The venerable British Broadcasting Corporation has a long and impressive record of support for young artists. Their Young Musician of the Year awards were founded 35 years ago, and they have also been hugely supportive of the Cardiff Singer of the World competition, one of the most admired competitions for burgeoning opera singers. (Neue Stimmen is the other!)
And now they have their New Generation Artists scheme which is under the management of BBC's Radio 3 - and features some of the most talented artists of the younger generation, including singers of course.
This afternoon I was at the Wigmore Hall reciital given by one of these young people. This was Ruby Hughes - a most intelligent and rather classy soprano who was the winner of the London Handel Singing Competition in 2009. I would love to hear her in this repertore, for she was extremely distinguished in Haydn, Brahms, and Schumann this afternoon and is clearly someone to contend with.
Singling young artists out from the general flock is a chancy business, but the judgement of those responsible for this programme has been pretty good over the years. It has a fine track record - and I know only too well how tricky it is.
Ruby sang three Haydn English settings delightfully, a trio of Brahms songs with extraordinary sensitivity and understanding, most of all the ravishing Wie Melodien an extraordinarily erotic tune Fest which she projected with sumptuous legato. And then Schumann's wonderful Eichendorff Opus 39 Liederkreis. It is such a pleasure to hear young singers getting into this stuff and projecting the feeling with such unselfconscious instinctive response. Such is the mystery of music!
And of course none of this would have been possible without the magic of Julius Drake. The BBC really goes for the best - good for them and lucky for us. The license fee is worth it for this alone!
You can hear this recital again on BBC Radio 3 at 2pm London time on Saturday next.