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Asagi Nakata from Japan captured by Bob Mazzer playing her heart out in this year's piano competition - one of the photos in the exhibition at St Mary in the Castle.

Asagi Nakata from Japan captured by Bob Mazzer as she played her heart out in this year’s piano competition – one of the photos in the exhibition at St Mary in the Castle.

Piano competition goes biennial

The prestigious Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition, which has been growing in stature every year for the last 14 years, is to become a biennial event after next year’s competition. Julian Norridge reports.

The announcement was made at the official launch of the 2019 competition on Tuesday 11 September at the preview of Concerto, an exhibition of photographs and film of this year’s event being held in the crypt of St Mary’s in the Castle in Hastings.

“The most exciting thing about going every two years is that we’ll have the time to develop the competition and make it better,” says Professor Frank Wibaut, the artistic director. “We’ll be able to make it more exhilarating for the audience and offer more opportunities – including concerts – for our contestants.“

Hastings thus moves in line with many of the most important international piano competitions, which do not take place every year. The highly regarded Leeds International Piano Competition, for instance, takes place every three years, while the Van Cliburn, the leading competition in the US, happens every four years.

“Going biennial will also help us develop our outreach and education programme ,” says Prof Wibaut. “And it will help us develop our very important relationship with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.”

In the year between competitions, HIPCC will continue to offer excellent piano performances to the local community. Around February/March 2020, there will be a major concert with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra featuring three concertos played by past competition prize winners. There will also be the on-going recital series throughout the year.

Roman Kosyakov, this year's winner, playing with the RPO.

Roman Kosyakov, this year’s winner, playing with the RPO.

Diary date

The 2019 competition will take place from Thursday 21 February to Saturday 2 March at the White Rock Theatre. Once again the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will play on the two evenings of the final, Friday 1 and Saturday 2 March.

The conductor for 2019 will be Rory Macdonald. As well as the RPO, he has conducted orchestras such as the BBC Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, Halle and Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. He has also conducted operas all around the world.

Entries are already being accepted. Live auditions will be held in Japan, China, USA, Italy and the UK (London). Competitors who are unable to travel to the live auditions are invited to submit videos.


Concerto Multimedia exhibition of photography and film from this year’s Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition, featuring photography by Bob Mazzer and film by Ed Bishop and James Cosens. St Mary in the Castle, 7 Pelham Crescent, Hastings TN34 3AF, 12-30 September, 10am-4pm. Free entry.

Concert Kenny Broberg, the 2017 winner, will give a concert with Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra in St Mary’s Church, Lion Street, Rye TN31 7LB at 7.30pm as part of Rye Arts Festival. Tickets £15-£25.

Posted 13:05 Wednesday, Sep 12, 2018 In: Music & Sound

Also in: Music & Sound

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