On Saturday, March 2 the final of the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition was held at the White Rock Theatre on Hastings sea front. The host, John Brunning, explained that it was a long emotional journey for the 176 contestants, who performed in front of three judges in person and on video link.
Eventually, only 50 young people from across the world were invited to compete further in Hastings, until six finalists were chosen. The public was able to attend day sessions during the week to hear the six.
On Friday, March 1 the first three finalists played and on March 2 the other three performed to a full house with the wonderful Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The playing of all contestants was extraordinary, powerful and mesmerizing. (Ravel, Prokofiev, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky concertos) The six judges came from the UK, the USA, Japan, Italy and Germany, so making an unprejudiced panel.
At the end of the concert the audience was on their feet. After all the volunteers, the organisers, the judges and competitors had been thanked, the winner was announced. It was Fumiya Koido (23) from Japan who played Ravel’s piano concerto in G major. “It is certainly the UK’s premier classical competition and it is happening in Hastings.” (John Brunning)
The competition becomes a biennial event from 2019 so the next Hastings International Concerto Competition will be in 2021. More information can be found on the website.
Image Credits: Heidi Foster (poster).