Awards for Young Musicians and BBC Symphony Orchestra launch mentoring partnership


Ten AYM supported musicians are receiving one to one mentoring from some of the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s outstanding musicians throughout 2022.

This exciting project, built on a longstanding relationship between the BBC SO and AYM, will provide a mutual exchange of skills, ideas and experiences between musicians at very different stages of their musical journeys. 

In line with the BBC’s commitment to championing new artists and supporting talented young people to access the classical music industry irrespective of their background, AYM students will access support, advice and ideas from world-class musicians.

Meanwhile, the BBC Symphony Orchestra will benefit from AYM’s expertise in training and mentoring. Participants will take part in one to one mentoring and enjoy a series of virtual and in-person events, plus opportunities to make music together.

This work is part of the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s ongoing mission to broaden access to classical music, encourage musical excellence and create opportunities for people from all backgrounds. 


Launch event


BBC SO violinist Jenny King meets mentee Owen, 27th February 2022 © Edward Webb

The musicians on the programme met for the first time on Sunday 27th February 2022:

BBCSO Violinist Jenny King and mentor to young musician Owen said: “I’ve enjoyed meeting Owen and his Mum today. This sort of thing reminds you why you do your job sometimes. It encourages you to think about why you love music, and why you feel passionate about it. That’s been a really nice reminder for me.”

Young musician and mentee Owen said: “My favourite about today was meeting new people and making new friends.”

Owen’s Mum Sara added: “It’s been fantastic, the whole weekend!”


“Supporting young musicians at every step of their musical training, whatever their background and whatever their individual journey may be, is something we are passionate about at the BBC SO. AYM is the most wonderful organisation with which to partner and I look forward to seeing how the participants from both organisations develop as this valued relationship continues to grow.“

Paul Hughes, Director, BBC Symphony Orchestra


“This exciting new project is an opportunity for our talented young musicians to explore their musicianship with outstanding BBC SO musicians, and in return, for the BBC SO musicians to learn from our extensive knowledge in mentorship and training. We are proud to partner with the BBC SO and we are looking forward to sharing our knowledge over the months to come.”

Hester Cockcroft, AYM Chief Executive


Talent to Talent


The project builds on the success of AYM’s young person-led Talent to Talent mentoring programme (funded by Arts Council England), in which young musicians at different stages in their musical development took on the role of mentor and mentee to discover more about their musical selves through sharing ideas and experiences.

45 AYM supported young musicians took part in the original Talent to Talent pilot across 18 months. The second phase took place in 2021 in partnership with 4 Music Education Hubs across the country and focused on young musicians coming together over 3 days to work creatively and collaboratively. Mentoring relationships were encouraged to evolve organically though conversations, shared experiences and mutual support. Input was also sought from AYM Alumna and Patron Jess Gillam who had herself participated in the first phase.


AYM and the BBC Symphony Orchestra


© Copyright Edward Webb 2018

In 2018, 100 AYM Award winners spent the day with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at Maida Vale Studios for their Awards. To celebrate we created a documentary, presented by AYM Alumna Leaphia Darko, it follows four young musicians’ experience of coming to London to take part in the event.


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