The first edition of Eurovision Young Musicians took place in 1982 in Manchester, in the United Kingdom. The contest was inspired by the success of the BBC's Young Musician of the Year competition. The contestants of 1982 are now grown-ups and have successful careers, like the winner of that the very first edition, Markus Pawlik.
Markus Pawlik (Germany 1982)
In 1982, Markus was sent to European Broadcasting Union’s first televised Eurovision Young Musicians competition representing Germany. He was only sixteen years old at the time, yet Pawlik won competition, which brought him much acclaim and kicked off his international career. Since then, he pursued his career throughout Europe, North America and Asia.
As well as performing the classical and romantic piano repertoire, Pawlik enjoys exploring contemporary music. In 2003 he performed the world debut of a concerto written for him by Japanese composer Ichiro Nodaira in Berkeley under the direction of Kent Nagano, and in 2006 played the Japanese premiere at Suntory Hall in Tokyo.
Pawlik has been featured numerous times on radio and television including the farewell gala of former German president Carl Carstens. Markus' recordings of the piano concerto by Moritz Moszkowski with the Polish National Radio Orchestra and two CDs with solo pieces by Max Reger and Ernst von Dohnanyi have been released under the Naxos label. His release SNAPSHOTS presents the piano works of American composer Peter Knell and Prokofiev's complete Vision Fugitives. Markus currently organises several international concerts and produces a documentary about pianist and composer Artur Schnabel.
In addition to performing, Pawlik has given international master classes, judged piano competitions and taught as a guest lecturer at UCLA and the University of Arkansas in the United States.
More recently we find Ziyu He, a young Chinese violinist. He represented Austria and won the seventeenth edition of Eurovision Young Musicians in 2014. Ziyu is only nineteen years old now, and was invited in 2017 as one of the youngest ever soloists for his debut with the Vienna Philharmonic in the Vienna Musikverein.
Wibi Soerjadi (The Netherlands 1988)
Wibi Soerjadi represented the Netherlands in 1988, when it hosted the contest. Wibi did not qualify for the final, but has built a successful career nonetheless. He received multiple prizes like the first prize at the Princess Christina Concourse in the Hague, the Echo Klassik Award of the Deutsche Photo Academy and the third prize at the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Besides winning many awards, he has also given concerts in prestigious venues around the world, from Amsterdam to Valencia and from Beijing to the famous Carnegie Hall in New York. He also played twice for then-Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, in 1992 and 2007.