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Eurovision Young Musicians

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eurovision Young Musicians
Eurovision Young Musicians generic logo.svg
Also known asEurovision Competition for Young Musicians
GenreMusic contest
Based onBBC Young Musician
Presented byList of presenters
Country of originList of countries
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes19 contests
Production locationsList of host cities
Running time90 minutes (2010–12, 2018)
120 minutes (2014–2016)
Production companyEuropean Broadcasting Union
Original release11 May 1982; 40 years ago (1982-05-11) –
Related showsEurovision Song Contest
Eurovision Young Dancers
Junior Eurovision Song Contest
Eurovision Dance Contest
Eurovision Magic Circus Show
Eurovision Choir

The Eurovision Young Musicians (French: L'Eurovision des Jeunes Musiciens), often shortened to EYM, or Young Musicians, is a biennial classical music competition for European musicians that are aged between 12 and 21. It is organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and broadcast on television throughout Europe, with some countries holding national selections to choose their representatives for the contest.

The first edition of the Eurovision Young Musicians took place in Manchester, United Kingdom on 11 May 1982 and 6 countries took part. The contest was won by Markus Pawlik from West Germany, who played the piano. Austria is the most successful country in the Young Musicians contest, having won five times 1988, 1998, 2002, 2004, and 2014 respectively and has hosted the contest a record six times. The nineteenth and most recent edition of this competition took place in Edinburgh, Scotland on 23 August 2018 and was won by Ivan Bessonov, who played the piano for Russia.

Background and history

The idea to organise a competition for young musicians was first examined by the EBU Expert Group for TV music programmes in March 1980 during a meeting chaired by BBC's Humphrey Burton in Geneva, Switzerland.[1]

The Eurovision Young Musicians, inspired by the success of the BBC Young Musician of the Year, is a biennial competition organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) for European musicians that are 18 years old or younger. The BBC competition was established in 1978 by Burton, Walter Todds and Roy Tipping, former members of the BBC Television Music Department.[2] Michael Hext, a trombonist, was the inaugural winner that year.[3]

As a result of the success of the competition, the Eurovision Young Musicians competition was initiated in 1982.[2] The first edition of the Eurovision Young Musicians took place in Manchester, United Kingdom on 11 May 1982 and six countries took part.[2] Some participating countries held national heats in order to select their representatives for the contest. Germany's Markus Pawlik won the contest, with France and Switzerland placing second and third respectively.[4] It was also notable that Germany won the Eurovision Song Contest 1982 just a few weeks earlier.[5] Three years later, the EBU decided to create a dance version based on this competition, which became Eurovision Young Dancers. That event took place in the odd years while Eurovision Young Musicians takes place in the even years.

In 1986, due to the increasing number of participating countries, a semi-final round was introduced at the competition, from which, according to the results of the jury's voting, five to eight of the participating countries progressed to the televised final. Following this, the competition did not undergo any major changes for a number of years. In 2006, the competition was one of the central events of the Year of Mozart and to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the pieces performed by the finalists were restricted to Mozart or pieces from his contemporaries.[6]

Between 2006 and 2012, the competition was the opening event of one of the largest festivals in Europe, Vienna Festival and was held on an open-air stage for the first time. The 2018 contest was hosted by the BBC in partnership and as a highlight of the annual Edinburgh International Festival.[7] The 2020 edition of the contest was scheduled to take place in Zagreb, Croatia on 21 June to coincide with World Music Day celebrations. The contest would have taken place on an open-air stage in King Tomislav Square.[8] However, on 18 March 2020, it was announced that the event had been postponed indefinitely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe,[9] The future of the contest is uncertain until 3 February 2022 when the Norwegian broadcaster NRK confirmed, in an online article regarding its national selection Virtuos, that the upcoming edition would instead now be held in Montpellier, France in July.[10]


The generic logo used for the 2012, 2014 and 2016 editions of the contest.
The generic logo used for the 2012, 2014 and 2016 editions of the contest.

Each country is represented by one young talented musician that performs a piece of classical music of his or her choice accompanied by the local orchestra of the host broadcaster and a jury, composed of international experts, decides the top 3 participants. From 1986 to 2012 and again in 2018, a semi-final round took place a few days before the Contest, and the jury decided as well which countries qualified for the final.[11]

A preliminary round took place in 2014, with the jury scoring each musician and performance, however all participating countries automatically qualified for the final.[12] The semi final elimination stage of the contest was expected to return in 2016.[13][14] However the semi-finals were later removed due to the low number of participating countries that year.[15]

In 1992 and 1994, a compilation CD was released by the host broadcaster and supported by an independent record label.


Eligible participants include primarily Active Members (as opposed to Associate Members) of the EBU. Active members are those who are located in states that fall within the European Broadcasting Area, or are member states of the Council of Europe.[16]

The European Broadcasting Area is defined by the International Telecommunication Union:[17]

The "European Broadcasting Area" is bounded on the west by the western boundary of Region 1, on the east by the meridian 40° East of Greenwich and on the south by the parallel 30° North so as to include the northern part of Saudi Arabia and that part of those countries bordering the Mediterranean within these limits. In addition, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and those parts of the territories of Iraq, Jordan, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey and Ukraine lying outside the above limits are included in the European Broadcasting Area.[a]

The western boundary of Region 1 is defined by a line running from the North Pole along meridian 10° West of Greenwich to its intersection with parallel 72° North; thence by great circle arc to the intersection of meridian 50° West and parallel 40° North; thence by great circle arc to the intersection of meridian 20° West and parallel 10° South; thence along meridian 20° West to the South Pole.[19]

Active members include broadcasting organisations whose transmissions are made available to at least 98% of households in their own country which are equipped to receive such transmissions. If an EBU Active Member wishes to participate, they must fulfil conditions as laid down by the rules of the contest (of which a separate copy is drafted annually).[16]

Eligibility to participate is not determined by geographic inclusion within the continent of Europe, despite the "Euro" in "Eurovision" – nor does it have any relation to the European Union. Several countries geographically outside the boundaries of Europe have competed: Israel, Cyprus and Armenia, in Western Asia, since 1986, 1988 and 2012 respectively. In addition, several transcontinental countries with only part of their territory in Europe have competed: Russia, since 1994; and Georgia, since 2012. Listed below are all the countries that have taken part in the competition or are eligible to take part but have yet to do so.

Forty-two countries have participated in the Eurovision Young Musicians since it started in 1982. Of these, eleven have won the contest. The contest, organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), is held biennially between members of the Union.

As of 2022, the Eurovision Young Musicians has had the most "one-and-done" participants of any continuous Eurovision event that has run for more than two years. No fewer than ten countries have made only one appearance at the event prior to withdrawing (Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Georgia, Lithuania, Moldova, North Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, and the latter's direct successor Serbia). Comparatively, there have been eight for Eurovision Young Dancers, two (Serbia and Montenegro and Switzerland) for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, and one (Morocco) for the flagship Eurovision Song Contest. It also has the most cases of countries withdrawing after winning, which has happened on three occasions (the Netherlands withdrawing from the 1992 contest, Germany withdrawing from the 1998 contest, and Russia withdrawing from the planned 2020 contest), compared to one instance each at Eurovision Young Dancers (Ukraine withdrawing from the 2005 edition) and the Eurovision Song Contest (Israel withdrawing from the 1980 edition). Should they remain in the contest for 2022, Malta will be the only remaining country to have not missed a single contest since their debut, while several other countries with multiple appearances have only missed one since their debut (those being Austria, Norway, Poland, San Marino, and Slovenia).

It was the first EBU event to include a large number of former Soviet states and Warsaw Pact member states, many of whom debuted in the Young Musicians prior to their Eurovision Song Contest debut (including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, North Macedonia, and Poland).

Participation since .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  Entered at least once   Never entered, although eligible to do so   Competed as a part of another country (Yugoslavia), but never as a sovereignty
Participation since 1982:
  Entered at least once
  Never entered, although eligible to do so
  Competed as a part of another country (Yugoslavia), but never as a sovereignty
Year Country making its début entry


Most of the expense of the contest is covered by commercial sponsors and contributions from the other participating nations. The contest is considered to be a unique opportunity for promoting the host country as a tourist destination. The table below shows a list of cities and venues that have hosted the Eurovision Young Musicians, one or more times. Future venues are shown in italics. With 6 contests, Austria and its capital, Vienna have hosted the most contests.[22] It has also shared two venues with the Eurovision Song Contest (Edinburgh's Usher Hall, which hosted both the 1972 song contest and the 2018 Young Musicians; and Bergen's Grieg Hall, which hosted both the 1986 song contest and the 2000 Young Musicians).

Host cities of the Eurovision Young Musicians     A single contest    Multiple contests
Host cities of the Eurovision Young Musicians
  A single contest
  Multiple contests
Contests Country City Venue Years
6  Austria Vienna Musikverein
3  Germany Berlin Konzerthaus 2002
Cologne Cologne Cathedral
2   Switzerland Geneva Victoria Hall 1984
Lucerne Culture and Congress Centre 2004
 United Kingdom Manchester Free Trade Hall 1982
Edinburgh Usher Hall 2018
1  Denmark Copenhagen Radiohuset 1986
 Netherlands Amsterdam Concertgebouw 1988
 Belgium Brussels Cirque Royal 1992
 Poland Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall 1994
 Portugal Lisbon Cultural Centre of Belém 1996
 Norway Bergen Grieg Hall 2000
 France Montpellier TBA 2022

Instruments and their first appearance

List contains only instruments played in the televised finals (preliminary rounds or semi finals are not included).

Lucie Horsch from the Netherlands played the recorder in 2014
Lucie Horsch from the Netherlands played the recorder in 2014
Croatia's Marko Martinović played the tamburica in 2016
Croatia's Marko Martinović played the tamburica in 2016
Order Instrument First
Country First performer
1 Piano 1982  United Kingdom Anna Markland
2 Clarinet 1982  France Paul Meyer
3 Violin 1982  Norway Atle Sponberg
4 Viola 1984  France Sabine Toutain
5 Cello 1984   Switzerland Martina Schuchen
6 Horn 1988  United Kingdom David Pyatt
7 Accordion 1990  Belgium Christophe Delporte
8 Harmonica 1992  Spain Antonio Serrano
9 Trombone 1994   Switzerland David Bruchez
10 Organ 1994  Denmark Frederik Magle
11 Percussion 1998  United Kingdom Adrian Spillett
12 Contrabass 2000  Hungary Ödön Rácz
13 Trumpet 2000  France David Guerrier
14 Harp 2000  Netherlands Gwyneth Wentink
15 Saxophone 2004  Germany Koryun Asatryan
16 Oboe 2006   Switzerland Simone Sommerhalder
17 Flute 2006  Austria Daniela Koch
18 Cimbalom 2012  Belarus Alexandra Denisenya
19 Bassoon 2012  Czech Republic Michaela Špačková
20 Kanun 2012  Armenia Narek Kazazyan
21 Guitar 2014  Malta Kurt Aquilina
22 Recorder 2014  Netherlands Lucie Horsch
23 Double bass 2016  Austria Dominik Wagner
24 Tamburica 2016  Croatia Marko Martinović


As of 2018, there have been nineteen editions of the Eurovision Young Musicians competition, a biennial musicians contest organised by member countries of the European Broadcasting Union, with each contest having one winner.[23] Austria is the only country to have ever scored a home victory, with violinist Lidia Baich winning the 1998 contest in Vienna. Austria is also one of only two countries to have hosted after winning the previous contest (as was the case in 1988 and 2006), alongside Poland, who hosted the 1994 contest after winning the 1992 edition. It is the only Eurovision event to date to have multiple instances of the same country winning that also won that year's Eurovision Song Contest (Germany won both events in 1982 and Austria won both in 2014), and the only instance of one country hosting multiple major Eurovision events in the same year (the United Kingdom, who hosted both the 1982 Song Contest and Young Musicians, thereby also making it the sole occasion where the same country not only won multiple Eurovision events in the same year, but did both in the same host country).

Winners by year

Year Date Host City Countries[d] Winner Performer Instrument Piece
1982 11 May United Kingdom Manchester 6  Germany Markus Pawlik Piano Piano Concerto No.1 by Felix Mendelssohn
1984 22 May Switzerland Geneva 7  Netherlands Isabelle van Keulen Violin Violin concert no. 5 op. 37 by Henri Vieuxtemps
1986 27 May Denmark Copenhagen 15  France Sandrine Lazarides Piano Piano Concerto E flat by Franz Liszt
1988 31 May Netherlands Amsterdam 16  Austria Julian Rachlin Violin Concerto for violin and orchestra in d, op.22 by Henryk Wieniawski
1990 29 May Austria Vienna 18  Netherlands Niek van Oosterum [nl] Piano Concert for Piano and Orchestra a-minor op. 16, 1 Mov. by Edvard Grieg
1992 9 June Belgium Brussels 13[d]  Poland Bartłomiej Nizioł Violin Concerto for violin and orchestra in d major op. 77 by Johannes Brahms
1994 14 June Poland Warsaw 24  United Kingdom Natalie Clein Cello Cello Concerto in E minor, op. 85, part I by Edward Elgar
1996 12 June Portugal Lisbon 17[d]  Germany Julia Fischer Violin Havanaise in E major, op. 83 by Camille Saint-Saëns
1998 4 June Austria Vienna 13[d]  Austria Lidia Baich [de] Violin Violin Concerto no. 5, 1st Mov. by Henri Vieuxtemps
2000 15 June Norway Bergen 18[d]  Poland Stanisław Drzewiecki Piano Piano Concerto in E minor, op. 11, 3rd movement by Frederic Chopin
2002 19 June Germany Berlin 20  Austria Dalibor Karvay Violin Carmen Fantasy by Franz Waxman
2004 27 May Switzerland Lucerne 17  Austria Alexandra Soumm Violin Violin Concerto No.1 (1st Movement) by Niccolò Paganini
2006 12 May Austria Vienna 18  Sweden Andreas Brantelid Cello Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra, 1st movement by Joseph Haydn
2008 9 May Austria Vienna 16  Greece Dionysis Grammenos [el] Clarinet Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, 4th movement by Jean Françaix
2010 14 May Austria Vienna 15  Slovenia Eva Nina Kozmus Flute Concerto for flute, III. mov. Allegro scherzando by Jacques Ibert
2012 11 May Austria Vienna 14  Norway Eivind Ringstad [no] Viola Viola concerto, 2 & 3 mov. by Béla Bartók
2014 31 May Germany Cologne 14  Austria Ziyu He Violin 2. Violinkonzert by Béla Bartók
2016 3 September Germany Cologne[24] 11  Poland Łukasz Dyczko [pl] Saxophone Rhapsody pour Saxophone alto by André Waignein
2018 23 August United Kingdom Edinburgh 18  Russia Ivan Bessonov Piano 3rd mvt from Piano Concerto No. 1 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
2022 23 July France Montpellier 8 TBD

By country

The table below shows the top-three placings from each contest, along with the years that a country won the contest.

Map showing each country's number of Young Musicians gold medal wins up to and including 2018.
Map showing each country's number of Young Musicians gold medal wins up to and including 2018.
Country 1st place, gold medalist(s) 2nd place, silver medalist(s) 3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Total Years won
 Austria 5 2 1 8
 Poland 3 0 0 3
 Germany 2 1 0 3
 Netherlands 2 0 0 2
 Norway 1 3 1 5
 Slovenia 1 2 1 4
 United Kingdom 1 1 2 4
 France 1 1 0 2
 Russia 1 0 4 5
 Sweden 1 0 1 2
 Greece 1 0 0 1
 Finland 0 3 1 4 N/A
  Switzerland 0 1 1 2 N/A
 Croatia 0 1 0 1 N/A
 Czech Republic 0 1 0 1 N/A
 Latvia 0 1 0 1 N/A
 Spain 0 1 0 1 N/A
 Armenia 0 0 1 1 N/A
 Belgium 0 0 1 1 N/A
 Estonia 0 0 1 1 N/A
 Hungary 0 0 1 1 N/A
 Italy 0 0 1 1 N/A

By instrument

As of 2018, twenty-four instruments have appeared at least once in the televised finals (preliminary rounds or semi finals are not included). The following seven have been played by a winner at least once.

Instrument Family Total Years won
Violin Strings 8
  • 1984
  • 1988
  • 1992
  • 1996
  • 1998
  • 2002
  • 2004
  • 2014
Piano Keyboard 5
  • 1982
  • 1986
  • 1990
  • 2000
  • 2018
Cello Strings 2
  • 1994
  • 2006
Clarinet Woodwind 1 2008
Flute Woodwind 1 2010
Viola Strings 1 2012
Saxophone Woodwind 1 2016

Presenters, conductors and orchestras

Violinist Julian Rachlin won the competition for Austria in 1988 and hosted in 1998.
Violinist Julian Rachlin won the competition for Austria in 1988 and hosted in 1998.
Year Presenter(s) Conductor Orchestra
1982 Humphrey Burton Bryden Thomson BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra
1984 Georges Kleinmann [fr] Horst Stein Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
1986 Anette Faaborg [da] Hans Graf Danish National Symphony Orchestra
1988 Martine Bijl [nl] Sergiu Comissiona Radio Filharmonisch Orkest
1990 Gerhard Tötschinger Pinchas Steinberg Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
1992 Unknown Ronald Zollman National Orchestra of Belgium
1994 Kazimierz Kord Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra
1996 Luis Izquierdo Portuguese Symphony Orchestra [pt]
1998 Julian Rachlin Dennis Russell Davies Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
2000 Arild Erikstad [no] Simone Young Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
2002 Julia Fischer Marek Janowski Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
2004 Christian Arming Christian Arming Lucerne Symphony Orchestra
2006 Schallbert Gilet Vienna Symphony
2008 Lidia Baich [de] and Christoph Wagner-Trenkwitz [de] Aleksandar Markovic
2010 Christoph Wagner-Trenkwitz Cornelius Meister
2012 Pia Strauss (semifinal) and Martin Grubinger (final)
2014 Sabine Heinrich Kristiina Poska WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne
2016 Tamina Kallert [de] and Daniel Hope Clemens Schuldt
2018 Petroc Trelawny with Josie d'Arby (final only) Thomas Dausgaard BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
2022 Judith Chaine TBA

See also

Notes and references


  1. ^ The European Broadcasting Area was expanded in November 2007 by the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07), also to include Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.[17][18]
  2. ^ a b c d The four Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden) originally sent a joint participant to the contest. In 1982, the musician represented the Norwegian colors and the Finnish colors in 1984.[20] The nations were represented individually, following the introduction of a preliminary round, at the 1986 contest.
  3. ^ Portuguese broadcaster Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP) attempted to take part in 1986, but were forced to withdraw as it had been unable to provide a "qualified candidate".[21]
  4. ^ a b c d e The official list of participating countries in the preliminary round for the 1992, 1996, 1998 and 2000 contests is unknown; some sources suggest between 17 and up to 24 countries may have taken part.


  1. ^ "Eurovision Young Musicians 1984". Issuu. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "History. How it all started". British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Archived from the original on 7 April 2008. Retrieved 6 March 2008.
  3. ^ "BBC Four - BBC Young Musician - History". BBC. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  4. ^ "Eurovision Young Musicians 1982 (Participants)". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  5. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 1982". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Eurovision Young Musicians 2006: Participants". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 4 August 2016. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  7. ^ "EBU partners with Edinburgh International Festival for Young Musicians". European Broadcasting Union. 15 March 2018. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  8. ^ Zwart, Josianne (8 July 2019). "Eurovision Young Musicians heading to Zagreb in 2020". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  9. ^ "Eurovision Young Musicians 2020 Has Been Postponed". 18 March 2020.
  10. ^ Granger, Anthony (3 February 2022). "Eurovision Young Musicians 2022 to be Held in 🇫🇷 Montpellier, France".
  11. ^ "All you need to know about Young Musicians 2012". Archived from the original on 2013-07-21. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
  12. ^ "Steering Group meets in Cologne". 24 February 2014. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  13. ^ "EYM'16: Return To "Elimination Semifinal"". 13 October 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  14. ^ Granger, Anthony (11 November 2015). "EYM 16 semi final dates announced". Eurovoix. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  15. ^ "11 countries ready for Young Musicians 2016". 23 May 2016. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  16. ^ a b "Membership conditions". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  17. ^ a b "ITU-R Radio Regulations 2012-2015" (PDF). International Telecommunication Union, available from the Spectrum Management Authority of Jamaica. 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 August 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  18. ^ "ITU-R Radio Regulations - Articles edition of 2004 (valid in 2004-2007)" (PDF). International Telecommunication Union. 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-10-10. Retrieved 2015-03-09.
  19. ^ "Radio Regulations". International Telecommunication Union. 8 September 2005. Retrieved 18 July 2006.
  20. ^ "Eurovision Young Musicians 1986". Issuu. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Eurovision Young Musicians 1986". Issuu. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  22. ^ "Eurovision Young Musicians - History by year". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  23. ^ "Eurovision Young Musicians - History by country". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 2 July 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  24. ^ "WDR and Cologne chosen to host 2016 competition". 9 December 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2014.

External links

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