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Rufus Wainwright photo: Tony Hauser

Hastings International Piano announces Digital Festival

Headlining Hastings International Piano’s one-day Digital Festival will be Rufus Wainwright, and there will also be piano recitals by Maxim Kinasov and Martin James Bartlett, together with a piano masterclass given by Professor Vanessa Latarche, says HOT’s Chris Cormack.

Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, photo: Eric Richmond

Programmed for Friday 13 November, Hastings International Piano Digital Festival is an online initiative, supported by Arts Council England in association with  Steinway and Sons and designed to educate and inspire the next generation of pianists, young artists and those wishing to pursue careers in the industry, who will have the opportunity to enjoy special performances and join in with Questions and Answers from award-winning artists and industry professionals.

Highlights of the festival include:

  • Grammy-nominated composer and singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright;
  • BBC Young Musician of The Year and Cleveland Piano Competition Winner Martin James Bartlett;
  • a piano masterclass with Professor Vanessa Latarche, the Head of Keyboard at the Royal College of Music and President of the Jury at Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition;
  • a recital performance by Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition prizewinner Maxim Kinasov;
  • an industry panel discussing important topics and offering advice to artists and industry professionals with guests including Managing Director of Steinway, Craig Terry; and
  • Festival Keynote speaker Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, the broadcaster and founder of Chineke! Orchestra, who will speak about diversity in the arts and her own experiences that have shaped her career and her success in founding a flourishing new orchestra.

Maxim Kinasov at HIPCC Finals Night
2 March 2019

The festival continues support for young people from the town and south coast region by offering free access to schools and youth organisations so that they can learn from and engage with eminent artists and industry experts, even though the Pandemic continues to prevent ongoing face-to-face learning opportunities.

Rufus Wainwright is one of the most eminent artists of his generation and a hugely inspirational figure in the music world. His very special  ‘In conversation with’ event will combine an interview by Gill Graham, Director of Global Music Publisher, Wise Music, and live performances of songs from his latest album Unfollow the Rules.

Martin James Bartlett at White Rock Theatre 2018

“My appearance at the Hastings Piano Festival earlier this year happened to be my last live performance with an audience before the lockdown,” Rufus Wainwright said.

“But it is not only special to me because of that but mainly because there are few festivals that celebrate music, artists and audiences in a more intimate and personal way. I am proud to be back, sadly only virtually because I was truly smitten by the beauty of East Sussex”.

Managing director of Hastings International Piano, Ian Roberts, said: “After the success of our inaugural piano festival in February and March of this year, life changed for us all with little or no live performances at concert halls and venues around the globe. Musicians’ work dried up and so many musicians feel forgotten about. Our on-line concert series was a pioneering series that ran for 20 weeks and programmed concerts from many of our prizewinners at the concerto competition.

“As we look forward to our next competition, which has been rescheduled to June of 2021, we decided that as an organisation we must continue to inspire both our artists of tomorrow and our loyal and wider audiences, who have come to expect exciting and innovative events whether they are on-line or with live audiences. The Digital Festival in November offers a unique concert experience for audiences and offers insight into the music industry, whether you are a performer or potential industry leader.”

Hastings International Piano Digital Festival will be live-streamed from 2-8pm on Friday 13 November. Tickets are £10 and can be purchased online.

Festival Programme:

2pm – Professor Vanessa Latarche masterclass
3pm – Maxim Kinasov piano recital
4pm – Industry Panel discussion led by Gill Graham
5pm – Martin James Bartlett piano recital
6pm – Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE keynote speech
7pm – Rufus Wainwright Q&A and performance

Posted 17:42 Thursday, Oct 22, 2020 In: Music & Sound

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