What makes a great musician?

20130917-093725.jpgWhat makes a great musician? Is it sparkling technique or an ability to play slow airs like Aly Bain? Or is it someone who can play a mixture of styles with ease and fit into any situation? Is experience key – can a young musician be great?

As we head into the semi-finals of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award on the 5th October these are the thoughts that our judges have to make as they listen to the young musicians. They then have to argue their points to the other 5 judges who more than likely will have their own opinions on what they’ve just heard.

Judging the Young Trad Award is a really difficult job and the judging sessions after the semi-finals are finished are getting longer and longer. What usually happens is that each judge comes in with their top 6 from the night which is then discussed. If they are lucky they will agree on 2 or 3 finalists. Then the discussion really begins. It is amazing how as a judge you go into the ‘chamber’ thinking that your fellow judges must see things your way because the result is obvious (to you). So many times your jaw drops at what other judges say!

The judges for the 2014 Semis are:

Dave Francis
Brian Miller
Duncan Lyle
Kristan Harvey
Kirsten Smith, BBC Producer
Steven Blake

Good luck!

If you would like to come along to the semi-finals of the Young Trad Award and make your own mind up it’s on Saturday 5th October at 7.30pm start. Tickets are £8 (£6 concessions) available online or at the door.