The BBC’s Next Generation artists for the class of 2022-24 have been announced, with the lineup including musicians from four different continents and the programme’s first-ever accordionist and countertenor.
The artists are: Colombian cellist Santiago Cañón-Valencia, Berlin-based Leonkoro Quartet, New Zealand violinist Geneva Lewis, Scottish jazz pianist Fergus McCreadie, South African soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha, English countertenor Hugh Cutting and Scottish accordionist Ryan Corbett (pictured).
They join the New Generation artists enrolled in the program since 2021and will remain there until December 2023: British-Israeli pianist Tom Borrow, British mezzo-soprano Helen Charlston, Spanish violinist María Dueñas, German-Romanian baritone Konstantin Krimmel, Indian-American collaborative pianist Kunal Lahiry, Mithras London-based trio and British bass William Thomas.
Launched in 1999, the New Generation Artists program supports young musicians at the start of their international careers with performance opportunities in London and across the UK. These include solo recitals, performances with the BBC Orchestras and appearances at the BBC Proms, Cheltenham Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, London’s Wigmore Hall, Ulster Hall and Snape Maltings, among many other places. Through broadcasts on Radio 3, these rising stars are heard by listeners across the UK and across Europe through the European Broadcasting Union.
The program has already helped launch the careers of top artists such as soprano Fatma Said, pianist Beatrice Rana, guitarist Sean Shibe, clarinetist and composer Mark Simpson and violinist Alina Ibragimova.
Alan Davey, Controller of BBC Radio 3 and Classical Music, said: “It is a privilege for Radio 3 to provide performance and broadcasting opportunities to young artists as they embark on their international careers. This year, we are especially proud that the new generation artists joining the program showcase a variety of instruments and voices and come from many corners of the world. This means that our audience can experience and discover a variety of music by meeting these inspiring young performers. We hope listeners enjoy watching these young artists push boundaries, evolve, and leave their personal mark on the art of music.
Upcoming BBC Radio 3 shows celebrating new generation artists past and present include: a series of four Radio 3 lunchtime concerts recorded at the Hay Festival (broadcast from Tuesday May 31 to Friday June 3), with Aleksey Semenenko (violin), the Mithras Piano Trio and soprano Ruby Hughes; performances recorded at the Aldeburgh Festival by Timothy Ridout (viola), Alexander Gadjiev (piano), Ema Nikolovska (mezzo-soprano), Kunal Lahiry (piano) and the Arod Quartet (highlights broadcast on Radio 3 in Concert on June 23) ; a series of Radio 3 Lunchtime concerts live from the Cheltenham Festival, presented by Ian Skelly and featuring mezzo-soprano Helen Charlston, pianists Kunal Lahiry, Tom Borrow and Alexander Gadjiev, violinist Johan Dalene and the Arod Quartet (from Tuesday July 12 to Friday July 15).
Learn more about previous musicians featured on the BBC New Generation Artists program here.
Who are this year’s BBC New Generation Artists?
Santiago Cañón-Valencia made his orchestral debut as a soloist at the age of six with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá. Since then he has performed with all the major orchestras of his native Colombia and his international career as a soloist has taken him around the world. He won the silver medal and the “Audience Favorite” prize at the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition 2019 as well as the Starker Foundation Prize 2018, and – as a passionate advocate of new music – has given many premieres, including Carlos Izcaray’s “Stringmaster” Cello Concerto. ‘. He released his first CD, ‘Solo’, in 2013.
It has been a busy two years for Geneva Lewis, who won the Concert Artists Guild Competition Grand Prix in 2020, followed by an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2021 and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2022. She has performed with musicians including Kim Kashkashian, Jonathan Biss and Mitsuko Uchida and was shortlisted for the New England Conservatory’s Performance and Community Partnership Program Ensemble Fellowship, through which her string quartet created interactive educational programs for the Boston audience.
Fergus McCreadie caught the public eye after releasing his debut album Turas in 2018, rooted in a Scottish folk tradition. It was named Album of the Year at the Parliamentary and Scottish Jazz Awards and was shortlisted for the Scottish Album of the Year Award 2019. Finalist of the BBC Jazz Musician of the Year (2018), he works frequently with his trio, featuring featured long-term cohorts David Bowden and Stephen Henderson.
Songwriting Prize winner and 2021 Cardiff Singer of the World Main Prize runner-up, Masabane Cecilia started singing at an early age “on her mother-in-law’s knee in Limpopo Province”, as the soprano puts it. After completing her training at the University of Cape Town and the Cape Town Opera Artist Program, she participated in the Jette Parker Young Artists Program at the Royal Opera House for the 2018/21 season, before joining the Konzert Theater Bern for two seasons. in the fall of 2021.
Since winning the Kathleen Ferrier Prize in the fall of 2021, becoming the first countertenor to do so, Hugh Cutting has been in high demand. Recent and upcoming concerts include the English Concert and Kristian Bezuidenhout (Purcell Odes for a Queen), Collegium Vocale Gent and Philippe Herreweghe on tour in Europe (Bach B Minor Mass), and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Graham Ross (Bach Matthew Passion) – to name but a few. He has recorded Purcell ‘Royal Odes’ with The King’s Consort and Robert King, alongside Iestyn Davies and Carolyn Sampson, as well as German Baroque Airs with Iestyn Davies and Fretwork for Signum Classics. And he can be heard this Friday (May 27) in Kings Place, alongside Lucy Crowe and Roderick Williams in a program for SoundVoice UK focusing on vocal identity regarding voice loss in terminal health conditions.
Self-taught on the accordion until the age of 14, Ryan Corbett has since won numerous awards and accolades including the Keyboard Prize, First Prize and Gold Medal at the annual Royal Over Music Competition. Seas League, becoming the first accordionist to win the gold medal. Medal since 1993. He has given solo recitals at the Berlin Philharmonic, among others, and as a passionate chamber musician has been invited to play with the Red Note Ensemble, the Hebrides Ensemble and the Maxwell Quartet. He frequently writes his own musical arrangements for accordion, one of which – “Entrée de Polymnie” by Rameau in “Les Boréades” – was performed for Prince Charles during his official visit to the Royal Conservatory of Scotland.
Founded in 2019 in Berlin, where they still receive intensive coaching from the world-renowned Artemis Quartet, the Leonkoro Quartet have reached formidable heights in just three years, having won first prize and nine special prizes at the Wigmore String Quartet Competition. Hall this year. These included, among others, the prize for the best interpretation of a string quartet by Haydn, the prize for the best interpretation of a work of the 19th century, the Britten Pears Young Artists Program Prize, the Leeds International Concert Series Prize as well as the Esterházy Foundation Prize. This season, the Leonkoro Quartet will perform at the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the String Quartet Biennale of the Philharmonie de Paris, the String Quartet Festival in Heidelberg and the Rheingau Music Festival, among others.
Photo: Sean Corbett