EIGHT talented young musicians who had won through the preliminary rounds competed in the final of the 19th Darlington and Northallerton Rotary Young Musician of the year competition at the Liddiard Theatre, Polam Hall School, Darlington, on Saturday evening.

An appreciative audience listened to lovely music performed to a high standard on strings, piano, woodwind and brass which much impressed the adjudicators.

The overall winner was nineyear-old James Chen from Stockton, who is taught by Barbara Bury and had entered the competition for the first time.

James is by far the youngest winner of the competition and held the audience spellbound as he played an emotionally mature Chopin’s Nocturne in E Flat Opus 9 No 2.

Principal adjudicator Alan Spedding, who had given all the young musicians constructive and helpful appraisals during the day, complimented James on the quality of his performance and all of the finalists on their excellent contributions, particularly commending Benedict Ferard from Kirkby in Cleveland for his playing of Debussy’s Clair de lune.