28 May 2019

Two talented local musicians have been crowned the 2019 winners in the final of the fourth annual Bromsgrove Young Musicians’ Platform (BYMP).

Zhengting Li, aged 15 from Solihull, won the Senior section and Rebecca Bazlov aged 12 from Birmingham won the Junior category in the magnificent Routh Concert Hall at Bromsgrove School.

The adjudicators were blown away by the standard of the entries, with each competitor taking part in an audition round earlier in the week. They were then whittled down to just eleven finalists, selected on merit by the distinguished Adjudicators: Professor David Saint (Chairman of the Adjudicators – Finalists’ Concert), Alastair Moseley (Chairman of the Adjudicators – Audition round), renowned cellist and conductor Richard Jenkinson and Sarah Oliver of Chetham’s School of Music.

Zhengting, a student at Bromsgrove School, beat off fierce competition to take first prize in the Senior section for musicians aged 14-17 years. Zhengting has already achieved his ATCL Diploma, equivalent in standard to the first year of an undergraduate degree, and he is a National winner in the Advanced II category of the European Piano Teachers’ Association (EPTA) Competition.

Aged just 12, Junior section winner Rebecca, from King Edward’s High School for Girls, has played the piano since she was four years old. She achieved the LLCM in 2018 and, in the same year, won the title of Loughborough Pianist of the Year, which led to an invitation to give a recital at the Steinway Hall in London.

Rebecca gave a polished performance of Prelude and Fugue No. 6 in D minor by J. S. Bach, Dohnanyi’s Rhapsody in C, Op. 11 No. 3 and O Polichinelo from ‘A Prole do Bebê’ composed by H. Villa-Lobos to scoop the Junior prize, with Zhengting also performing three pieces including Beethoven’s 2nd movement from Sonata Op. 31 No. 3 to come out as the Senior winner. Zhengting’s showpiece was a crisp and energetic Prokofiev’s Mercutio (from Romeo and Juliet Op. 75). Both winners have been granted financial bursaries of £1000 (Senior section) and £750 (Junior section) to enable them to further develop their musical talent.

Each category also has a second award of £400, which went to Sebastian Carrington aged 13 from Leicester and who studies piano at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire – Junior Department, and Iohan Coman aged 17 from Birmingham, a violinist who attends The Purcell School.

Monica Toso, Chairman of the Bromsgrove Young Musicians’ Platform said, “We were extremely pleased with the level of entries received this year and we welcomed a new panel of adjudicators, experts in their fields, to ensure the Platform continues to remain one of the premier music competitions in the Midlands for young people.”

The Young Musicians’ Platform is open to all musicians who are at school or resident in Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and the West Midlands* (*within a 30 mile radius from Bromsgrove). The junior section is for those aged 9-13 and Seniors aged 14-17. It is hoped that one day the success of the Platform will lead it into the realm of being a national opportunity for young musicians.

Its sister competition, The Bromsgrove International Musicians Competition (BIMC) was originally founded for young talented musicians in 1980 by the late Dr Mary White. The International competition is open to instrumentalists and pianists of all nationalities aged 18 to 25 (28 for singers). The competitions are run by a trust, which is a registered charity (no.1155544).

Now in its 39th year, the 2019 Bromsgrove International Musicians’ Competition will be held in Routh Concert Hall at Bromsgrove School from 9th-13thApril. Musicians from across the globe will battle it out during the preliminary rounds and the semi-final (9-12 April). The general public are encouraged to attend the earlier rounds for free, with the BIMC Finalists’ Concert taking place on the evening of Saturday 12th April.

Following the success of the Platform competition, 2019 is definitely gearing itself up to be a year to remember for everyone involved in BIMC and BYMP, and we now look ahead to our 40th anniversary in 2020.