Jordan Ashman, an 18-year-old percussionist from Milton, Cambridgeshire, became the winner of BBC young musician 2022.
The announcement was made during the broadcast of the Grand Final of the Competition on BBC Four and BBC Radio 3 on Sunday 9 October at 7pm. The Grand Finale was hosted by pioneering saxophonist and entertainer Jess Gillam (herself a 2016 Young Musicians finalist), as well as classical soul pianist, composer and producer Alexis Ffrench and Josie d’Arby, a regular with young musicians in the BBC.
The second consecutive percussionist to win the award (after Fang Zhang in 2020), Jordan started playing drums at the age of seven, before moving into percussion. Currently a student at the Royal Birmingham Conservatory, he has performed with the National Children’s Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra and the National Youth Brass Band.
Jordan won the award with a performance of the American composer’s Percussion Concerto Jennifer Higdon. The BBC Philharmonic provided the accompaniment, with Mark Wigglesworth as conductor.
The jury was chaired by the organist and broadcaster Anna Lapwoodand included BBC Radio 3 Live Music Editor Emma Bloxham, Southbank Center Head of Classical Music Toks Dada, Conductor Ben Gernonand sitar player, composer and producer Anoushka Shankar.
Jordan Ashman said: ‘Attending BBC Young Musician 2022 was an amazing experience. Working on Jennifer Higdon’s Percussion Concerto with Mark Wigglesworth in the Grand Final and playing alongside such amazing musicians, including the other competitors and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, was something I will never forget.
‘I was, and still am, really excited to show what I and all the different percussion instruments can do, and I hope that I’ve greatly increased people’s understanding of percussion and that they can see how vibrant, virtuosic, expressive and dynamic the percussion is. maybe,” Jordan added.
‘Jordan’s performance didn’t start with loud and flashy acting, but with exquisite and gentle beauty,’ Anna Lapwood noted. “He held the whole piece throughout that delicate opening and kept that magic going throughout his performance. Jordan combined emotional expression with easy, confident technique, and brilliant moments that had us all catching our breath.
“Throughout the competition, the five finalists displayed incredibly moving bravery and commitment to excellence, showing us that tradition and innovation need not be mutually exclusive, but can range from peer. Well done to all of them, and to all the other extraordinarily talented young musicians who have been part of this process.
Filmed on Thursday 29 September at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, the grand final also featured standout performances from the other four winners of the BBC Young Musicians 2022 category. They were:
- Brass: trumpeter Sasha Canter (19), student at the Royal Academy of Music in Oxfordshire
- Keyboard: pianist Ethan Loch (18), currently studying at the Royal Conservatory of Scotland
- Wood: flautist Sofía Patterson-Gutiérrez (17) from Stockport, in her final year at Chetham’s School of Music
- Channels: violist Jaren Ziegler (17), student at the Junior Royal Academy of Music and A-level student at University College School
Previous BBC Young Musician winners include famous classical music stars such as cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, violinist Nicola Benedetti and clarinetist Mark Simpson.
As well as coverage on BBC Four and BBC Radio 3, the BBC Young Musician 2022 Grand Final is now available on iPlayer for 12 months and BBC Sounds for 30 days.