Aspiring concert pianists aged 17 to 30 from all around the world have been arriving in Hastings this week to take part. All stages of the competition will take place at the White Rock Theatre and are open to the public.

Under Artistic Director Frank Wibaut the Hastings Competition continues to go from strength to strength. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear world class music in a town with an amazing musical heritage. Tickets start at £4 and are available from the White Rock Theatre, on 01424 462288 or from

In Stage 1 of the competition each contestant plays excerpts from a piano concerto with an accompanist playing the orchestral part. Up to 24 contestants will then go through to Stage 2, on Monday February 26 and Tuesday February 27, when they will play excerpts from a second concerto.

At the Semi-Final on Wednesday February 28, up to 12 competitors will play a 35 minute solo recital of music of their own choice, which ensures tremendous variety, but includes one piece from a list of compulsory composers.

Six semi-finalists will go through to the Grand Final. The six who don’t will take part in one of the highlights of the competition – a Masterclass given by distinguished members of the International Jury on Thursday March 1.

To create a truly intimate atmosphere, the audience will be seated on the stage with the participants – a chance to gain a real insight into the intricacies of playing the piano at this level.

Then comes the Grand Final itself, which will take place over two evenings – Friday March 2 and Saturday March 3. The finalists – three each evening – will perform one of their chosen concertos in full with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Jac van Steen; a rare chance to play with one of the great orchestras of the world.

The winner will receive £15,000 and the chance to perform as a soloist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and, an opportunity to play a concerto in the United States as well as other concert engagements.


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