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

  1. Norway – Birgitta Elisa Oftestad (Cello) performing “Cello Concerto, 4th movement” by Elgar
  2. Slovenia – Nikola Pajanović (Violin) performing “Violin Concerto, 3rd movement” by Tchaikovski
  3. Czech Republic – Indi Stivín (Double bass) performing “Bohemian Suite for Double Bass, 2nd & 3rd movements”
  4. Germany – Mira Foron (Violin) performing “Violin Concerto, 3rd movement” by Sibelius
  5. Hungary – Máté Bencze (Saxophone) performing “Concerto da Camera for Saxophone”
  6. Russia – Ivan Bessonov (Piano) performing “Piano Concerto No 1, 3rd movement” by Tchaikovsky

2018 Eurovision Young Musicians Participants

Malta
United Kingdom
Spain

Slovenia
San Marino
Poland

Hungary
Greece
Israel

Estonia
Belgium
Albania

Russia
Germany
Czech Republic

Sweden
Norway
Croatia

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

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ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)
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ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)

Awwww, our Prince Charming won! Congrats! Gave him two more years until he’s 18, and then I want his phone number <3 <3 <3

Dame Tu Conchita
Guest
Dame Tu Conchita

Ivan looks like a young Putin with a 70s haircut

West
Guest
West

My favourites from the final were Máté Bencze from Hungary and Indi Stivín from Czech Republic – although all six were very tallented and the winner definitely deserved the trophy.
One more note – Indi Stivín actually played a suite he composed himself. I just thought that someone should mention that.

Joe
Guest
Joe

I thought that’d give him the edge for pure badassery but apparently not

Vanuatu
Guest
Vanuatu

my winner was slovenia, but yeah, russia coming pretty close. so im good with the results, congrats russia.

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

I watched, I’m not a music expert, but my favorite was Birgitta from Norway. On second place I would put Slovenia and on 3rd Russia. 4th would be Germany, 5th CZ and 6th Hungary, but I enjoyed all of the performances, and it was a nice relaxing TV show hosted in a beautiful arena, and hosts were great as well.

Amy
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Amy

Fantastic, what a great performance! All the success for this talented young musician

Joe
Guest
Joe

I didn’t watch, but I’m assuming even the eliminated acts were exceptional. Looks like Israel sadly isn’t doing the Eurovision hat trick this year (there’s still Junior ESC guys!), but kudos to Russia for doing what they couldn’t at Eurovision: coming back after missing the last edition and killing it!

James
Guest
James

And that’s how you close a show.

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

he was reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally good, but I bet everyone in the final was. Massive respect to him, he is very talented and I hope (for him) this launches a nice career in music for Ivan.