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Last Updated: Monday, 26 April, 2004, 09:55 GMT 10:55 UK
BBC denies 'sidelining' contest
Jennifer Pike who won the last Young Musician contest in 2002
Jennifer Pike won Young Musician contest in 2002
The BBC has denied "marginalising" the Young Musician of the Year competition after claims by a previous winner of the prestigious contest.

Clarinettist Emma Johnson, who won in 1984, told the Independent on Sunday she believed the show was being "sidelined" onto digital channels.

The final, which attracted an audience of 1.4m in 2002, will be shown on BBC Two on 2 May.

The five semi-finals will be shown on the digital channel BBC Four.

'Trendy' programmes

Johnson, who won the contest 20 years ago as an 18-year-old, went on to become a respected leading soloist and was awarded an MBE in 1996.

She told the Independent on Sunday: "I feel cross about how it has been marginalised, something that is to do with the taste of producers at the BBC rather than the hard facts of the audience not wanting to watch it. Perhaps it's not trendy enough."

But a spokeswoman for the BBC said: "We deny marginalising the Young Musician of the Year.

"It is the UK's most prestigious competition for young classical musicians. The final is on BBC Two on a Sunday evening from 5.15 - 8pm.

"Classical music is not sidelined by the BBC. We just had the Genius of Mozart on at primetime, a whole season of opera is coming up on BBC Two, and the Proms of course."

Thousands enjoy Proms finale
13 Sep 03  |  Entertainment
Violinist wins young musician title
27 May 02  |  Entertainment


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