The three finalists of BBC Young Musician 2018 have been announced: 18-year-old saxophonist Rob Burton, 18-year-old cellist Maxim Calver and 16-year-old pianist Lauren Zhang.

The Grand Final of BBC Young Musician 2018 will take place on Sunday 13 May at Symphony Hall, Birmingham. It will be recorded for broadcast the same day at 7pm on BBC Four presented by Clemency Burton-Hill and Josie d’Arby with Alison Balsom, and also on BBC Radio 3 at 7:30pm, presented by Kate Molleson with contribution from Jess Gillam, 2016 BBC Young Musician Finalist.

The winner of BBC Young Musician 2018 will perform on the BBC Radio 3 stage at BBC Music’s The Biggest Weekend in Coventry on Monday 28th May, and also at a special BBC Young Musician 40th anniversary concert at the BBC Proms on Sunday 15 July at the Royal Albert Hall.

For the Final of BBC Young Musician, Rob, Maxim and Lauren will each perform a concerto of their choice, accompanied by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Mark Wigglesworth. The 2016 winner, cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason will return to perform the 4th movement of the Elgar Cello Concerto, before the winner of BBC Young Musician 2018 is announced.

The finalists will perform:
Maxim Calver - Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme, op. 33
Rob Burton: Paul Creston: Concerto for alto saxophone, op. 26
Lauren Zhang: Prokofiev: Piano Concerto no.2, op. 16

The expert panel of judges will be chaired by composer, performer and writer Kerry Andrew, who has sat across all five category finals and the semi-final. Alongside her on the judging panel will be conductor Alpesh Chauhan, cellist Natalie Clein, saxophonist John Harle and pianist Sunwook Kim.

The Semi-Final of BBC Young Musician 2018 was broadcast this evening (Friday 11 May) on BBC Four. The 2018 semi-finalists were percussionist Matthew Brett, saxophonist Rob Burton, cellist Maxim Calver, trombonist Isobel Daws and pianist Lauren Zhang. They were judged by conductor Jessica Cottis, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Gavin Reid, and Chair of the Jury, composer Kerry Andrew.

BBC Young Musician, the UK’s leading contest for young classical musicians has been celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018 with a host of special activity, including a special BBC Four documentary, a new series of podcasts presented by 2016 Finalist Jess Gillam, an exciting line-up of presenters 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 a 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.

Following the success of the first two competitions in 2014 and 2016, BBC Young Jazz Musician will return in 2018.

BBC Young Musician and BBC Young Jazz Musician are run and produced by BBC Studios Music and Entertainment Wales and are broadcast on BBC Four television and BBC Radio 3.


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