Hastings International Piano appoints new Artistic Director and acting Managing Director
With immediate effect, the charity Hastings International Piano is pleased to announce the
appointment of Professor Vanessa Latarche as Artistic Director. HIP has also appointed Paul
Hughes, formerly Director of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, and BBC Singers, as
a consultant acting Managing Director to build on the success of the 2022 Hastings
International Piano Concerto Competition and develop future strategy while the search is on
for a permanent successor to Ian Roberts.
Professor Vanessa Latarche said: “I am delighted to be working more closely with Hastings
International Piano Concerto Competition in this new role of Artistic Director, particularly
with Paul Hughes who brings a wealth of experience to build on the fantastic foundations
laid down by Ian Roberts.”
Paul Hughes: “My role as Acting Managing Director of Hastings International Piano will feed
my passion for discovering and nurturing the next generation of musicians, and I look
forward to working with Vanessa, the management team and the board on future direction
The Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition has evolved from its earliest days as
part of Hastings Music Festival to become an internationally-renowned competition for
young concert pianists from around the world.
The Sixteenth Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition took place for the first
time in both Rye at Rye Creative Centre (Stage 1) and Hastings, at the White Rock Theatre,
from 24th February to 5th March 2022. It attracted 360 applicants across global online
auditions, 40 of which were selected to compete in Hastings. Their prize: the opportunity to
perform with the brand new graduate orchestra the Royal College of Music Prince Consort
Orchestra, during semi-finals, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra during the two-night
final. The first prize is a financial award of £15,000.
The next major event in the calendar is a gala prizewinners’ concert at the White Rock
Theatre, Hastings, on Saturday 4 March 2023. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and
conductor Rory Macdonald are joined by two of the 2022 prize winners: Shunta
Morimoto (Japan, 18yo) who took first prize will perform Beethoven 4. Mariamna
Sherling (Russia, 21 yo) who took third prize, will perform Rachmaninov Paganini
Variations. The programme also includes works by Dvorak and Tchaikovsky.
Further events include fundraising concerts by Nikita Lukinov, presented by Vinehall
Concerts on Sunday 30 October at 3pm; Mitsuko Uchida at Fairlight Hall on Sunday 2nd
April, 2023, and Thomas Kelly will give the annual Summer Picnic Concert at Fairlight Hall on
Sunday 9th July 2023.