18, 19 & 23 August 2018

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How it works

Since the competition was launched in 1982, 18 acts have won the title of ‘Eurovision Young Musicians’. This year another group of young musicians will be competing for that coveted title, with Austria holding the record for the most victories. But how does it all work?

Each contestant who performs at the 2018 Eurovision Young Musicians has already completed a tough selection process to be appointed to represent their country. Contestants are selected either via a televised national competition or via a committee of musical experts with knowledge of the musical scenes across their countries.


Once they arrive in Edinburgh, the contestants face the first stage of the competition; a Semi-Final recital round consisting of a public concert (as part of the Edinburgh International Festival musical programme), either solo or with piano accompaniment, for a maximum duration of 18 minutes. These Semi-Finals are arranged into groups of three, with six one-hour Semi-Final recitals taking place across 18 and 19 August.
A panel of expert jury members will watch all Semi-Finals and assign points out of 10 based on specific criteria (Technical Accuracy, Quality of Sound, Interpretation and Performance). Scores will be summed and contestants ranked in order, and the final scores will be presented to the Jury at the end of the final Semi-Final Recital who shall then retire to deliberate. Following discussion, they may make changes to the numerical rankings by universal agreement. Following this deliberation the Jury will announce the names of the six finalists in a randomized order. The rankings and scores of the Semi-Finals will not be published to avoid prejudicing the Final Jury.


The Final takes place a few days later on 23 August, where each of the six finalists will perform for up to 12' (one or more movements of a single musical work), accompanied by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Here, a different jury will once again score the contestants based on the same criteria as during the Semi-Finals. Following all six performances, the jury shall retire to discuss the results. Here again, they may declare the winner to be the candidate with the highest score, or, by mutual agreement, change the result. This is to ensure that over-reliance on numerical scoring does not yield an incorrect winner. The Final Jury then announces the winner live on stage during the televised broadcast.
Click here to see the trophy and which prizes the winner and runner-up will take home.
Both the competition and Jury are supervised by the European Broadcasting Union.