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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 triennial 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, 2017 and 2022  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 3rd and 4th May 2025, at The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, with the recital final on 25th May 2025 at The Elgar Concert Hall, Bramall Music Building, University of Birmingham. .

Our jury, chaired by Daniel Browell will consist of distinguished pianists and teachers.



1st Prize   £6000

(Sponsored by The Limoges Charitable Trust)

The following will also be offered to the winner:

  • The CBSO will award the  winner of the Competition the opportunity to perform a concerto with the orchestra in a future season(s). The date, time,  venue,  conductor and conditions of the concerto performance will be at the CBSO’s discretion.

  • Recitals with:

        Music at Park House (Cheltenham)

        Arts St Laurence (Ludlow)

        St Mary's (Perivale)

        Details of dates etc will be agreed with each venue after the competition.

2nd Prize   £4000  

3rd Prize   £3000

4th Prize   £1000

Semi final prizes   £250 each

(Sponsored by Waldrons)

Audience Prize   £500

(Sponsored by the William A Cadbury Charitable Trust)


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.



Peter Donohoe is acclaimed as one of the foremost pianists of our time, for his musicianship, stylistic versatility and commanding technique.

In recent seasons Donohoe has appeared with Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic and Concert Orchestra, Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, St Petersburg Philharmonia, RTE National Symphony Orchestra, Belarusian State Symphony Orchestra, and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, as well as giving concerts in many South American and European countries, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Russia, and USA.

Donohoe’s most recent discs include Tchaikovsky Solo Piano Works, which was Instrumental Choice in BBC Music Magazine, and three volumes of Mozart Piano Sonatas with SOMM Records.

Donohoe has performed with all the major London orchestras, as well as orchestras from across the world: the Royal Concertgebouw, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Munich Philharmonic, Swedish Radio, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Vienna Symphony and Czech Philharmonic Orchestras.

Peter Donohoe is an honorary doctor of music at seven UK universities, and was awarded a CBE for services to classical music in the 2010 New Year’s Honours List.

LUCY PARHAM - Final Only

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Lucy Parham first came to public attention as the Piano Winner of the 1984 BBC Young Musician of the Year. Since her Royal Festival Hall concerto debut at the age of 16, she has played throughout the UK as concerto soloist with most of the major British orchestras and been a frequent recitalist at the Wigmore Hall. She has toured the USA with the BBC Concert Orchestra, and Mexico and Turkey with RPO, with whom she has now given over 60 performances. Abroad, she has toured with the Russian State Symphony, Sofia Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Polish National Radio SO and L'Orchestre National de Lille. She has made over twenty recital and concerto CDs including all her Composer Portrait concerts.


She also appears frequently as a broadcast presenter on BBC Radio 3 and 4 and BBC TV, and has been the Director of two Schumann Festivals in London, four series at Kings Place Coffee and two Sheaffer Sunday Matinée series at St Johns Smith Square.

Lucy Parham is a Professor of Piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.



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, USA, 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.

Indeed his  interpretations of French and Russian music in particular have won him eulogistic praise in British, European and American publications. 


“Fergus-Thompson once again turning in performances comparable to Richter and Horowitz ........ that is to say, performances

comparable with the best that history has to offer”

Fanfare, USA


In 2009, in recognition of his status as Professor of Piano at the Royal College of Music, London, he was awarded a Fellowship by HRH King Charles 111


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A graduate of the Juilliard School, British pianist Nicola Eimer has performed as a soloist and chamber musician across Europe, Asia and US, and has played at major UK venues including the Barbican and Wigmore Hall.


As a chamber musician, she regularly performs with musicians such as Johan Dalene, Adolfo Gutierrez Arenas and Fenella Humphreys. She has been a regular pianist for the IMS masterclasses in Prussia Cove, and an official accompanist for competitions such as Carl Nielsen and the Menuhin International Violin Competition.


Nicola studied in London with Danielle Salamon and later with Christopher Elton at the Royal Academy of Music where she graduated with a Distinction. She was a Fulbright Scholar in New York as a pupil of Joseph Kalichstein.


Nicola is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, where she currently teaches at both Junior and Senior departments. She is also Head of Keyboard at Highgate School.


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Robert Markham maintains a busy career as performer and teacher. After early studies with Heather Slade-Lipkin at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, Robert entered the Juilliard School, New York at the age of 17 as recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Julius Isserlis Scholarship. He studied there with renowned Russian pedagogue Oxana Yablonskaya, graduating as Doctor of Musical Arts. 


A prizewinner at major international competitions in the UK, Italy and the USA, Robert was finalist in the Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow and piano class winner of the BBC Young Musician competition.


Acclaimed for his “extraordinary ‘clarity of thinking and trenchant technique’ (Musical Opinion), Robert has performed worldwide, appearing in major concert halls including New Yorks’ Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall and Birmingham’s Symphony Hall. He frequently appears as concerto soloist, and has performed with the BBC Philharmonic, the London Mozart Players, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Israel Chamber Orchestra. 


Robert serves on the staff of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire as Senior Tutor in Solo and Collaborative Piano. He has given masterclasses at the Purcell School and Eton College in the UK, in Brail, and in Germany, and is frequently invited to adjudicate and be a member of competition juries.


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.




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Allan Schiller is widely regarded as one of the UK's finest pianists. Born in Leeds he studied initially with Fanny Waterman making his debut at the age of ten in a Mozart concerto with the Halle Orchestra under Sir John Barbirolli. He later studied with Denis Matthews and became the first British pianist to be awarded a scholarship to study at the Moscow Conservatoire under Viktor Merzhanov.


After further study under Guido Agosti in Italy he returned to this country and rapidly established a reputation as one of the most exciting pianists of his generation with solo appearances throughout the country and concerto performances with all the major UK orchestras and the BBC Symphony Orchestras, working with a number of distinguished conductors including Sir George Solti, Bernard Haitink, Norman del Mar, Sir Malcolm Sargent and Sir Charles Mackerras.


Allan has a particular reputation as a Mozart player 'par excellence'.

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