BBC Young Musician returns this October

29 September 2022
By Ellie Palmer
The UK talent contest for young classical performers returns to BBC Four, Radio 3, iPlayer and Sounds this October for its 23rd instalment

The biennial BBC Young Musician competition is returning this October for its 23 instalment. The previous instalment, planned for 2020, was delayed until 2021 due to the pandemic. 18-year-old percussionist Fang Zhang was awarded First Prize at the Grand Final in May of that year.


There are numerous categories involved in the competition, with the best young instrumentalists in the fields of brass, keyboard, percussion, strings and woodwind all competing.


Suzy Klein, BBC Head of Arts and Classical Music TV, said: “BBC Young Musician has been bringing the next generation of classical stars to audiences since 1978. So it is with great pleasure that we herald its return to our screens with a new showcase of the most dynamic, charismatic and brilliant young classical performers from across the UK. We are so proud to be able to provide a platform for their artistry and to nurture these emerging stars in the crucial first steps of their careers.”

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The 2022 BBC Young Music Category Finals were recorded in early July at Saffron Hall in Saffron Walden, Essex. The Category Finals were judged by panels chaired by organist, director of music at Pembroke College, and broadcaster Anna Lapwood, and included celebrated instrumentalists such as violinist Jennifer Pike, clarinettist Emma Johnson, horn player and BBC Young Musician 2016 category winner and Grand Finalist Ben Goldscheider, and percussionist Paul Philbert among others. Hour-long programmes of highlights from each Category Final will be broadcast on BBC Four over a week, starting on Sunday 2 October. 


The BBC Young Musician Grand Final, recorded at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on Thursday 29 September, is scheduled for broadcast on BBC Four and BBC Radio 3 on Sunday 9 October, with a presenting team featuring Jess Gillam, Alexis Ffrench and BBC Young Musician regular Josie d’Arby.

The culmination of the contest will see the five Category Winners competing for the prestigious title. Each finalist will perform a concerto with the BBC Philharmonic led by Mark Wigglesworth in front of an expert jury chaired by Anna Lapwood and including BBC Radio 3’s Editor for Live Music Emma Bloxham, Southbank Centre’s Head of Classical Music Toks Dada, conductor Ben Gernon, and sitar player, composer and producer Anoushka Shankar.

Find out more here.