Percussionist Fang Zhang wins BBC Young Musician competition

Tom Horton, PA
·1-min read

Percussionist Fang Zhang has been named BBC Young Musician 2020.

The Chinese-born musician, 17, was revealed as the winner of the delayed competition on Sunday.

The announcement was made on BBC Four and BBC Radio 3.

BBC Young Musician 2020 Final
(Fabio De Paola/PA)

Angela Dixon, chair of the competition’s judging panel, said: “BBC Young Musician 2020 has been an outstanding competition, the standard has been incredibly high and all three finalists showed exceptional musicianship.

“Fang chose to perform on a single instrument, the marimba, but elicited a kaleidoscope of colours and expression from it that deeply moved the jury and presenters.

“It was a privilege to be one of the few people to hear his performance live.”

Zhang was born in China’s Henan province and is a recent student of Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester.

He has been performing around the world since he was 11 and is a member of the China Youth Percussion Orchestra, according to the BBC.

BBC Young Musician 2020 Final
(Fabio De Paolo/PA)

Jan Younghusband, head of BBC music TV commissioning, said the competition is “always a great celebration of incredible young talent”.

She added: “This year in particular, with Covid restrictions still in place, broadcasting the grand final has had particularly poignancy.

“All of these musicians have shown that there is much to look forward to.

“We wish Fang – and all our outstanding finalists – the best for the future and we are delighted that audiences at home were able to join us for such a spectacular display of musicality and technique.”

Previous BBC Young Musician winners include violinist Nicola Benedetti and cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason.