A Bristol student has become the only UK strings finalist at this year’s BBC Young Musician of the Year competition not to have come from a specialist music school.
Julia Hwang, a student at Clifton College in Bristol, is one of 25 young performers nationwide who are through to the Category Finals in Cardiff this week. The Strings Category takes place on Wednesday and will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Four.
In the last round of the competition, Julia came close to achieving perfect scores across the board, a practically unheard-of achievement.
This is the first national competition she has entered after winning a number of regional titles including the Rotary Young Musician of the Year and the Two Moors Young Musician of the Year. Julia was also commissioned by BBC Four to perform Vaughan Williams’ Lark Ascending for a special programme broadcast last month.
“I found out I was through just before Christmas and it was the best present I could have hoped for,” said Julia.
“I’m passionate about learning new pieces to broaden my repertoire and although I get nervous before I play, when I get on stage it all changes and I just want to be able to make people smile with my music.”
If Julia is successful in the section finals, she will go on to the semi-final on March 11 and then, potentially, the national final on May 13.