BBC Young Musician Competition Announces Winner
18-year-old percussionist Jordan Ashman is the second consecutive percussionist to win the competition
British percussionist Jordan Ashman hails from Milton in Cambridgeshire, England, and is currently in his first year of study at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
At the 2022 BBC Young Musician of the Year competition, Ashman chose to play a percussion concerto by the American composer Jennifer Higdon, and was backed by the BBC Philharmonic with conductor Mark Wigglesworth in the final.
Having taken up the drums at the age of 7, Ashman gravitated naturally towards percussion. At the age of 8, he built a 3.5-octave xylophone with the help of his father. His love of percussion has led to places in the National Children's Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra, and National Youth Brass Band.
The other four finalists were trumpeter Sasha Canter (19), pianist Ethan Loch (18), flutist Sofía Patterson-Gutiérrez (17), and violist Jaren Ziegler (17).
"Taking part in BBC Young Musician 2022 was an incredible experience," Ashman said. "Working on the Jennifer Higdon Percussion Concerto with Mark Wigglesworth in the Grand Final, and performing alongside such amazing musicians including the other competitors and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, was something that I will never forget."
"I was, and still am, really excited to showcase what I and all the different percussion instruments can do, and I hope that I have greatly increased people’s understanding of percussion and that they can see how vibrant, virtuosic, expressive and dynamic the percussion can be," he added.
"Jordan’s performance started not with loud, flashy playing, but with exquisite, gentle beauty," commented organist and broadcaster Anna Lapwood, the chair of the jury.
"He held the entire room throughout that delicate opening and kept that magic through his whole performance. Jordan combined emotional expression with an easy, assured technique, and moments of brilliance that made all of us catch our breath."