Just in: Russian wins Eurovision Young Musician 2018

The pianist Ivan Bessonov, 16, was the runaway winner, playing the finale of the Tchaikovsky concerto.

In the absence of a BBC broadcast, the contest was watched live by just 700 people on Youtube.

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  • It would also have been possible for people in the far SE of England (London et al) to watch it live on BBC 2 Scotland via the iPlayer alongside people here in Scotland who could watch on more traditional TV.

    As it happens, I chose at that time to listen to the fabulous Prom by the Budapest Festival Orchestra on BBC Radio 3. There was a lot going on for which we can be grateful to the BBC, and much of it can be caught later via the iPlayer.

  • After hundreds of hearings, mainly in piano competitions, there is no way I will listen to any performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1st piano concerto ever again. It’s worse than having to eat baked beans three times a day for a month.

  • All the final and semifinal performances are available on YouTube or via https://youngmusicians.tv (but only if you live in the Eurovision area, I believe, or can use a VPN). I was impressed by the presentation of the event in the Usher Hall (in contrast to a few years ago when it was in the Vienna Rathausplatz with a lot of traffic noise). The Russian winner was an excellent choice (based also on his semifinal). I was also most impressed with the young Norwegian cellist Birgitta Elisa Oftestad who did a riveting performance of the first movement of Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto no.1 (with a brilliant piano accompanist).

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