MEET THE TEAM
Managing Director: Ian Roberts
Management Committee: Sarah Kowitz DL (Chair), Hannah Deeble, Jonathan Marten, Ian Roberts, Mimi Scott, Lucinda Sheppard, Dr Richard Wray DL.
General Manager: Hannah Deeble
Head of Digital: Dominika Hicks
Friends and Patrons Coordinator: Mimi Scott
Volunteers Coordinator: Sue Schlesinger
Press Officer: Julian Norridge
Priory Meadow Organiser: Lesley Turnbull
Accommodation Coordinators: Victoria Furzer and Susan Wealthdale
Contact us: email@example.com.
Ian Roberts – Managing Director
Ian Roberts is one of the most well respected arts professionals of his generation. Graduating in Music from The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and The Royal Academy of Music, he had a successful career from an early age in roles such as Young Tommy in the revival of The Who’s Tommy The Rock Opera. After a chance meeting with his own PR on tour in the USA he launched arts communications agency Zest in 2001, which rebranded as A Star in 2008.
Representing and launching some of the most successful artists and events in the world such as Benicassim, The Reeperbahn Festival Hamburg, Hop Farm Festival, Tuscan Sun Festival Italy, Umbria Rock Festival Italy, Hampton Court Palace Festival, Nicola Benedetti, Jennifer Pike, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Chichester Cathedral Choir, The Commonwealth Games, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Hollywood Composer Michael Kamen and DeadMau5, to name but a few – Ian went on to run the press office at Warner Classics and Jazz for almost a decade.
In 2009 he launched an Artist and Event management company arm to compliment A Star’s client roster – Ian has managed a diverse roster of artists across pop, rock, dance music and classical genres and has promoted his artists at venues around the world including Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Concert Hall Stockholm, Sydney Opera House, and Royal Festival Hall.
Ian is a huge supporter of music education and new talent launching the Music Education Consortium in 2003 which lobbied the UK government for music funding and was the media and artist advisor to The City Music Foundation in London for the Lord Mayor of London.
For the past 10 years he has been PR and Communications Consultant For Hamburg Marketing and acts as UK spokesman for all music venues and events including Elbphilharmonie and since 2014 has been Communications Consultant to the Worshipful Company of Musicians, one of the oldest charitable foundations in the world. He regularly lectures at St Martin’s College and The University of The Arts in Music PR and Marketing, has given communications masterclasses at The British Council, is a Freeman of the Guild of PR Practitioners and in 2019 was appointed as The Managing Director of The prestigious Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition and will curate the inaugural 2020 Hastings International Piano Festival in the UK.
Hannah Deeble – General Manager
After studying Theatre Studies at Goldsmiths College, Hannah Deeble has had a varied career in the Music Industry as a performer, tour manager and event producer. As half of folk duo ‘Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou’, she has released 5 studio albums, been signed to labels such as Loose Music and Heavenly Records, played all the major UK festivals, and toured Europe and the US supporting the likes of Tori Amos, Jools Holland, Ethan Johns, Loudon Wainwright, Beth Orton, Damon Albarn and many others.
She has also toured and recorded as part of band ‘Danny and the Champions of the World’ and plays bass in alternative rock band ‘Reason to Live’.
In 2007 Trevor and Hannah co-founded ‘The Anglophone Recording Company’ which produces analogue recording, artwork and photography for the music industry. The duo became known for their bespoke, ‘off the beaten track’ touring and gained national coverage and arts council funding for their tours of Tin Tabernacles, Working Mens Clubs, Village Halls, and by Canal boat. The pair established the long standing London acoustic club ‘The Lantern Society’, and now run the sister club in Hastings. She has curated festival stages and managed events with many artists.
Hannah is the producer of site sensitive, opera based theatre company ‘Stage Left Project’, who recently took their production of Bernstein’s ‘Trouble in Tahiti’ to the Bernstein in Chichester Festival. She is also the performance manager for Hastings Beatles Day.
She is now the General Manager of The Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition and the Hastings Piano Festival, and General Manager of A Star PR.
Sarah Kowitz DL – Chairman
Born and educated in London, Sarah worked in journalism as a reporter and editor before raising a family In New York and then East Sussex. She lived and worked in Asia and America for a number of years and since returning to the UK has been an active supporter of not for profit arts, education and horticulture organisations.
She is a trustee of Hastings Contemporary, Hastings International Piano and the Fairlight Arts Trust, a Patron Governor of Ark Schools and a Founder director of Bridgepoint, Rye. She is a Deputy Lieutenant of East Sussex, an Honorary Doctor of the University of East Anglia, and a Fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society.
Jonathan Marten studied organ, piano and orchestral conducting at the Royal College of Music, after which he was Director of Music of a school in Hastings, and of Choral Societies, as well as at Bexhill Parish Church where he re-established an ‘all male’ choral tradition, formed the St. Peter’s Singers, the Bexhill Festival Choir, St Peter’s Music Makers and in 1969 began a separate girls’ choirs, parallel to the boys’ choir, possibly the first in what has become a trend in UK Parish Churches and Cathedrals.
In 2003 he came up with the idea of reviving the HIMF Concerto Class, purely for piano with an orchestral final, thus he created the original format for the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition.
Since going freelance in 1987 he has examined in over 50 countries for ABRSM. He has performed in Europe, New Zealand, the Caribbean and USA and continues to perform as a pianist, organist and choral and orchestral conductor.
After training as a nurse at Guy’s Hospital in London, Mimi spent several years in Germany with her husband who was in the RAF. In 1988 she moved with her family to Hastings. She worked with children with Special Needs specialising in the assessment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. In 2017 she retired from Conquest Hospital where she had worked for twenty five years.
In 2016 Mimi became involved with Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition as one of the host families for contestants. When she retired, two years ago she took on the role of Coordinator of the Friend and Patrons.
Lucinda Sheppard is a specialist music teacher of Piano, Violin and Voice, who has held posts in the South East as Director of Music. Lucinda was a top music scholar at Benenden, progressing to the Birmingham Conservatoire where she was awarded a BMus Hons.
Winning the coveted Josef Weingarten and Capital University Scholarships Lucinda gained post graduate diplomas in Piano, Violin, Voice, Conducting, Music methodology, Solfege and Pedagogy at the Kodaly Institute in Hungary and has performed across England and Europe as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. These skills she has adapted and used to support, develop and enthuse our next generation.
Lucinda has a great passion in enabling musicians to showcase their talents on the world platform. Her beliefs follow the Kodaly characteristics of a good musician such as having a well-trained ear, a well-trained intelligence, hand and heart. Lucinda sits on the committees of both the Hastings International Musical Festival and the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition wishing to ensure they continue to go from strength to strength.
Dr Richard Wray DL
Dr Richard Wray trained as a Consultant Cardiologist and General Physician and worked for many years mainly in Hastings and at Kings College Hospital in London. Whilst working he noted how much appropriate music helped those in hospital, and so established the live music programme at the Conquest Hospital in Hastings which became one of the largest in any UK NHS hospital. A particular feature is the Young Musician in Residence programme.
Richard is also a Patron of the Young Classical Artists Trust which prepares young gifted potential international musicians for their future careers. He states that ‘I was asked to join the committee of HIPCC to channel some of my energy and enthusiasm into helping others more expert than myself into building up the competition into a major international event in the musical calendar. My longstanding appointment as one of the Deputy Lieutenants of East Sussex has been very helpful in that regard. I work with and support the East Sussex Schools Music Service, a remarkable high quality organisation noted particularly for the expertise and dedication of its teachers who go far beyond the call of duty to enthuse young people from an early age.’