The finalists of the BBC Young Musician 2016 competition have been revealed. They are saxophonist Jess Gillam and cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, both aged 17, and French horn player Ben Goldscheider, aged 18.


The final takes place on Sunday, 15 May, at London’s Barbican, with each of the finalists performing a concerto of their choice, accompanied by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Mark Wigglesworth. Saxophonist Jess Gillam has selected Michael Nyman’s Where the Bee Dances (1998), Ben Goldscheider is performing Strauss’s Second Horn Concerto, and Sheku Kanneh-Mason is tackling Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1.

The panel of judges consists of composer Dobrinka Tabakova, saxophonist Amy Dickson, horn player Alec Frank-Gemmill, cellist Jamie Walton and David Pickard, director of the BBC Proms.

The pianist Martin James Bartlett, who won the previous competition in 2014 at the age of 17, is returning to perform the first movement of Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto just before the winner is announced.

It has been a busy week for cellist Kanneh-Mason, who also performed at the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards on Tuesday night, where he received an RPS Duet Prize.


The final is being recorded for broadcast on BBC Four on Sunday evening, at 7pm, and is presented by Clemency Burton-Hill, Alison Balsom and Josie D’Arby. It will also air on Radio 3 at 7.30pm with Sarah Walker presenting.


Neil McKimFormer Production Editor, BBC Music Magazine

Neil McKim is the former Production Editor of BBC Music Magazine. He is now the production editor of BBC Sky at Night Magazine.