Catch stars of the future at the Birley

The internationally-renowned Norah Sande Award is a popular annual date in the cultural calendar of Eastbourne and a chance to hear some of the most exciting young adult pianists on the brink of their professional careers.

The event will be at Eastbourne College’s Birley Centre on July 5, from 9.30am (semi-finals), and July 6 from 2pm (finals)

Former entrants include several BBC Young Musician of the Year finalists.

Last year’s winner, Riyad Nicolas from Syria, has played in Westminster Abbey Hall and his performance of the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No3 at St John’s Smith Square prompted critics to comment on the exceptional brilliance of the young artist.

The Beethoven Piano Society of Europe said of a recent concert that Riyad gave “a prodigious recital which rose head and shoulders above everything else we have heard this year”.

Shortly after winning last year’s competition Riyad became a Steinway Scholar, studying for a Masters in Performance at the Royal College of Music.

The Norah Sande Award attracts exceptional entrants and the two days of performances are eagerly anticipated by its now loyal followers.

Performances will be taking place throughout the day at the Birley Centre on Saturday July 5 with semi-finalists performing 20 minute programmes from 9.30am.

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

The finals commence on Sunday July 6 at 2pm 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 £3000 and a future recital opportunity.

Entry is free on Saturday July 5. Tickets cost £10 (including tea/coffee) for the final on Sunday July 6 from Eastbourne Congress Theatre box office .

Call 01323 412000.

Any remaining seats will be sold at the door.

Children studying a musical instrument can have free entry to hear these inspirational musicians in the final.

Bring a teacher’s note or invoice.