Final preparations are taking place in Cologne for the 18th edition of Eurovision Young Musicians, the EBU’s biennial competition for talented classical youth aged between 11 and 19 years-old.
Rehearsals have been held all week at the Cologne Philharmonic for the musicians sent by the 11 EBU Members taking part: WDR (Germany), ORF (Austria), HRT (Croatia), CT (Czech Republic), MTVA (Hungary), PBS (Malta), NRK (Norway), TVP (Poland), SMRTV (San Marino), RTVSLO (Slovenia) and SVT (Sweden).
Each participating musician will perform a piece of classical music of their choice, up to six and a half minutes long, accompanied by the WDR Symphony Orchestra. A jury made up of 5 stars of the classical music world will judge the performances and award prizes to the top three musicians.
The show, produced for a second successive time in Cologne by Westdeutscher Rundfunk will be broadcast live in 10 of the 11 participating countries using the EBU’s Eutel satellite at 2000 CEST on Saturday 3 September.
A team from WDR are producing the show as an outside broadcast in the shadow of the city’s huge cathedral. EBU Head of Live Events Jon Ola Sand said: “WDR are doing a great job in putting together a really exciting show that will appeal to all audiences, not just classical music fans. We have two great hosts including celebrated British violinist Daniel Hope who lives and works in Germany.”
The competition has seen many winners go on to huge success in the classical world including this year’s jury chair, violinist Julian Rachlin who triumphed in 1988.
EBU Senior TV Project Manager Matthew Trustram who has been overseeing the project in Cologne is pleased he's taking part; “Having Julian chair the jury is the icing on the cake. He knows what the musicians are feeling as they wait to go on stage and proves that winning this competition can be the beginning of a great career. This year’s contestants are of an exceptional standard and the jury will have a tough job picking a winner.”
The eventual victor will take home 10,000 euros and later appear as a soloist with the WDR Symphony Orchestra.
The 2014 contest was won by Austria, the reigning champion of the competition with five victories to date. San Marino makes its debut this year. Austria has hosted the most editions of the competition; 6 in total. Germany has staged the event 3 times. Ziyu He who won Eurovision Young Musicians for Austria in 2014 went on to win first prize at the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin International Competition in London.
The broadcast can be watched live online and later on demand at the official Eurovision Young Musicians website.