Grand Final of BBC Young Musician 2020 to take place in May after a year of Covid delays


By Ellie Palmer

15 April 2021

The Semi Final will take place on 30 April on BBC Four, and the Grand Final will take place on the first weekend in May on BBC Four and BBC Radio 3

Nearly a year after the competition’s category finals were broadcast in May 2020, BBC Young Musician returns for the last two rounds of the 2020 event – delayed as a result of the pandemic - over one weekend on BBC television and radio.

Now in its 22nd edition, the leading UK contest for young classical musicians has launched the careers of international stars such as Nicola Benedetti, Mark Simpson and Sheku Kanneh-Mason and celebrates the talent of some of the country’s most promising young performers.

The BBC Young Musician Semi Final - recorded pre-COVID-19 in March 2020 at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, at a time when audiences were still able to attend music events without restrictions - is broadcast on BBC Four on Friday 30 April. Competing for the three places in the Grand Final will be the exceptional category winners: 18-year old Annemarie Federle (French horn); 19-year old Coco Tomita (violin); 18-year old Ewan Millar (oboe); 17-year old Fang Zhang (percussion); and 17-year old Thomas Luke (piano).

The competition’s Grand Final - recorded in April 2021 at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, without an audience in attendance and in strict compliance with current COVID-related government guidelines - is broadcast on BBC Four on the first weekend of May (date TBC). Accompanied by the BBC Philharmonic conducted by Mark Wigglesworth, performing with reduced numbers to allow the required social distancing, the three finalists will compete for the BBC Young Musician 2020 winner title.

Jan Younghusband, Head of BBC Music TV Commissioning says: “After one of the most difficult years for the music industry, we are delighted to offer a moment of hope and celebration to our audiences at home and to the artists with the broadcast of the final rounds of the BBC Young Musician competition, with great music-making from the exceptionally talented young musicians, and to provide this important platform for the stars of the future”.

The Semi Final and Grand Final will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer for 12 months after initial broadcast, with audio from the Grand Final available on BBC Sounds for 30 days.