After Hours

Eurovision Young Musicians heading to Zagreb

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has announced that the 20th edition of Eurovision Young Musicians will be hosted by Croatia’s public broadcaster HRT on June 21, 2020 in Zagreb. Young musicians from around Europe will perform on an open-air stage in King Tomislav Square in the Croatian capital.

Eurovision Young Musicians is the continent’s leading event for talented young classical musicians aged between 12 and 21. The grand final is scheduled to coincide with Fête de la Musique, or World Music Day, which celebrates music of all genres being performed outdoors.

“We are delighted to bring the 20th Eurovision Young Musicians competition to Croatia in 2020,” said the EBU’s Executive Supervisor of Eurovision Live Events, Jon Ola Sand. “HRT have been closely involved with this format for over 20 years and are very much a part of its heritage. We know that HRT will produce a fantastic event for the best young classical musicians to shine. This competition has launched some of the biggest stars of the classical world and we’re looking forward to giving the big names of the future an international stage next summer.”

Kazimir Bačić, director general of HRT, added: “We are exceptionally honoured to host Eurovision Young Musicians in 2020 in Zagreb. We will stage the competition for the very first time and this being the 20th edition makes us even more proud. We are pleased to partner with the Croatian Ministry of Culture and the City of Zagreb for the event. As a country that is known around the world for its hard-working musical talent as well as its great cultural heritage, Croatia, Zagreb and HRT are ready for this wonderful experience. We’d like to thank the EBU for giving HRT this opportunity.”

The first Eurovision Young Musicians was held in Manchester in 1982. Since then it has been held six times in Vienna, twice in Cologne and Switzerland (Geneva, Lucerne) and once each in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Brussels, Warsaw, Lisbon, Bergen and Berlin.

Last year, in Edinburgh, the 16-year-old Russian pianist Ivan Bessonov won the 19th edition of the competition. A Slovenian violinist, violinist Nikola Pajanović, was runner-up. Previous winners of the competition who have gone on to enjoy worldwide fame include Julian Rachlin (violin), Natalie Clein (cello) and Eivind Holtsmark Ringstad (viola).

Zagreb has a history organising Eurovision events – the city hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in 1990, won by Italian singer Toto Cutugno with the song Insieme: 1992.