The Inaugural Hastings International Piano Festival is proud to have won Arts Council funding to support their ambitious 2020 youth engagement offers, with further support offered by the Magdalen and Lasher Charity.

The funding will support three educational projects during the Inaugural 2020 Hastings International Piano Festival, which takes place from February 26th – 8th March 2020 at the White Rock Theatre and St Mary in the Castle in the creative hub of Hastings.

The first project is a free youth Songwriting Masterclass with BRIT Award winning songwriter Guy Chambers, which will take place at the White Rock Theatre, Hastings on Wednesday 26th February 4pm-5pm, ahead of Guy’s evening concert.  The award winning songwriter, musician and record producer, best known for his work with Robbie Williams will guide young artists through the fundamentals of songwriting. Young songwriters are also invited to submit one of their pieces for consideration, a number of which will be selected by Guy who will invite composers onto stage to discuss their work. Free tickets are available now at Songs to be submitted to

The second Arts Council England supported project, which is also supported by the Magdalen and Lasher Charity, is a free interactive piano concert for 7-11 year olds and their families, hosted by the Kids Concert Company on Sunday 8th March at 3pm at St Mary in the Castle. Children in the audience will be given the opportunity to sing, dance, draw, improvise and explore mindful practice while listening to wonderful music played by world-class musicians. Free tickets are available now at

The third project supported by the vital funding is a series of Jazz Singing workshops with one of Europe’s most renowned jazz vocalists, Claire Martin OBE. Ahead of her festival concert on March 5th, Claire will present 4 workshops with local primary schools, and with Eggtooth Project and White Rock Theatre Youth Theatre. 

These projects are part of an extensive range of Youth Engagement Opportunities that Hastings International Piano is offering alongside the inaugural Piano Festival. This includes free tickets to many of the festival concerts as well as a wide range of workshops, school visits and inspirational talks from the international artists.

The Inaugural 2020 Hastings International Piano Festival will take place from February 26th – 8th March 2020 at the White Rock Theatre and St Mary in the Castle, Hastings, featuring some of the most celebrated artists including headliner Grammy nominated Rufus Wainwright with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Jazz Queen Claire Martin with guest artist Liane Carroll, Oscar winning film composer Rachel Portman, Sam Smith’s song-writer and collaborator Reuben James with his 10 piece band, songwriter Guy Chambers, The Puppini Sisters with The Pasadena Roof Orchestra, Actors Patricia Hodge and Robert Glenister with pianist Lucy Parham, BBC Young Musician of The Year Martin James Bartlett and film critic Mark Kermode and his band The Dodge Brothers. The Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition returns in 2021.