by Anna Lapwood and including Southbank Centre’s Head of Classical Music Toks Dada, conductor Ben Gernon, and sitar player, composer and producer Anoushka Shankar.

BBC Young Jazz Musician also returns

This autumn also sees the return of BBC Young Jazz Musician. The Jazz Final will take place at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on Saturday 19 November, as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival. Broadcast the following day (Sunday 20 November) on BBC Four, the Jazz Final will similarly see five finalists competing for the title of BBC Young Jazz Musician.

Suzy Klein, BBC Head of Arts and Classical Music TV, said: 'BBC Young Musician has been bringing the next generation of classical stars to audiences since 1978, so it is with great pleasure that we herald its return to our screens with a new showcase of the most dynamic, charismatic and brilliant young classical performers from across the UK.

'We are so proud to be able to provide a platform for their artistry and to nurture these emerging stars in the crucial first steps of their careers.'

The BBC Young Musician 2022 Grand Final will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer for 12 months after initial broadcast, with audio available on BBC Sounds for 30 days.

Dates for your diary

BBC Young Musician 2022 on BBC Four:

Strings Category Final - Highlights: Sunday 2 October, 7pm

Woodwind Category Final – Highlights: Monday 3 October, 7pm

Brass Category Final – Highlights: Tuesday 4 October, 7pm

Percussion Category Final – Highlights: Wednesday 5 October, 7pm

Keyboard Category Final – Highlights: Thursday 6 October, 7pm

Grand Final: Sunday 9 October, 7-10pm

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BBC Young Musician 2022 on BBC Radio 3:

Lunchtime Concert, Tuesday 4 – Friday 7 October, 1-2pm

Authors

Steve Wright
Steve WrightMulti-Platform Content Producer, BBC Music Magazine

Steve has been an avid listener of classical music since childhood, and now contributes a variety of features to BBC Music’s magazine and website. He started writing about music as Arts Editor of an Oxford University student newspaper and has continued ever since, serving as Arts Editor on various magazines.