Young Belgian Talent

The Competition

YBT's three yearly competition has gained international reknown over the last thirteen years.  However, the big achievement for our musicians is in reaching the finals ahead of all the other applicants.  Only the very best get through, and each of them receives the support of the YBT organisation until they reach the age of 25 (and even then, we still like to help out when we can)!

Every 3 years, YBT organises a public competition to select the five young musicians that will receive its support until they reach the age of 25. The overall winner, receives a cash prize and a priority to sponsorship and YBT resources but this does not in any way exclude their fellow finalist. Each finalist is assessed for their needs and the support that YBT can offer them at any given time.

YBT support can take the form of financial support and sponsorship, to CD and video recordings, personal coaching on the topics of: social media & marketing, performance coaching, specialist legal, contractural and business coaching, media training and introducing them to the powerful international professional network that YBT has built up over the last decade. 

Who do we look for? We are not only looking for exceptionally talented classical musicians but for people that show the openness and potential to develop and grow. Character and attitude are as important to us as their musical ability. We search for musicians with an extremely high degree of personal commitment; free thinkers with unending motivation and drive and the ability to communicate their ideas and emotions on and off the podium. In short, we look for ambassadors of excellence, people who are prepared to also to help out  and be an example to others.

All our applicants need to meet the following criteria:

  • Between 16 years of age and under 21 on the first day of January following the competition final. 

  • Sing, or play a musical instrument that is considered part of the classical symphony orchestra and is officially taught in Belgium’s top music conservatoires. (We include pianists & composers too)!

  • Studying at a music conservatoire or academie. 

  • Belgian nationality, or domiciled in Belgium*

*The world is flooded with international music competitions and we do not have the necessary resources to do a truly international competition justice, especially as our emphasis is on personal coaching and one to one support. By focusing our resources on musicians who grew up and live within the network of our local music establishments and its associated network, not only can we know our candidates better but we can also better prepare them for their international solo careers while they finish their studies, either in Belgium or abroad.

From our first list of entries, we select a minimum of fifteen candidates to perform in front of a professional panel of judges, made up of representatives of the music establishment, business leaders, media professionals and personal coaches. In addition to performing, the candidates will have a short interview with the panel and the final five will have a one to one assessment interview with one, or more of our personal coaches, where their motivation and other attributes will be assessed. Our final five go on to our live gala evening where they will perform pieces of music of their own choice, to the judges and a live audience,  
The overall YBT winner is selected by both the professional judges and results from the coaching interviews.  In addition, there is also a 'Public Prize' winner, chosen on the night by the audience.

The prize

The finalists of the YBT competition win the beginning of a career! This means they go home with:

  • A ‘Finalist trophy’ and 244EUR performance fee subsidy

  • Support from Young Belgian Talent VZW up until the age of 25

  • Financial advice

  • Legal advice

  • PR/Marketing support and coaching 

  • Career coaching

  • On stage presence & media coaching

  • Access to YBT resources and budgets, typically 6000EUR per year. Budgets cover: travel, personal coaching, master classes, summer schools, etc. and are allocated on a case by case basis.

  • The possibility of a CD made from professional recordings of concerts and studio performances (subject to assessment and resources).

  • The possibility of a full high-resolution video made by internationally renowned professionals. (subject to assessment and resources).

  • Still photography portrait sessions etc.

  • Priority for invitation to participation in YBT sponsor concerts during the sponsorship period.

  • Possibility of concert tours, for example with Musica et Poetica.

  • Access to YBT’s international partner network.

The overarching winner of the Young Belgian Talent competition receives in addition:

  • The winner’s trophy

  • A one time prize of 1.000 EUR

  • Preferential access to YBT resources and budgets.

  • A minimum of 3 concerts during the sponsorship period.

  • Paid concert tour of Belgium for Musica et Poetica (typically 7-9 concerts).

  • Become a member of the Jury Panel for the following finals.

The winner is chosen by a professional jury.

We also have a 'Public Prize' winner who is voted for by the public on the night. They  receive all the benefits of the other finalists but in addition a one time 1000EUR prize and commemorative trophy.

This is where we obtain our competition slogan: “YBT The Finals: where preparation and opportunity meet”.