18-year-old saxophone-player Robert Burton, from Cambridgeshire, has won the Woodwind Category Final of BBC Young Musician 2018 and will progress through to the Semi-Final of the competition.

The BBC Young Musician Woodwind Final was broadcast on BBC Four this evening (Friday 20 April) and will be available to view again on the BBC iPlayer. The Woodwind finalists were: 17 year old flautist Marie Sato, 18 year old bassoonist Francis Bushell, 14 year old recorder player Eliza Haskins, 16 year old clarinettist Tom Myles, and Robert Burton.

The expert panel of judges for the Woodwind Final were Emma Johnson, clarinettist and herself a BBC Young Musician winner in 1984, Juliette Bausor, Principal Flautist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Chair of the Jury, composer Kerry Andrew.

BBC Young Musician 2018 will run weekly until the Grand Final on Sunday 13 May, with complementary coverage on BBC Radio 3. The five Category Finals (Strings, Percussion, Woodwind, Brass and Keyboard) are presented on television by Josie D’Arby. Josie will be joined by BBC Young Musician 1998 finalist, trumpeter Alison Balsom and BBC Young Musician 2004 winner, violinist Nicola Benedetti to present the Semi-Final. Each Category comprises of five finalists, who each perform in front of an audience and a specialist panel of adjudicators at the new Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. One musician from each Category Final will go through to the Semi-Final, with three going through to the Grand Final.

The Grand Final will take place at Symphony Hall Birmingham on Sunday 13 May, accompanied by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Mark Wigglesworth. It will be broadcast later the same day on BBC Four presented by Clemency Burton-Hill, Josie D’Arby with Alison Balsom, and also on BBC Radio 3, presented by Kate Molleson.

BBC Young Musician, the UK’s leading contest for young classical musicians celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2018 with a host of special activity including a special BBC Four documentary, a new series of podcasts, an exciting line-up of presenters and judges and the first ever BBC Young Musician Prom.

Since the competition was first held in 1978, it has come to be regarded as the benchmark for outstanding young talent, with a reputation for discovering and championing the stars of the future. The 2016 winner, 17-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, has gone on to perform at range of high-profile events including at the BBC Proms and the BAFTAs, and his recent debut album made history by crashing into the top twenty in the Official Album Charts and topping the Classical Charts.


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