Young Musician of the Year



Humphrey Burton (1978-92)

Sarah Greene (1994)

Christopher Warren-Green (1996)

Stephanie Hughes (1998-2004)

Howard Goodall (2006)

Gethin Jones (2008)


Ernest Lush (1978)

Jane Glover (1988)

Mervyn Williams (1990)

Edward Gregson (1990 final)

Paul Daniel (1992 final)

Sarah Walker (1996)

Alistair Appleton (2004)


BBC 2, 7 February 1978 to present

BBC Four (early rounds), 2002 to present


Lest you should think that is just about rip-off phone-ins, people eating creepy-crawlies, and badly-thought-out lottery promotions, we bring you... Culture! With a capital C.

The instrumental portion of the BBC's brace of high-brow musical contests (this runs in even numbered years, Cardiff Singer of the World in odd numbered) consists of a series of semi-finals for Brass, Woodwind, Keyboards, Strings and (since 1994) Percussion, with the winners progressing to the Concerto Final where they play with a full orchestra, invariably prompting letters to the Radio Times asking rhetorically how you judge a violinist against a percussionist anyway. The champion goes on to the Eurovision Young Musicians competition, where they're beaten by the Austrian contender.

In each category, the competitors perform a solo piece, or a concerto - a work that spotlights their solo instrument with orchestral accompaniment. The category winners progress to the gala final.

Regional heats were shown in 1978; a round before the category final was shown until 1994, and again in 2002 and 2004. Until 2000, all programmes were shown on BBC2; since 2002, the heats have been shown on digital channel BBC4, with only the final going out on BBC2.


1978 - Michael Hext (trombone)
1980 - Nicholas Daniel (oboe)
1982 - Anna Markland (piano)
1984 - Emma Johnson (clarinet)
1986 - Alan Brind (violin)
1988 - David Pyatt (horn)
1990 - Nicola Loud (violin)
1992 - Frederick Kempf (piano)
1994 - Natalie Clein ('cello)
1996 - Rafal Payne (violin)
1998 - Adrian Spillett (percussion)
2000 - Guy Johnston ('cello)
2002 - Jennifer Pike (violin)
2004 - Nicola Benedetti (violin)
2006 - Mark Simpson (clarinet)


The contest was established in 1978 by BBC Music employees Humphrey Burton and Walter Todds.

See also

Eurovision Young Musicians

Web links

Official site

Wikipedia entry


To correct something on this page or post an addition, please complete this form and press "Send":
If you are asking us a question, please read our contact us page and FAQ first.

Name: E-mail:   
A Labyrinth Games site.
Design by Thomas.
Printable version
Editors: Log in