18-year-old cellist Maxim Calver, from Gorleston-on-Sea in Norfolk, has won the Strings Category Final of BBC Young Musician 2018 and will progress through to the Semi-Final of the competition.

The BBC Young Musician Strings Final was broadcast on BBC Four this evening (Friday 6 April) and will be available to view again on the BBC iPlayer. The Strings finalists were: 19 year-old violinist Elodie Chousmer-Howelles; 17 year-old double bassist Will Duerden; violinist Stephanie Childress who is 18; 17 year-old guitarist Torrin Williams; and cellist Maxim Calver.

The expert panel of judges for the Strings Final were double-bassist Leon Bosch, violinist Jennifer Pike and guitarist Miloš Karadaglić, with Chair of the Jury, composer Kerry Andrew.

BBC Young Musician 2018 will run weekly until the Grand Final on Sunday 13 May, with complementary coverage on BBC Radio 3. The five Category Finals (Strings, Percussion, Woodwind, Brass and Keyboard) will be presented on television by Josie D’Arby, who was joined by BBC Young Musician 1998 finalist, trumpeter Alison Balsom for the Strings Final this evening. Alison, Josie and BBC Young Musician 2004 winner, violinist Nicola Benedetti will come together to present the Semi-Final. Each Category will comprise of five finalists, who each perform in front of an audience and a specialist panel of adjudicators at the new Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. One musician from each Category Final will go through to the Semi-Final, with three going through to the Grand Final.

The Grand Final will take place at Symphony Hall Birmingham on Sunday 13 May, accompanied by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Mark Wigglesworth. It will be broadcast later the same day on BBC Four presented by Clemency Burton-Hill, Josie D’Arby with Alison Balsom, and also on BBC Radio 3, presented by Kate Molleson.

BBC Young Musician, the UK’s leading contest for young classical musicians celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2018 with a host of special activity including a special BBC Four documentary, a new series of podcasts, an exciting line-up of presenters and judges and the first ever BBC Young Musician Prom.

Since the competition was first held in 1978, it has come to be regarded as the benchmark for outstanding young talent, with a reputation for discovering and championing the stars of the future. The 2016 winner, 17-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, has gone on to perform at range of high-profile events including at the BBC Proms and the BAFTAs, and his recent debut album made history by crashing into the top twenty in the Official Album Charts and topping the Classical Charts.


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