Lauren, 16, scoops BBC Young Musician prize

Written by: Emma Lee-Potter | Published:
Talented: Lauren Zhang, the BBC Young Musician of the Year 2018 (Image: BBC/GregMilner)

​A talented teenage pianist from a Birmingham school has been named as the winner of this year’s BBC Young Musician award.

Lauren Zhang, 16, who is studying for her GCSEs at King Edward VI High School for Girls, showed she is one of the best young musicians in the country with her performance of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto no 2 in G Minor, op 16.

After months of qualifying rounds, Lauren was the youngest of the three young musicians who made it to the final of the prestigious competition, held earlier this month at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and broadcast on BBC Four and BBC Radio 3.

Lauren began taking piano lessons at the age of four and also plays the violin. She joined the Birmingham Junior Conservatoire in 2009 and has won a string of prizes, including first prize at the Ettlingen International Piano Competition in Germany in 2016.

Kerry Andrew, chair of the BBC Young Musician 2018 judging panel, paid tribute to Lauren’s extraordinary talent.

“Lauren’s performance left us all breathless,” she said. “Her exceptional level of technical skill and intelligent musicality shone through in a beast of a piece. We see great things in her future.”

Since the competition was first held in 1978 it has built a reputation for discovering and championing the stars of the future. Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who won the award in 2016, has gone on to perform at many high-profile events, including the BBC Proms, the Baftas and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding.


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