One of the UK’s most prestigious international classical music competitions has been launched at a special event at The House of Commons in London this week.

The Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition is now revered as one of the UK’s premier classical competitions, and will take place in the creative hub of Hastings, one of the UK’s most vibrant British coastal towns from Thursday 21st February to Saturday 2nd March 2019.

The Competition, which has grown in stature for the past 14 years, becomes a biennial event in 2021 and will continue its relationship with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the world’s leading orchestras, who will accompany the finalists on both the 1st and 2nd March.

HIPCC continues to be supported by Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd, who welcomed guests to the House of Commons event to celebrate the Cultural Renaissance of Hastings. Amber Rudd MP commented: “I was pleased to host a special event in Parliament launching the HIPCC with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. I have enjoyed the competition over the years and it is great to see such immense talent coming to Hastings.

“We are proud to have such a vibrant and creative town in Hastings. Celebrating classical music has made this town a strong hub for musicians, ensuring the support of local, national and international bodies.

“It was a great pleasure to hear from HIPCC’s Chief Executive and Artistic Director about the 2019 Competition and the plans for the future. I look forward to seeing the competition continue to excel in the future.”

The 2019 competition also enjoys a wide-range of local, national and international support. Artistic Director of HIPCC and Chairman of the International Jury, Professor Frank Wibaut described the competition’s global impact by revealing that “in 2019 there were over 176 entries from 26 countries, with live auditions in Japan, China, USA, Italy and in the UK and 49 contestants have now been invited to play in Hastings”.

The winner of the 2019 competition will receive a cash prize of £15,000 and the opportunity of engagements with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and local, national and international recitals. Past winners of HIPCC have also gone onto win prizes at some of the world’s other prestigious international competitions.

Chief Executive, Helen Winning, announced that the HIPCC has entered into a 5 year partnership agreement with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as the Competition’s Resident Orchestra. This collaboration will include biennial performances by the Orchestra at the Competition Final in Hastings and concerts as part of the Festival of Piano in non-competition years, in addition to providing performance opportunities and engagements for the winner, both in London as part of the RPO’s residency at Cadogan Hall, and as part of the Orchestra’s UK touring programme. They will also work together on complementary community and education initiatives and develop shared marketing and audience development strategies.
In the coming months the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition will announce details of its own Festival of Piano in 2020, marking its first interim year, which will help develop the competitions outreach programme and complement its year-round calendar of concerts and events.