15-year-old Birgitta Elisa Oftestad has won Virtuos 2018 and will represent Norway at Eurovision Young Musicians 2018 in Edinburgh.
Birgitta Elisa Oftestad has been selected to represent Norway at Eurovision Young Musicians 2018, after she won the final of Virtuos 2018 in Oslo. The 15-year-old cellist said following her victory that;
Now I got quite shocked. I can hardly talk. Now I’m looking forward to the future. There will be a lot of practice in the future.
She beat off competition from;
- Nikita Khnykin – piano
- August Schieldrop – tuba
- Oda Holt Günther – violin
Arild Erikstad, the Head of the jury and Head of Delegation at Eurovision Young Musicians explained why Birgitta was selected;
It’s a soreness and maturity in what you play, which is almost unbelievable in your age – no matter what. The way you hand over the tone at the start of the orchestra is almost magic.
NRK has used Virtuos to select the Norwegian participant in Eurovision Young Musicians since 2006, the format has seen Norway take victory at the 2012 contest in Vienna, Austria. In 2016 Norway was represented by 17-year-old Ludvig Gudim who performed Carmen Fantasie by Franz Waxman, he did not place within the top three.
Albania will make their Eurovision Young Musicians debut in this year’s contest. Seven countries will make their return to the contest. These are Belgium (last participated in 2006), Estonia (2004), Greece (2014), Israel (1986), Russia (2010), Spain (2002) and the host nation, the United Kingdom (2010). Austria, who is the most successful country in the contest with five wins, will not take part for the first time since 1982.
The 2018 edition of Eurovision Young Musicians sees the return of a semi-final elimination round, which will take the form of public chamber recitals (St. Cecilia’s Hall) by all contestants on 18-19 August, with all recitals produced by BBC Radio 3 for distribution to the Euroradio network (as well as via web streaming).
Eurovision Young Musicians has been held bi-annually since 1982. The contest was based on the format of The BBC Young Musician of the Year in the United Kingdom. Performers in the contest must be aged under 18 years and are selected by their participating broadcaster. Each performer performs a piece of classical music of their choice accompanied by the local orchestra. The winner is decided by a jury made up of classical music experts and talents.