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The Stage is Set for Scottish Young Musicians 2024


Judges and Finalists Revealed for Prestigious Competition

The Scottish Young Musicians 2024 competition is ready to commence, with judges and finalists revealed for the prestigious event that is captivating Scotland’s schools.

Meet the Finalists

Thirty-one finalists, representing their Local Authority or Scotland’s independent schools, will compete to be crowned the third-ever Solo Performer of the Year. These young talents range in age from S2 to S6.

Expert Panel of Judges

An expert panel of adjudicators will bring their expertise from various musical genres. This year’s panel will be led by trumpeter John Wallace, joined by soprano Jane Irwin, clarinettist Adam Lee, pianist Sinae Lee, and violinist Greg Lawson. The accompanist for the day will be Claire Haslin.

Prestigious National Final

The National Final will take place at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on Sunday, 26 May, hosted by broadcaster and celebrated singer Jamie MacDougall. The finalists will compete for career-enhancing prizes provided by top music organisations and educational institutions.

Celebrating Scotland’s Musical Talent

Scottish Young Musicians (SYM) is Scotland’s festival of music competitions, offering young musicians from around the country the chance to compete, perform live on a national stage, and push their skills like never before.

Nationwide Participation

In 2024, local authorities covering 99% of Scotland’s population are participating in the competition, providing opportunities for young musicians from all over Scotland. The competition is open to all young musicians attending school in Scotland, regardless of age or standard.

Diverse Range of Performances

Finalists will perform a variety of instruments, from traditional Scottish music on clarsach and pipes to classical music covering all sections of the orchestra.

Esteemed Adjudicators

John Wallace

John Wallace, the lead adjudicator, has an illustrious career as a trumpeter and former Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He is also the convenor of the Music Education Partnership Group.

Jane Irwin

Soprano Jane Irwin has performed at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall and the BBC Proms, working with renowned conductors like Sir Simon Rattle and Sir Andrew Davis.

Adam Lee

Scottish clarinettist Adam Lee is a soloist and the Principal Clarinet No. 2 of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Sinae Lee

Pianist Sinae Lee is a lecturer at RCS and has performed with various orchestras, including the Korean Symphony Orchestra and the Glasgow Orchestral Society.

Greg Lawson

Violinist, composer, and conductor Greg Lawson has held principal positions in many Scottish orchestras and worked with traditional Scottish musicians.

Special Prizes

The winners of the Solo Performer of the Year, Open Ensemble competition, and Brass Ensemble of the Year will receive the Maid of Morven trophy designed by Alexander Stoddart. The winner of the Solo Performer of the Year will also receive a cash prize and a package from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, including a coaching session, masterclass participation, and a studio recording session.

Supporting Young Musicians

Alan Kerr, Chair of Scottish Young Musicians, said:

“Scottish Young Musicians is now more established than ever, with competitions in all but one Local Authority and continued support from the UK’s top institutions and musicians. It’s firmly embedded as an annual highlight for Instrumental Music Services across Scotland. We’re proud to provide opportunities to young people that help increase their mental wellbeing, musical skill, and confidence, and delighted to raise the profile of music-making opportunities outside of a school setting and at a national level. We look forward to continuing this vital work into the future and to seeing the culmination of everyone’s hard work on 26 May! We are enormously grateful to all our donors and supporters who make this possible.”

John Wallace, Chief Adjudicator for Scottish Young Musicians Solo Performer of the Year 2024, added:

“Scottish Young Musicians is a remarkable nation-wide festival of young Scottish musical talent in every genre. It is so life-affirming to witness the joy of music emanating from every part of our country. As adjudicators, we will relish every part of every performance, and the winner will be the young person who best communicates their joy in music.”

For more information, please visit Scottish Young Musicians or follow the festival on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Barry Kirkham
Barry Kirkham
Barry Kirkham: Edinburgh Magazine's go-to for tales of tech, science, and yesteryears. Often found wandering Edinburgh's alleys, fork in one hand, history book in the other, he's your fun guide to Scotland's capital and its delicious mysteries!

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