BBC Young Musician result

14th May 2012 | Concerts, Daily Life, Inspirations | 6 comments

Last night my TV recorder failed to record the Final of BBC Young Musician. I had been so looking forward to it and was crushed to find that I couldn’t watch it when I got home from a coaching session. BBC iPlayer tantalised me with ‘Coming Soon’, but didn’t say when.

So last night I tried to google the result. There was nothing; not on the news pages, not in a general internet search, not even on the BBC web page devoted to the competition. Yet I knew the competition had finished in Gateshead hours before. Why was nobody publishing the result? It seemed bizarre. I watched the 10pm BBC news which didn’t mention it either.

This morning I tried again – still no result. The BBC Young Musician website had still not been updated. Shame on you, BBC Wales! There was nothing on the news pages. And finally it was from Norman Lebrecht’s blog that I learned the winner’s name. I’m thrilled that cellist Laura van der Heijden was the winner (readers will remember I mentioned her at an earlier stage of the competition), but surely there should be far more fanfare and celebration of her and of the other outstanding young musicians? For me, and I imagine for many others, these young people have been an inspiration over the weeks of the competition. Why on earth is the publicity so reticent? Shouldn’t we be shouting from the rooftops about talent of this order?


  1. Roxy

    I agree. I opened the BBC news page and there was nothing, not even in the entertainment and arts page, from a quick glance. Laura van der Heijden or a lady with a dancing dog (BGT)? I know which sets my imagination on fire. One is ultimately a cul de sac, the other expresses the whole world and beyond. As for the actual programme, I wasn’t mad on the presentater’s style. It was over the top – rather frenetic and why do we have to have two traditionally slim attractive young women? So obvious. Also, too many “wonderfuls, incredibles, astonishings, fantastics” from the two male interviewees throughout the evening to actually hold any real meaning. It just sounded like a wash of nervous enthusiasm done under tremendous time pressure. The collective energy of the adjudicating panel on the other hand showed little to no warmth or character, particularly the lady announcing the winner at the end. Thank goodness for the musical talent, in particular Laura who entered effortlessly into the heart of the Walton, seeming to understand it with an emotional maturity not confined to her years, and yet after all that to have the grace to say “I just feel so lucky” when she was asked that oh so crass question “how do you feel”. She seems like a gift straight from heaven.

  2. Jane

    I hope you’ve been able to catch up with it on i-player, the musicianship was wonderful. I heard Laura van der Heijden being interviewed on Radio 3 yesterday and, again, she was so graceful, and lovely about it all.
    I was at the performance reviewing for Bachtrack – as far as I can see, my review is the only one of the live concert – I am truly shocked that none of the newspapers were there.

    • Susan Tomes

      Yes, I agree – I looked at several newspapers yesterday and didn’t see a single thing. We are so swamped with gossip, trivia and chat about other television ‘talent’ programmes, yet nobody can be bothered to go and write about some truly remarkable young musicians in the BBC’s own flagship competition, which only happens every couple of years. I don’t understand.

  3. James B

    I don’t know why you’re surprised, Susan! I listened to your Schumann Violin and Piano Sonatas CD for the first time the other day, (an unplanned purchase but oh-so-deliciously-worth-it!) Why are you not a household name? Why are people not walking down the streets humming themes from the 3 Romances for violin or oboe and piano? Why are people naming their children Britney and Wayne and not Clara and Robert? A society with unusual priorities is the reason!

  4. Susan Tomes

    Thank you, James. But alas, it seems that it’s us who have the ‘unusual priorities’.


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