With just over a week to go until the Eurovision 2019 season officially begins, the 19th edition of Eurovision Young Musicians returned to the United Kingdom. It unfolded on Thursday evening inside Edinburgh’s Usher Hall — the very same venue that hosted the 1972 Eurovision Song Contest won by Luxembourg.
A total of eighteen countries competed at this year’s contest including Albania, with 15-year-old cellist Klaudio Zoto representing the nation on their debut. After six hour-long semi-finals resulting in six finalists, pianist Ivan Bessonov secured a first-ever win for Russia ahead of violinist Nikola Pajanović from Slovenia. Congratulations!
2018 Eurovision Young Musicians Finalists
- Norway – Birgitta Elisa Oftestad (Cello) performing “Cello Concerto, 4th movement” by Elgar
- Slovenia – Nikola Pajanović (Violin) performing “Violin Concerto, 3rd movement” by Tchaikovski
- Czech Republic – Indi Stivín (Double bass) performing “Bohemian Suite for Double Bass, 2nd & 3rd movements”
- Germany – Mira Foron (Violin) performing “Violin Concerto, 3rd movement” by Sibelius
- Hungary – Máté Bencze (Saxophone) performing “Concerto da Camera for Saxophone”
- Russia – Ivan Bessonov (Piano) performing “Piano Concerto No 1, 3rd movement” by Tchaikovsky
2018 Eurovision Young Musicians Participants
For the semi-finals, each participant performed a classical piece of their choice either solo or with piano accompaniment, and with a maximum duration of 18 minutes. The six finalists were accompanied by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with a maximum duration of 12 minutes.
Two sets of professional jury panels were used at this year’s Eurovision Young Musicians and awarded marks out of 10 based on the criteria of technical accuracy, quality of sound, interpretation and performance. Petroc Trelawny hosted the semi-finals before co-hosting the final with Josie d’Arby.
Photo: Ryan Buchanan / Edinburgh International Festival