17-year-old French horn player Annemarie Federle from Cambridge has won the Brass Final of this year’s BBC Young Musician. She also reached the Brass Final of the competition back in 2018, and since then has been studying at Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge, where she studies maths and science as well as music. She has a place at the Royal Academy of Music, which she will be taking up in the autumn term.
Annemarie’s choice of programme included Schumann’s Allegro Op. 70, as well as a piece by Franz Strauss, father of Richard Strauss, and a world premiere: Cetus by Will Harmer.
She follows in the steps of oboist Ewan Millar, who won last week’s Woodwind Final, and pianist Thomas Luke, the winner of this year’s Keyboard Final.
She was up against fellow French horn player Joseph Longstaff from Hertfordshire. He performed a series of more recent and contemporary works, spanning the late 19th century in Glazunov’s Rêverie Op. 24 through the 20th century with the third movement from Jane Vignery’s Horn Sonata Op. 7, as well as Solo X, a piece by the contemporary composer Kalevi Aho. He is in his first year of studies at the Royal Academy of Music with another of this year’s brass finalists: 19-year-old trombonist Meggie Murphy from Cardiff, who led with Guy Ropartz’s Pièce in E flat minor. She also performed contrasting works by Elgar and Richard Peaslee.
The second trombonist in this year’s Brass Final was 17-year-old Rhydian Tiddy from South Wales, who studies at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester and is principal trombonist with the National Youth Orchestra. His programme included Folke Rabe’s Basta, a piece which directs the performer to ‘hurry on’ and ‘hurry off’ stage, and features multiphonics. He also performed the second movement of Leopold Mozart’s Trombone Concerto and Frank Martin’s Ballade.
The sole tuba player in the final was 18-year-old William Burton from Sheffield. His programme included Monti’s Csárdás, originally composed for violin and piano, and was praised for his dexterity. He also performed the opening movement of contemporary composer Edward Gregson’s Tuba Concerto.
Presenter Anna Lapwood was joined by euphonium player and former Brass Final winner David Childs to discuss the finalists’ performances. 2016 finalist Jess Gillam returned for the latest in her series of conversations. This time, she was joined by fellow 2016 finalist and French horn player Ben Goldscheider.
The Brass Final’s jury was chaired as usual by Angela Dixon, chief executive of Saffron Hall, and also included Katy Woolley, principal horn with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Music, and trombonist Peter Moore, who won the competition back in 2008. He is the most recent brass winner of the competition and has gone on to enjoy a solo career and now holds the position of co-principal trombone with the London Symphony Orchestra.
Annemarie will go on to compete in the semi-final of the competition in the autumn. The percussion final will be broadcast on BBC Four on Sunday 24 May at 7pm.
Watch the highlights of the woodwind final here and watch the complete performances here.