The renowned biennial competition, BBC Young Musician, which honours the most promising classical musical talents in the UK, is currently accepting entries for the 2024 edition.
Distinguished past victors and participants encompass Sheku Kanneh-Mason (2016), saxophonist Jess Gillam (2016), violinist Nicola Benedetti (2004), pianist Benjamin Grosvenor (2004), pianist Martin James Bartlett (2014), and cellist Laura van der Heijden (2012). The latest champion, in 2022, was percussionist Jordan Ashman.
In an effort to enhance accessibility and promote sustainability while maintaining musical excellence, the audition process for musicians aged 18 and under (born on or after 1 September 2005) has undergone a transformation. Entrants are now required to submit a 10-minute video entry, which will be evaluated and ranked by expert judges.
Following the initial submissions, up to 50 musicians will advance to live auditions—two from each of the eight geographical areas—alongside an additional 34 musicians chosen by the judging panel.
This year, the traditional category finals will be replaced by two quarter-finals, each featuring twelve musicians, and a Semi Final offering six available spots. These, along with the live auditions, will form five 90-minute programmes broadcast on BBC Four and iPlayer.
For the first time since 2012, the Grand Final will be televised on BBC Two and iPlayer as a special programme, featuring highlights of the concerto performances. The full concert programme will also be available on BBC Four and iPlayer, as well as on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Sounds.
Suzy Klein, Head of BBC Arts and Classical Music TV says: “I am delighted to have BBC Young Musician making a welcome return to BBC Two next year. Since 1978 Young Musician has offered a platform to the brightest and best of this country’s young classical performers. This year we’ve changed how easy it is for people to enter making it the most accessible, sustainable and democratic competition we’ve staged so far. Shining a light on different geographical regions allows us to showcase the best young classical talent from across the UK and I can’t wait to see the results.”
The deadline for applications is 12 January 2024, with digital audition judging taking place in January and February, and live auditions scheduled for April 2024. The quarter-finals and Semi Final are set for July, with the Grand Final taking place in October 2024.
Further details for potential entrants can be found at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00bb3wt.