World renowned pianist to sit as judge in piano contest

AN internationally renowned musician will be an honorary judge at this year’s 10th Anniversary Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition.

Dame Fanny Waterman, co-founder and artistic director of the world-famous Leeds Piano Competition, will also present the prizes on the final day of the competition, which runs at the White Rock Theatre from March 3 to March 8.

Dame Fanny began her career as a highly esteemed concert pianist but gave up performing in favour of teaching on the birth of her first son.

Since then more than two million people around the world have bought her Me and My Piano series of instruction books.

She had the idea for the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition one sleepless night in 1961 and has been running it ever since.

At the age of 93, she still insists on working 10 hours a day.

The Leeds, as it is known, takes place every three years and is now widely regarded as one of the leading events of its kind in the world.

It helped start the careers of such internationally renowned pianists as Radu Lupu, Andras Schiff, Artur Pizarro and Murray Perahia.

Professor Frank Wibaut, artistic director of the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition and chairman of the jury, said: “It will be a great honour to welcome Dame Fanny to Hastings.

“Her presence is a clear sign of the growing reputation of the event.”

Among the other distinguished international judges are Dina Yoffe, prizewinner in the Warsaw Chopin Competition, Paul Roberts of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Siegfried Mauser, Rektor of the Munich Hochschule for Music and Drama, eminent British pianists Peter Katin and Jonathan Marten and Brian Wright, conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.

More than 40 young concert pianists from all around the world will play in the early stages of the competition.

Six will go through to the semi-finals on Thursday, March 6 and the three finalists will play their chosen concerto on Saturday, March 8 with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.

The winner will receive a prize of £10,000 and will have the opportunity to appear as a soloist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Tickets for all stages of the competition are available from the White Rock Theatre on 01424 462288 or