Eastbourne plays host to some of the world’s most talented young pianists

Lukas Okros
Lukas Okros

Eastbourne is centre stage again next weekend, playing host to the internationally-renowned Norah Sande Award which attracts hugely talented young adult pianists from across the world in the eary stages of their professional careers. Former entrants include several BBC Young Musician of the Year finalists.

Last year’s winner, Luka Okros from Tbilisi, Georgia, gave his first national recital at only five years old and made his US debut at Carnegie Hall at just 18.

Since then Luka has performed to great acclaim in fifteen countries in some of the world’s best concert venues including the UK’s Wigmore, Cadogan and Royal Albert Halls.

For more than a decade the competitors of the annual Norah Sande Award have delighted audiences from across Southern England at the competition venue at Eastbourne College, most recently at its purpose-built Birley Centre concert hall, with two days of exciting and exceptional recitals.

The audience is a welcome and important part of the experience for the performers.

On Saturday July 8 performances take place throughout the day with 15 semi-finalists performing 20 minute programmes from 9.30am.

Entry is free and the audience is welcome to join and leave between competitors’ performances.

Many choose to hear all of the recitals and enjoy deciding whether they agree with the judges’ choice of finalists.

The finals commence on Sunday July 9 at 2.30pm and the three finalists will each play a full recital programme incorporating classical, romantic and contemporary pieces, none of which will have been played during the semi-finals. Tea will be served whilst the adjudicators deliberate. The results will be announced at around 5pm with the winner being presented with a cheque for £2000 and a future recital opportunity.

The recitals take place in the Birley Centre, Eastbourne College, Carlisle Road, Eastbourne BN21 4JJ. Entry is free on Saturday July 8 and tickets for Sunday July 9 are £10 (including tea/coffee) and can be booked on Saturday with any remaining seats sold at the door. Go to www.sande-award.co.uk