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Fumiya Koido, overall winner in 2019. Photo: John Cole

Hastings International Piano announces a bold start for 2021

The organisers of the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition have taken the bold step of investing yet more money in this event to make it even more attractive to contestants and public alike. Given the vagaries of Covid 19, it could be just what the town of Hastings needs to revive live music in our town after lockdown, writes Chris Cormack.

The 2021 competition takes place in Hastings from 25 February to 6 March 2021 (contestant reception: Wednesday 24 February), slotting in with similar dates in March for the Hastings Musical Festival.

Of all live music events in Hastings, it is the Piano Concerto Competition that probably attracts the greatest number of visitors to Hastings from home and abroad, so coming as it does at the beginning of Hastings 2021 tourist season, it offers a great opportunity for Hastings to show the world it is back in business for live music.

The competition has an international reach and is well known for its friendly atmosphere and warm audiences. New for 2021, it offers all 12 semi-finalists the opportunity to perform a concerto with a chamber orchestra. With a first prize of £15,000, the six finalists can perform a complete concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, a second opportunity to play with an orchestra.

The choice of composers’ works has also grown; the list of options, apart from the usual classics, includes less well-known works from composers such as R Schumann, C Saint Saens, M Ravel, J Ireland, C Franck, B Bartok and A Scriabin.

In a move to become more environmentally friendly, the competition entry is now by video audition only. Entries can be arranged via the website at any time up to 19 October.

New Jury President: Prof Vanessa Latarge of the Royal College of Music.

New jury president

2021, HIPCC will have a distinguished new jury president, Professor Vanessa Latarche of the Royal College of Music. She will join the competition team to curate the 2021 competition and oversee the audition process, as well as to preside over the international jury.

She says she looks forward to being part of such a distinguished organisation and to working with the team to develop some exciting new ideas for the competition.

Apart from an outstanding career as a performer, teacher and broadcaster worldwide, since September 2005, Vanessa has been Head of Keyboard at the Royal College of Music, having been previously a professor of piano at the Royal Academy of Music for 14 years, where she was made an Honorary Associate in 1997.

Vanessa was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Music for outstanding services to music, an honour conferred on her by HRH Prince of Wales in May 2010. In September 2011, she was granted a Personal Chair at the RCM, which gave her the title of Chair of International Keyboard Studies.

In 2017, as an extension to her keyboard faculty work, she was made the Associate Director for Partnerships in China, which involves managing the RCM’s collaborative work in China, particularly the RCM/Shanghai Conservatory of Music Joint Institute in Shanghai.

Given the impressive international network of connections of the new curator, we can all look forward to the event going from strength to strength.

For full information and details on how to enter the competition please visit here.

Posted 19:53 Wednesday, May 20, 2020 In: Music & Sound

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