Playing YouTube for all it’s worth

Panfilov won the competition, the audience prize and Sir Philip Ledger trophy

It was an inspired decision to commission director Mike Figgis to film this year’s Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition. Figgis and his crew spent 10 days following the drama – they captured it in six short bursts of video that were immediately available on YouTube.

The last of his shorts was the final itself: three contestants battling for a first prize of £10,000 and a concert with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Figgis bridged what some might see as a cultural gap: between classical music and new tech. If you missed the final, how wonderful that we can hit a link on our mobiles, our tablets, a smart TV, even a desktop, and watch it.

See Garam Cho play Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No.1 in B flat minor, Op.23. Delight as Scipione Sangiovanni plays Liszt Concerto No.2 in A major, S.125. Witness Alexander Panfilov taking the title with Rachmaninov’s Concerto No.3 in D minor, Op.30. The Figgis final lasts 12mins 5secs. It will stay with you much longer.

Cho and Sangiovanni were awarded the joint second prize of £2,500. Russian Panfilov also took the audience prize of £500 and the trophy in memory of Sir Philip Ledger, the Bexhill-born conductor and organist and musical adviser to the group who started the competition a decade ago.

As part of his prize Panfilov will perform Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on June 4. The Summer Prizewinners’ Recital will be at Fairlight Hall on July 5. Ticket information is available online.


Main photo: John Cole