|Lauren Zhang plays Prokofiev's Second Piano Concerto with the CBSO in the BBC Young Musician final|
Photo: Greg Milner
The BBC YMoY is 40 this year and has helped to inspire several generations of young people to love music and want to play it. This (along with so much else in the UK at present) is desperately under threat.
Here's some of the letter:
"....despite some brilliant schemes, we are all deeply concerned that instrumental music learning is being left to decay in many British schools to the point that it could seriously damage the future of music here and jeopardise British music’s hard won worldwide reputation.
"Today, we are launching a campaign for every primary school child to be taught to play an instrument, at no cost to them or their families. It is crucial to restore music’s rightful place in children’s lives, not only with all the clear social and educational benefits, but showing them the joy of making and sharing music. We are especially concerned that this should be a universal right. This is an opportunity to show the world that we care about music’s future and its beneficial impact on our children.
"Musical life in the London Borough of Newham could be one example, with their excellent Every Child A Musician scheme. The programme gifts all of their primary school children a free instrument to keep and teaches them how to read and play music in weekly lessons. This at no cost to the children or their families.
"We believe that every child deserves to enjoy the benefits of Ecam and other excellent schemes, and their widespread adoption would alleviate many of our current concerns about the future of music in this country..."
Meanwhile 16-year-old pianist Lauren Zhang from Birmingham swept to victory at yesterday's final, playing Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No.2. It's not a piece you expect to pitch up in a competition final - dark, intense, tragic, as well as phenomenally challenging in technical terms - and everyone I know who heard this performance was blown away. I managed to miss it and will catch it on the much-blessed iPlayer - you can too, here.