Lloyd Webber bashes BBC over Young Musician

Lloyd Webber bashes BBC over Young Musician


norman lebrecht

November 23, 2022

Julian Lloyd Webber has attacked the BBC for moving its Young Musician of the Year to the graveyard channel BBC4.

He wrote in Radio Times: ‘I have always believed that access to music should be a birthright for every young person, not just those whose parents can afford to pay for expensive instruments and tuition.

‘Yet not only is it quite probable that children will have little or no opportunity to take part in music at school, it’s also highly unlikely that a child might accidentally stumble upon a classical music performance on television. This is a tragedy.

‘Did you know that the final of BBC Young Musician 2022 took place on 9 October and that it was won by an 18-year-old percussionist from Cambridgeshire named Jordan Ashman? Or, as was the case for nearly everyone else, did it pass you by?… Blink and you’ll miss it. This year’s final was shown on BBC Four – a channel destined for the scrapheap – and got an average audience of 210,000. No prizes for guessing what will become of it soon then. Why has the BBC done this to its own competition?’


  • Michael Varcoe-Cocks says:

    Even the presentation of the individual rounds (my having discovered by chance on the day of the third round that the competition was in fact being televised!) was spoiled for me by the attitude of the two presenters. Although they were both clearly reasonably well-informed about classical music (often a rarity on BBC TV), they not only talked over some of the music but actually introduced some of the pieces by telling us how they thought they had been played before a note of the piece had actually been played to us!

    It was a bit like Gary Lineker introducing the first game on Match of the Day by saying “let’s go over to Old Trafford and watch highlights of United beating Spurs 3-1” !!!

    The saddest part is that I doubt that the BBC actually cares.

  • Barry says:

    The BBC just wants to be rid of this elitist stuff.

    A little like ACE’s attitude to opera.

    It’s a vicious circle: no publicity = no audience = evidence of no demand = replace it with some cheap, celebrity based c**p.

  • T.J says:

    Now that ‘equality’ is on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days perhaps the Beeb is nervous about such a brazenly exuberant celebration of exclusive talent.
    That might be upsetting to see for anyone middling to average or below – and there’s far more of them than you gifted dearies! Have a heart.

  • Ian Tully says:

    Not only was it relegated to BBC4 but if you wanted the full performances, rather than a glorified trailer, you had to find your way to a website, that was not part of the BBC iPlayer offering.

    Anything that is not dumbed down “entertainment” is being curtailed and the abundant evidence of popular participation in music and dance is.bring hidden in “celebrity” shows.

  • Mawile says:

    My Lloyd Webber might be correct however I don’t recall the winner being shown on this website either at all. People in glass houses and all that

  • alma regina says:

    Great that he speaks out! Unfortunately, TV is nowadays just for comercials, it must be sent something that is easy and uncomplicated, otherwise the targe audience for all the crap they try to sell, will turn off or zap to another channel

  • harry Collier says:

    Unfortunately, if you want to enjoy a regular diet of top-class classical music performed live, you have to France, Italy, Germany, or Russia. Forget Das Land ohne Musik.