The February 17, 2020 deadline for entry into the Eurovision Young Musicians 2020 contest, to be held on June 21, 2020, in Zagreb, Croatia, has passed, and the final eleven competing nations have been announced by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

The 2020 contest, which is being held to coincide with World Music Day on June 21, 2020 in King Tomaslav Square, has some notable withdrawals after the 2018 contest, including reigning champions Russia (whose Ivan Bessonov won with a piano performance of Tchaikovsky’s “3rd mvt from Piano Concerto No. 1”) and 2018 host nation United Kingdom.

Eleven nations are sending young aspiring classical musicians to Zagreb this year, down from the eighteen in the 2018 contest. Ukraine return to the contest after appearing in 2008 and 2012, and Albania, Belgium, Hungary, Israel, San Marino and Spain join Russia and the United Kingdom in withdrawing.

The eleven competing nations in Zagreb are as follows: Croatia (hosts), Czech republic, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Malta, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, and Ukraine.

To date, only one young aspiring musician is known, with 17-year-old clarinetist Tekla Nilsson having won Polstjärnepriset earlier this year and earned the right to represent Sweden.

Further details about the contest will become available throughout the coming months, including artists representing each nation, their instrument of choice, this year’s format, and judging criteria.

First started in 1982, and held every two years, the Eurovision Young Musicians contest pits aspiring classical musicians between the ages of 12 and 21 against each other to play classical or traditional pieces on a recognized classical or traditional instrument, typically those found in a modern orchestra.

The contest has been held nineteen times to date, with Austria leading the way with five victories, and Poland with three.

Past winners and participants of the contest have gone on to enjoy lucrative careers in classical music not just in Europe, but in North America and Asia as well.

2018 winner Bessonov is a frequent guest on Russian variety shows and presented the Russian jury scores at Eurovision 2019, and 1988 winner Julian Rachlin tours the world performing as a solo violinist in appearances with some of the world’s most renowned orchestras.

Are #YOU concerned about the field dropping from 18 to 11? Will #YOU be watching in Zagreb on June 21, 2020 to get over your Eurovision withdrawal? Let us know in the comments below, on social media, or in our forum.

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