University of Leicester eBulletin

Young East Midlands Musicians Take First Step in National Competition

June 2003
No 161

Eighteen talented young musicians from the East Midlands will take a big step in their musical careers on Friday, June 27, 2003, at the local auditions for the prestigious BBC Young Musician of the Year competition which will take place at the University of Leicester Richard Attenborough Centre.

They come from across the region and include pianists, woodwind, brass and string players.

Successful entrants will progress through the regional finals, quarter finals and semi-finals and may reach the Final to be held in May 2004 at The Usher Hall Edinburgh, when they will be required to play a concerto with a professional orchestra.

The semi-finals and Final are followed avidly by millions of music lovers throughout the country through the BBC television and radio coverage they receive.

The quarter and semi-final stages are open to the public and will be held in December 2003 and February 2004 in the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama in Glasgow.

The biennial BBC Young Musicians’ competition has become widely regarded as Britain’s leading classical music event for young people.  Established in 1978 by Humphrey Burton and the late Walter Todds of BBC Television’s Music Department it has consistently attracted musicians of outstanding talent, many of whom have since won international acclaim.

The Richard Attenborough Centre has numbered several finalists among those who have given recitals there, including the renowned clarinettist Emma Johnson, the cellist Guy Johnston who was overall winner in 2000, the pianist Ron Abramski and – more recently as part of its New Musical Generation series sponsored by HSBC – trumpeter Alison Balsom.

On June 28, the day after the BBC Young Musician of the Year auditions, the Richard Attenborough Centre will welcome another finalist, oboist Elizabeth Couling, to give a recital of music by Telemann, Saint-Saëns, Debussy and York Bowen.

Director of the Richard Attenborough Centre Dr Eleanor Hartley commented: “We are delighted to host the first round of the 2004 BBC Young Musician of the Year competition. The Richard Attenborough Centre has a particular interest in encouraging young musicians. We have always received an excellent audience response when past finalists have come here to perform, and we welcome our involvement with another aspect of this famous springboard for new young talent.”

NOTE TO EDITORS: Photographs and interviews will be welcomed, but please note that no photographs are to be taken during the auditions themselves. 15-minute picture and interview opportunities can be arranged in advance through the University Press Office for 10.45 am, 12.00 noon, 1.45 pm and 3.30 pm.  

Further information is available from:

Dr Eleanor Hartley, Richard Attenborough Centre, tel 0116 252 2455, fax 0116 252 5165, email

Freya Mitchell, BBC Young Musician of the Year Assistant Administrator, mobile 07739 920 105, office tel 020 8576 2825, website

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