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EBU partners with Edinburgh International Festival for Young Musicians

15 March 2018 at 10:00 CET
Edinburgh hosted the 1972 Eurovision Song Contest and in 2018 will host Eurovision Young Musicians Pixabay
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is excited to announce the 19th Eurovision Young Musicians competition will be hosted by the BBC as a highlight of the prestigious Edinburgh International Festival (EIF). This isn't the first time that a Eurovision event has come to Edinburgh though - the city hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in 1972.

Eurovision Young Musicians 2018 will take place in Edinburgh between 18 -23 August and will see 18 EBU Member broadcasters take part, with talented young classical musicians, aged between 12 and 21, from around Europe. 

The competition began in 1982 when the inaugural edition look place in Manchester. 2018 marks the first time that the event has been held in the UK since and sees a number of format changes from the last edition held in 2016.

Format changes for 2018

The 2018 event will be a truly multi-platform competition for the first time with a number of format changes from the last edition in 2016. All competing musicians now perform in a semi-final elimination round, produced by BBC Radio 3, and made available for EBU Members’ radio and online platforms via the Euroradio network.  

Each contestant will perform an 18 minute long public chamber recital in one of the EIF’s best music venues, the Festival Theatre Studio on 18-19 August. Six candidates will then be selected by an expert jury to perform in the Grand Final on Thursday 23 August at Edinburgh’s iconic Usher Hall, which hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in 1972. They will be accompanied by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under its Chief Conductor, Thomas Dausgaard.  

The winner of Eurovision Young Musicians 2018 will be decided by an international panel of classical music luminaries including Marin Alsop and Sir James MacMillan. The Grand Final will be produced by BBC Studios for BBC Scotland and made available live on radio, online and as a live TV broadcast in all participating countries. Poland's Łukasz Dyczko won the last edition of Eurovision Young Musicians in 2016. 

"The EBU is delighted to be working once again with the BBC, who hosted the first EYM in 1982 in Manchester," said the EBU’s Executive Supervisor of Eurovision Live Events, Jon Ola Sand. "By partnering with the Edinburgh International Festival, one of the world’s greatest arts events, we are thrilled to be bringing this huge showcase for young classical musicians to an even bigger audience. This competition has provided a launchpad for some of the biggest stars of the classical world and we’re sure with 2018’s competition as part of the EIF this will offer Europe’s talented youth an even greater chance to shine."

About the Edinburgh International Festival

The Edinburgh International Festival is an unparalleled celebration of the performing arts and an annual meeting point for peoples of all nations. Committed to virtuosity and originality, the International Festival presents some of the finest performers and ensembles from the worlds of dance, opera, music and theatre for three weeks in August.

Throwback Thursday: Eurovision 1972 in Edinburgh

The BBC stepped in to host the 1972 Eurovision Song Contest and chose a venue outside of London for the first time. The honour of hosting went to the Scottish capital Edinburgh after Monaco, which won the year before, was unable to provide a suitable venue. Coincidentally, the UK's previous winner, Lulu, came from Scotland so it was fitting that the next contest to be hosted by the BBC would take place in the country.

The 1972 contest was broadcast live to Asia for the first time with viewers in Japan, Taiwan, The Philippines, Hong Kong and Thailand, all able to watch the show. It also was the first year that a video wall was used to present song titles and artists.

Luxembourg won the song contest for the third time with the entry Aprés Toi performed by Vicky Leandros. The writer of the winning song, Yves Desca, also wrote the winning song of 1971 by Séverine. It was the first time in the history of the Song Contest that the same songwriter won twice in a row and for two different countries. 

Greek-born singer Vicky Leandros also took part in the contest for the second time and won for Luxembourg thanks to a well-planned PR campaign. This time she also used her surname, something she had avoided the first time when she participated just as Vicky in 1967. The winning song in 1972, Après Toi, sold millions of copies all over Europe. 

The Irish entry Ceol An Ghrá by Sandie Jones was sung in the Irish language and until now, it remains the only song ever to be sung in Irish in the Eurovision Song Contest. Malta took part in the contest for the second time and came last again with Helen & Joseph's L' imhabba. True to form, the UK finished second with Beg, Steal Or Borrow by The New Seekers. The song went on to become a big hit for the group reaching the top five of several charts around Europe, including number one in Norway. 

For more information about Eurovision Young Musicians in Edinburgh visit the website