The three Finalists for BBC Young Musician 2016 have been announced: saxophonist Jess Gillam, cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and French Horn player Ben Goldscheider.
The Final of BBC Young Musician 2016 will take place on Sunday 15 May at the Barbican, London. It will be recorded for broadcast the same day at 7pm on BBC Four, presented by Clemency Burton-Hill, Alison Balsom and Josie D’Arby. It will also be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 at 7:30pm, presented by Sarah Walker and including commentary from violinist Jennifer Pike (winner of BBC Young Musician in 2002).
Jess, Ben and Sheku will each perform a concerto of their choice, accompanied by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Mark Wigglesworth. Plus, the 2014 winner, pianist Martin James Bartlett, will return to perform the first movement of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto no.3 – before the winner of BBC Young Musician 2016 is announced.
The Finalists will perform:
Jess Gillam: Michael Nyman’s Where the Bee Dances
Ben Goldscheider: Richard Strauss’s Horn Concerto no. 2
Sheku Kanneh-Mason: Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto no. 1
The expert panel of judges will be chaired by Dobrinka Tabakova, who has sat across all five category finals and the semi-final. Alongside her on the judging panel will be saxophonist Amy Dickson, French Horn player Alec Frank-Gemmill, cellist Jamie Walton, and Director of the BBC Proms, David Pickard.
Sheku Kanneh-Mason – cello
17 year old Sheku attends Trinity Catholic Comprehensive School in Nottingham. He began playing the cello aged 6 with Sarah Huson-Whyte of Southwell, and at age 9 achieved the ABRSM Marguerite Swan Memorial Prize for Grade 8 cello, gaining the highest marks in the UK for that year. He holds the ABRSM Junior Scholarship to The Royal Academy of Music, where he has been studying cello with Ben Davies since 2008. He also studied piano with Druvi de Saram.
Sheku has won all three sections of the Lower Strings Prize at The Royal Academy and is also winner of The Dame Ruth Railton Chamber Music Prize. He plays Principal Cello in the Chineke! Junior Orchestra and also plays in the Chineke! Professional Orchestra, which had its debut in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank, in 2015. He plays in the Junior Royal Academy Symphony Orchestra and was a member of the National Youth Chamber Orchestra for several years. Sheku plays chamber music with the Kanneh-Mason Piano Trio and the Ash String Trio.
In the BBC Young Musician Strings Final and the Semi-final, Sheku played a cello made by Frank White of Ladystone Violins. For the Final, Sheku is playing a fine old Italian cello, made by Antonius and Hieronymus Amati, which is kindly on loan from Florian Leonhard Fine Violins.