Showing young pianists’ talent

James Sherlock, originally from Sussex. One of the competitors at Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition
James Sherlock, originally from Sussex. One of the competitors at Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition

TALENTED young pianists will be flocking to town from all over the world for the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition.

Competitors from as far afield as South Korea and Australia as well as from all over Europe will be taking part in the annual competition which runs from Monday (March 11) to Saturday, March 16.

The competition is the jewel in the crown of Hastings Musical Festival, and this year features a home-grown talent, James Sherlock, 29, who grew up in Sussex and is one of two competitors hailing from the UK.

He said: ”I learned with Kevin Smith in St Leonards from the age of 13. My family have lived in Sussex all my life, and though I now study and work in London.

“I still return for lessons when time allows.

“Until 2011 I also studied with one of the country’s most respected teachers, Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and so it will be a strange feeling to see her sitting on the jury on my home turf!”

The three finalists will play with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra on Saturday, March 16.

Chairman of the jury Frank Wibaut said: “In the coming week we’ll hear so many pianists from so many different countries, all competing against each other.

“I recommend anyone to come and hear these internationally selected young pianists in any stage of this thrilling competition.”

All stages will take place at the White Rock Theatre, and tickets are available from www.whiterocktheatre.org.uk or call 01424 462288.

One child under 16 goes free with each adult ticket.