Young artist Fang Zhang has been named BBC Young Musician of 2020.
The 17-year-old took the title by playing Keiko Abe’s marimba concerto Prism Rhapsody, which required him to play six mallets at a consecutive go and time.
His play “created a variety of colors and feelings” and “greatly influenced the judges”, said Angela Dixon, a former judge.
Zhang’s victory came a year later, after the 2020 race was delayed by Covid.
‘Honored And Happy’
The Chinese singer said he was “honored and happy” to take the title, adding that he felt “very lucky considering the talent of the other finalists”.
The winners of the Young Musician include well-known former artists such as cello player Sheku Kanneh-Mason and violinist Nicola Benedetti.
The delayed 2020 final was held under Covid safe conditions at Manchester Bridge Hall in Manchester.
The Three Finalists
Each of the three finalists played a full concert with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, led by conductor Mark Wigglesworth.
Zhang’s competition came with 18-year-old French horn player Annemarie Federle and 19-year-old Owanist Ewan Millar.
Wigglesworth said he was impressed by the three contestants, “who have shown great interest and determination to keep their commitment to the competition throughout the year of uncertain peace”.
“They play with humility and respect but daring and personality too, encouraging all who hear them to look forward to more positive times ahead,” he added.
More About Zhang
Zhang was born in the Chinese province of Henan and recently attended Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester.
He has worked worldwide since the age of 11 and is a member of the China Youth Percussion Orchestra.
Along with marimba, he plays the timpani drum and vibraphone, and has won competitions including the China Youth Percussion Competition, the New York International Percussion Competition and the Tokyo International Percussion Competition.