Skip to main contentText Only version of this page
Access keys help
Where I Live
A-Z Index

Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage

Classical Music

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

The Winner
Nicola Benedetti
What are they up to now?
See Also
Some of the previous winners of Young Musician of the Year
How it all started:
Watched by millions throughout the country on BBC TWO and now also BBC FOUR, the biennial BBC Young Musician of the Year competition has become widely regarded as Britain's leading classical music event for young people. It was established in 1978 by Humphrey Burton and the late Walter Todds of BBC Television's Music Department. From the beginning, it attracted outstanding musical talent. Many of the winners and finalists have gone on to major careers, among them Stephen Hough, Barry Douglas, Michael Collins, Nicholas Daniel, Emma Johnson, Tasmin Little, Leon McCawley and David Pyatt.
More information on past winners
Follow their Careers:
One of the major pleasures audiences take in BBC Young Musician of the Year is following the progress of exciting teenage players as they grow into mature performers. Winners of recent years, such as cellists Natalie Clein and Guy Johnston and pianist Freddy Kempf (who was also a prizewinner in the Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow), are now establishing their solo careers after further periods of study. Thomas Adès, a former piano finalist, is now one of the leading composers of his generation with his opera The Tempest recently premiered at the Royal Opera House in London.
Percussion Category Introduced:
In 1994, percussion was introduced as a fifth instrumental category, alongside keyboard, strings, brass and woodwind. The introduction of percussion has increased and broadened interest in the competition, especially since Adrian Spillett won the 1998 title. He went on to become the first percussionist to win a prize in Eurovision Young Musicians, the European competition founded in 1982 as a result of the BBC event's success.
Nicola Benedetti, the 2004 Winner:
The winner of the 2004 competition was Nicola Benedetti, a 16 year-old violinist and former student at the Yehudi Menuhin School. Her performances since winning the title have ranged from a recital at London's Wigmore Hall, to a performance at the Glastonbury Festival.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy
Advertise with us