University of Leicester eBulletin

Chance to Shine for Tomorrow's Musical Stars

February 2003
No 48

The University of Leicester Richard Attenborough Centre this year has a threefold link with the prestigious BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition.

Two of the young stars performing at the Centre in March and May 2003 are former BBC Young Musician of the Year prizewinners, while on June 27 young local musicians aspiring to take on that role can take part in the Regional Auditions, also at The Richard Attenborough Centre.

On Saturday, March 15, 2003 the Centre will present the third concert in its “New Musical Generation” in association with HSBC Bank. This concert will feature Elizabeth Couling (oboe), concerto finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year 2000, who will perform music by Telemann, Saint-Saens, Debussy and York Bowen.

Since her televised performance of the Richard Strauss Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic conducted by Jan Pascal Tortelier in the BBC Young Musician Concerto finals, she has been invited to perform a wide range of concertos ranging from the Baroque period through to the twentieth century.

Commenting on her performance of the Strauss concerto, The Daily Telegraph wrote:   “She brought a heart-easing inwardness to the lyrical writing that marks her out as a musician of rare quality.” 

Elizabeth Couling’s concert will be followed by the next in the series on Thursday, May 22, 2003, with Alison Balsom (trumpet), brass finalist of the BBC Young Musician of the Year 1998 and prizewinner at the Maurice André International Competition, Paris.

Speaking of the series of recitals which over the next three years will feature young stars of the music world, Organising Tutor for Music at the Richard Attenborough Centre Philip Herbert said: “These young and gifted artists have something very special to offer an audience, through their ability to communicate and make music of the highest possible order. This series seeks to celebrate their youthful achievements and offers Leicester audiences a chance to hear them as they continue to further develop their skills as musicians.

“Many of these artists go on to do great things, including joining the BBC’s New Generation Artists’ scheme, where they are encouraged to work with musicians of similar outlook in playing solo recitals, chamber music, broadcasts and recordings.”

A spokesperson for HSBC said: “High quality people are at the heart of our business, especially here in Leicester where we are one of the largest employers. HSBC’s sponsorship of the New Musical Generation concert series at the Richard Attenborough Centre is an ideal way for the bank to put back into the community locally while enjoying an ongoing association with quality and talent.” HSBC and the Richard Attenborough Centre, whose association began in November, have also received an investment from Arts & Business New Partners to further develop their creative partnership. Arts & Business New Partners is funded by the Arts Council of England and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Heralding the forthcoming BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition, Philip Herbert continued: “For local young musicians, this not only presents a great opportunity to come and enjoy other young musicians performing in concert, but they may also be encouraged to audition for a place in the Competition themselves.”

Those who are inspired to take part can find further details on how to enter the competition on the BBC Competition website or can enter the competition on line or email to request a brochure at The completed application form must be returned with the relevant attachments by Tuesday, April 1st, 2003.

Tickets  for the Elizabeth Couling Concert cost £10, £9 (retired) and £7.50 (concession), and group booking discounts are available. Further details are available from the Centre, telephone 0116 252 2455, facsimile 0116 252 5165, email

NOTE TO EDITORS: More information is available from Philip Herbert, Organising Tutor for Music, University of Leicester Richard Attenborough Centre, telephone 0116 223 1526, email

For more information about the competition contact Jessica Brennan at

An interview opportunity with Elizabeth Couling can be arranged through Rosemary Pickering at 

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