BBC Young Musician celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2018 with a BBC Four documentary, a new series of podcasts, and the first ever BBC Young Musician Prom.

This year’s competition was launched on BBC Four on 6 April, running weekly until the grand final on 13 May, with complementary coverage on Radio 3. The five category finals (Strings, Percussion, Woodwind, Brass and Keyboard) will be presented on television by Josie D’Arby, who will be joined by BBC Young Musician 1998 finalist Alison Balsom and 2004 winner Nicola Benedetti for the semi-final.

Each category will comprise five finalists, who will 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.

Nicola Benedetti will be the BBC Young Musician Ambassador for the third competition running, and will mentor the 2018 semi-finalists in the run-up to the grand final.

The grand final, which will take place at Symphony Hall Birmingham on 13 May, will see the three finalists perform alongside 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 and Alison Balsom, and also on Radio 3, presented by Kate Molleson.

All performances from the series will be available to view in full on the BBC Young Musician website.

The 40th anniversary of BBC Young Musician will be marked by a host of additional activity, including a brand new series of BBC Young Musician podcasts, presented by 2016 finalist Jess Gillam, who will explore what it takes to be a musician in today’s world, with help from a host of special guests.

A special documentary on BBC Four will examine the careers of Gillam and the other two finalists from 2016, cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and French horn player Ben Goldscheider, as well as exploring the competition’s history and considering its future, with contributions from Nicola Benedetti, Humphrey Burton (who co-created the competition and presented it for many years), conductor Mark Wigglesworth, and music critic Jessica Duchen.

2018 will also see the first ever BBC Young Musician Prom, which will feature performances from former winners and finalists.

BBC Young Jazz Musician will also return in 2018, with further details to be announced next week.

Above feature taken from the Rhinegold Publishing