Pianists compete for annual award

Eastbourne is again hosting the internationally-renowned Norah Sande Award which attracts hugely talented young adult pianists on the brink of their professional careers.

Former entrants include several BBC Young Musician of the Year finalists. Last year’s winner, 23 year old Abigail Sin, described at 10 years old by Time Magazine as “a bona fide prodigy”, became SE Asia’s first ever Young Steinway artist at 17. Abigail from Singapore has performed in major concert venues across the globe including London’s Wigmore Hall and St John’s Smith Square, with broadcasts in many countries and has won a significant number of top international prizes.

For over a decade competitors have delighted audiences from across Southern England at the 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 9 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 10 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 £3000 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 5. Sunday 6th July tickets are £10 (including tea/coffee) and can be booked on Saturday with any remaining seats sold at the door. Children studying a musical instrument can have free entry to hear these inspirational musicians in the Final – just bring a teacher’s note or invoice. Details at www.sande-award.co.uk