The idea for a Dudley Piano Competition was first suggested in 1967 and it then evolved in 1968 from piano classes at the Dudley Festival of Music and Drama. It had a concerto final, was held annually until 1989 when it became a biennial event and from 1991 to 1995 was opened to competitors from overseas.
Many past winners including Benjamin Frith, Andrew Wilde, Graham Scott, Alicja Fiderkiewicz and Paul Lewis went on to establish successful careers and past competitors have also included internationally acclaimed pianists; Ian Hobson, Peter Donohoe, Joanna MacGregor and Timothy Horton.
The Dudley International Piano Competition then took a break until it re-emerged in 2000 as a competition with a recital final open to pianists of all nationalities studying or resident in the British Isles.
Attracting entrants of an extremely high standard from all the main colleges, its success in 2000 and 2001 dictated that it should become a regular biennial event.
For the 2009 and 2011 competitions a concerto final in Dudley with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra replaced the recital final. In 2014 and 2017 the finals were held at Symphony Hall with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra as part of their Concert Seasons.
Our next competition is on 21st and 22nd November 2020, at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, with the final on 6th February 2021. Once again it will be a concerto final at the world famous Symphony Hall, Birmingham conducted by the internationally renowned CBSO conducted by Michael Seal.
Our jury, chaired by Gordon Fergus-Thompson consists of distinguished pianists and teachers and can be seen below.
Concerto performance opportunity for the three finalists at Symphony Hall, Birmingham with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
£4,000 1st Prize
£3,000 2nd Prize
£2,000 3rd Prize
£750 4th Prize
£250 Audience Prize
£250 each semi final prizes (supported by Waldrons)
Somm Debut CD Recording
(to be offered at the discretion of Siva Oke)
Gordon Fergus-Thompson is an international concert pianist and Professor of Piano at the Royal College of Music in London. He has recorded 20 commercial CDs, made over 200 broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 both as recitalist and concerto player with all the BBC Symphony Orchestras, and has toured extensively in Europe, the Middle East,South Africa, Japan and China. A Gulbenkian Fellow, Gordon Fergus-Thompson has won innumerable awards for his recordings of the complete works of Debussy. In recognition of his status at the Royal College he was awarded a Fellowship by Prince Charles in 2009.
Venezuelan/Italian pianist Luis Parés enjoys an international career as a soloist and chamber musician having performed in numerous countries in Europe, Asia, North and South America. He has appeared at the most prestigious British venues, including the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall and Bridgewater Hall, played with orchestras in Europe and South America and made live broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, RAI, Kol HaMusika Israel and Spanish radio.
He started his piano studies with Juan Antúnez and Igor Lavrov and later studied at the Royal College of Music in London with Gordon Fergus-Thompson and Andrew Ball and also held the Mills Williams Junior Fellowship at the RCM. He was a prize-winner at many national and international piano competitions, including First Prize at the XI Ricard Viñes International Piano Competition in Lerida, Spain, Third Prize at the Maria Canals International Competition in Barcelona and he was a winner of the Making Music Young Concert Artists Awards.
He is Head of Keyboard at Dulwich College in London, a grade and diploma examiner and a presenter for ABRSM and he regularly adjudicates competitions and gives masterclasses in the UK and Europe.
Allan was born in Leeds and was a pupil of Fanny Waterman before continuing his studies with Denis Matthews, Viktor Merzhanov and Guido Agosti. He made his debut at the age of ten with the Halle Orchestra under Sir John Barbirolli, and while still in his teens appeared at the Edinburgh Festval with the N.Y.O. and at the Promenade Concerts. At the age of eighteen he became the first British student to study at the Moscow Conservatoire.
In a career spanning fifty years he has played with all the major British orchestras working with famous conductors including Haitink, Solti and Sargent. He has toured widely abroad, most notably returning to the former Soviet Union – from Archangel to Yerevan. In the U.K. his impressive list of BBC broadcasts included chamber music with string quartets, piano trios and horn trios as well as numerous solo recitals. His recordings are equally wide-ranging in repertoire, including concertos with the London Philharmonic, the Elgar and Bridge Piano Quintets with the Coull Quartet and solo discs of Chopin, Mozart and Chabrier.
SERGIO DE SIMONE
Head of Keyboard Department at Trinity Laban since September 2018, Sergio is a concert pianist and a dedicated piano teacher.
Winner of several International Piano and Chamber Music Competitions, Sergio performed in Italy, United Kingdom, France, Austria, Spain, Usa, Croatia, Slovenia, South America. As soloist he appeared with la Camerata Strumentale-Città di Prato, Orchestra da Camera di Padova e del Veneto, Meadows Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Rumanian State Orchestra, Sarajevo Philarmonic Orchestra with conductors such as Jonathan Webb, Paul Philips, Samra Gulamovic, Alessandro Pinzauti, Daniele Giorgi etc. His chamber music partners are Pavel Barman, Markus Placci, Amalia Hall, Violeta Smailovic, Maxance Larrieu , Wladimir Kossianenko, Manfred Stilz, Richard Markson, Mayumi Fijikawa, Quartetto Fonè and Quartetto Bernini.
Sergio worked Livorno and Potenza Conservatoire (Italy). He is regurarly invited to give Piano Master Classes and Summer Courses in U.S.A, Italy, United Kingdom, Austria, Croatia, India.
Sergio graduated from Parma Conservatoire with Honorable Mention. After his graduation he moved to the States where he studied with Joaquin Achucarro at SMU (Dallas, TX) and attended several masterclasses with Aldo Ciccolini, Murray Perahia and Franco Rossi (cellist of the Quartetto Italiano).
Siva Oke was born in Cyprus and has spent most of her life in music, either as a performer or as a listener and recording producer. She studied piano at Santa Cecilia Conservatoire, Rome and is also a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, London. She has also studied with Cyril Smith whom she regards as a major musical influence in her early career as a performing pianist. On joining the record industry for a number of years, first at Philips and then at EMI, Siva eventually left to freelance as a music producer. In the early 80s she joined the pioneering CD label Unicorn-Kanchana as General Manager, where she remained for 12 years. SOMM Recordings, which she founded in 1995 is now a successful and well-established label with a wide-ranging catalogue of acclaimed recordings. Running SOMM as executive and recording producer has, for years, formed a major and enjoyable part of her activities.
GRAHAM J LLOYD
Graham J Lloyd was born on the Wirral in 1963. He studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester with the renowned Polish pianist Ryzard Bakst. He has worked as a soloist - Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 1; chamber musician - Beethoven complete Sonatas for Violin and Piano, Schubert Trout Quintet and in particular as an accompanist to many singers. He has specialised in recording the works of his partner Ian Venables. He has recorded Venables’ music for strings and piano with members of the Coull Quartet on the SOMM label and the same composer’s complete piano music on the NAXOS label. On his most recent recording, he is coupled with the Carducci Quartet and Roderick Williams. He combines a busy teaching career with recording, adjudicating and arranging.
Marie-Louise Taylor graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 1987.She gained the LRAM and RAM Performance Diplomas as well as a ‘Distinction’ for her ABSM Recital Diploma. She was awarded 'Outstanding' in piano and chamber music from the ZKPIM, Hungary in 1992.
Her teachers have included her father Harold Taylor, Kate Elmitt, Orsoyla Sabo and Piers Lane.
Marie-Louise is a highly respected teacher and has taught for the RWCM, the Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham University, the RNCM and is currently on the staff of the prestigious Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester.
As a recitalist Marie-Louise has had a varied career performing as soloist and chamber musician for concert clubs nationwide. She has worked as a vocal coach and accompanist, played in a duo with John Mills (performing in the Wigmore Hall in 1995) and has appeared on BBC Radio 3. Her recent lecture recital 'Notes on George Sand and Chopin' given in Birmingham, was repeated with Christine Guillebaud for the Fresselines Festival, France. Marie-Louise has also worked as an adjudicator and given masterclasses for the Kate Elmitt Academy, for Chester University and teaches for the Chetham’s International Summer School.
Andrew Wilde, described by Daniel Barenboim as a major musical and pianistic talent, continues to enthrall a large and devoted audience with his music making. He studied with Ryszard Bakst at Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester and graduated with distinction from the Royal Northern College of Music.
Andrew received top prizes at many international piano competitions including the Naumburg in New York (1987), Pozzoli in Seregno (Italy) (1988), William Kapell in Maryland (1989), Dino Ciani in Milan (1990), and World Competition in London (1991). In 1985 he won First Prize and Special Prize (for 20th Century performance) at the Dudley International Piano Competition.
Andrew has given recitals at major venues in Great Britain and abroad, including London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Warsaw, Milan, Vienna, Düsseldorf, Santiago (Chile), Washington DC, New York City, Dallas, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Berlin and Budapest. His concerto repertoire exceeds thirty works and he has performed these with major orchestras worldwide such as the London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, London Mozart Players, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, Hallé, National Symphony Washington DC and Dallas Symphony.
Daniel Browell enjoys a busy and varied performing career, having given recitals in the UK, Europe and North America since receiving acclaim in the national press for his London Southbank recital in the Purcell Room in 2006. He gave his BBC Proms debut in 2008, as part of a composer portrait broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, and in 2009 he made his concerto debut at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall. In 2010 he returned to The Bridgewater Hall to give a solo recital as part of the Manchester Midday Concerts Society’s prestigious season.
Daniel particularly enjoys his collaborative projects with instrumentalists and singers; he has performed with YCAT winner Kathryn Rudge at the Wigmore Hall and on many occasions since, and he regularly works for the BBC Philharmonic, recently performing piano quartets in the BBC Philharmonic’s chamber music series in Salford.
His future plans include the release of a CD of contemporary British composers, featuring the piano studies of Philip Venables, which he premiered at the Purcell Room.
Daniel’s teaching experience varies from his work at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, to Yorkshire Young Musicians at Leeds College of Music and Repton School in Derbyshire. Daniel is currently Associate Head of Keyboard at Birmingham Conservatoire.