The Inaugural Hastings International Piano Festival closed on Sunday 8th March after a spectacular 2-week celebration of the piano culminated with a weekend of world-class performances.

168 international artists including Rufus Wainwright, Guy Chambers, Reuben James, Claire Martin OBE, Rachel Portman OBE, Mark Kermode, Martin James Bartlett, The Puppini Sisters, The Dodge Brothers, The Swedish Trio, Liane Carroll, Neil Brand, The Pasadena Roof Orchestra and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra all performed at multiple venues across the creative hub of Hastings on England’s south coast.

A major success of the inaugural festival was the growth in young audiences across the region enabled to experience the festival, with the under-21 ticket scheme devised to provide free tickets for performances and a hugely popular free interactive piano concert for younger children. The music education programme provided over 1000 children with an opportunity to attend youth workshops, performances and master-classes, provided by many of the headline artists.

Curator and Managing Director of Hastings international Piano Festival Ian Roberts says – “What an amazing addition to the festival calendar this year’s event has now become. It was devised to showcase the versatility and importance of the piano across multi-genre performances and it has been a joy to welcome many of the world’s revered artistes to Hastings and witness memorable concerts and collaborations that both local audiences and from far and wide have enjoyed. Our significant programme of more than 20 music education workshops and master-classes have created some exceptional performance opportunities for school children and young people and it has been uplifting to witness younger audiences attending a wide range of concerts and events.”

The 2020 festival took place from 26th February – 8th March to support the work of the prestigious Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition, which is now biennial and returns in 2021 with the finals being accompanied by the competition’s partner The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The next festival dates will be announced later this spring, in addition to the calendar of Hastings International Piano fundraising concerts that are planned throughout the coming year.