Sturgeon meets Eurovision Young Musicians 2018 contestants
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has met contestants in the Eurovision Young Musicians 2018 competition which is being held in Scotland for the first time.
Eighteen young musicians aged 18-21 are taking part in the biennial competition which is being held in Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh International Festival programme.
All competing musicians will take part in a semi-final elimination round in which they perform a chamber recital at the Festival Theatre Studio on August 18 and 19.
Six candidates will then be selected by an expert jury to perform on Thursday August 23 at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, where they will be accompanied by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under its Chief Conductor, Thomas Dausgaard, in the competition final which will be broadcast live on BBC 2 Scotland.
The winner of Eurovision Young Musicians 2018 will be decided by an international panel of “classical music luminaries” including American conductor Marin Alsop and Scottish composer Sir James MacMillan.
The musicians, representing 18 countries, will play a wide range of instruments ranging from the violin to the harp, cello and flute.
Ms Sturgeon said: “Congratulations to the 18 young musicians who have made it through to the finals of this prestigious competition.
“Scotland is renowned for its world leading festivals which celebrate culture and attract visitors from around the globe, so it’s an honour for the Edinburgh International Festival to host this fantastic showcase as part of its programme.
“Good luck to each of the contestants, and I am sure their performances will reach out to and inspire audiences from across Europe.”
The competition is organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and is being hosted by the BBC.
Fergus Linehan, Edinburgh International Festival director, said: “The Edinburgh International Festival has always been passionate about providing a platform for emerging talent and in a year in which we’re inviting a host of young musicians from all over the world to the Usher Hall in a major celebration of the next generation of classical musicians, we’re delighted to be hosting the finals of Eurovision Young Musicians 2018.
“We welcome these hugely talented young musicians to Edinburgh as they compete for one of the world’s most prized titles.”