Eastbourne’s cultural quarter is centre stage again on 3rd and 4th July with the Birley Centre concert hall playing host to the internationally-renowned Norah Sande Award which attracts hugely talented young adult pianists from across the world in the early stages of their professional careers. 

Former entrants include several BBC Young Musician of the Year finalists.  Winner of the last Norah Sande Award, George Todica, (pictured) a first class honours student and double scholar at the Royal College of Music, had already scooped up more than 20 top music prizes around the world before winning in Eastbourne and performed in leading concert halls, making his debut at Wigmore Hall in 2018. 

For well over a decade the competitors of the annual Norah Sande Award have entertained audiences from across Southern England at the competition venue at Eastbourne College, most recently at its purpose-built Birley Centre concert hall, with two days of exciting and exceptional recitals.  The audience is a welcome and important part of the experience for the performers.

On Saturday 3rd July performances take place throughout the day with 15 semi-finalists performing 20 minute programmes from 9.30am.  Entry is FREE and the audience is welcome to join and leave between competitors’ performances.  Many choose to hear all of the recitals and enjoy deciding whether they agree with the judges’ choice of finalists.

The finals commence on Sunday 4th July at 2.30pm and the three finalists will each play a full recital programme incorporating classical, romantic and contemporary pieces, none of which will have been played during the semi-finals.  Tea will be served whilst the adjudicators deliberate.  The results will be announced at around 5pm with the winner being presented with a cheque for £2000 and a future recital opportunity.

The recitals take place in the Birley Centre, Eastbourne College, Carlisle Road, Eastbourne BN21 4EF.  Entry is FREE on Saturday 3rd July.  Tickets on Sunday 4th July are £10 (including tea/coffee) and can be booked on Saturday with any remaining seats sold at the door.  Under 18s can have free entry to hear these inspirational musicians in the Final.  Details at www.sande-award.co.uk