Tunbridge Wells International Music Competition at Mayfield Festival

The Internationally-renowned Tunbridge Wells International Young Concert Artists’ Competition is to move to nearby Mayfield.

From 2016, the biennial competition will form part of the equally well known and prestigious Mayfield Festival of Music and the Arts.

It will be renamed “The Tunbridge Wells International Music Competition at Mayfield Festival”.

It will be centred at Mayfield School which stepped in to offer the competition a new home after Kent College, Pembury, indicated it would no longer be able to host the visiting musicians and the preliminary rounds of the competition.

It’s an exciting development for Mayfield Festival which has been held every other year in the village for almost 50 years and is recognised globally as one of the UK’s premier classical festivals.

It also helps to secure the future of the Tunbridge Wells competition which started in 1979 and has played an important role in the early careers of several internationally celebrated musicians. Past winners include piano virtuoso Paul Lewis, now the competition’s President; opera stars Anne Sofie von Otter and Patricia Rozario; great Spanish clarinetist Joan Enric Lluna; Russian pianist Yuri Didenko, and flautist Michael Cox, currently principal flute of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Mayfield Festival Director, Jeremy Summerly said: “We see this as a win-win for all concerned. Our festival has an established reputation for the quality of its programme, and being able to welcome some of the best young musical talent from around the world will only add to it.

“Both the festival and the competition have always been held every two years so they provide a perfect fit.”

Dr Christopher Storr, Chairman of the Competition said: “We are most grateful for the support we have received over the last 30 years from many different quarters, not least Kent College, but we are delighted that Mayfield School has offered us a home as part of the village’s long-established festival.

“The competition provides a unique platform for outstanding young musicians at a critical time in their development, whether completing their studies or taking early steps on a professional career, so it’s marvelous that this will continue.”

Antonia Beary, Headmistress of Mayfield School, commented: “It will be wonderful to be part of two such well-established and acclaimed musical events and we look forward to welcoming some of the top young international talent to our school.

“They will find we have some excellent facilities including our Chapel and Concert Hall which are superb venues. Our own music department is housed in a purpose-built Music School where 50% of our students receive instrumental or choral tuition from 20 peripatetic music teachers. It will be a marvelous experience for them to be able to see and hear so many talented young people from around the world performing here.”

The dates of the 2016 Mayfield Festival have been set for Sunday 24 April to Sunday 8 May with the international competition running from Thursday 28 April to Sunday 1 May

For further information contact Jonathan Jones, Chairman Mayfield Festival at jonnie@mayfieldfestival.co.uk.