2022 News

A piano competition for Young Adult Pianists of Kent, Sussex, Surrey and London postal districts 

 The Norah Sande Award Artistic Director and Founder Trustee, Spencer Freeman MBE, who has been the inspiration for the Awards from the start more than 17 years ago, passed away this month. This has come as a great shock to us all and out thoughts are very much with his wife Pam at this time. However, we feel that it is right that we continue with this year's event and that this is what Spencer would have wanted.


The Norah Sande Award, an international piano competition held annually in Eastbourne in July 2021 was won by Dominic Doutney.  Dominic received a cheque for £2000 and the opportunity to perform in a recital later in the year.  The final stages were held in the purpose-built concert hall at the Birley Centre, Eastbourne College.  Fifteen semi-finalists performed a 20 minute programme on Saturday 3rd July before a prestigious adjudication panel of keyboard exponents of international repute.   Three were chosen to perform a full recital programme incorporating classical, romantic and contemporary pieces the following day.  David Patrick said that the three had been chosen from an outstanding field of performers at the semi-finals. Two pianists were highly commended from the second round of recitals, such was the quality of performances.

Dominic Doutney - Winner of the 2021 Norah Sande AwardDominic Doutney - Winner of the 2021 Norah Sande Award
Norah Sande Award winner 2021, Dominic Doutney receives a cheque for £2,000 and an opportunity to perform in a recital from Adjudicator Richard Deering 

Dominic Doutney has recently graduated from the Royal College of Music, where he was the recipient of the Fishmongers' Company Beckwith Scholarship. At his graduation he was awarded the prestigious Tagore Gold Medal, given to two students annually for outstanding contribution to the Royal College. 

Dominic was awarded 3rd prize at the Jaén International Piano Competition in Spain in April this year. In July, he was awarded 1st prize in the Norah Sande Award, and in September, 3rd prize in the Clamo International Piano Competition in Murcia, Spain. Dominic is also the 2020 winner of the Royal Over-Seas League Award for Keyboard. Last summer Dominic attended the Oxford Piano Festival on the personal invitation of Sir Andras Schiff, having played in a highly publicised masterclass with him at the Royal College of Music in May. In the summer of 2019 Dominic studied at the Aspen Festival and School in Colorado, on a Polonsky Foundation Fellowship, having previously taken part in the piano masterclass programme at the Banff Centre in Canada (thanks to the English-Speaking Union’s Yehudi Menuhin scholarship). Dominic is a former joint winner of the EPTA UK Piano Competition and winner of the Royal College of Music’s Teresa Carreño (2013) and Constance Poupard (2014) prizes. In 2017, Dominic was placed third in the Joan Chissell Schumann Prize, and in 2016, second at the Isidor Bajic Memorial Competition (category B). 

Dominic is becoming a seasoned recitalist and concerto soloist. In April this year he performed Brahms 1st concerto with the Málaga Philharmonic, having performed it two years prior with the Leipziger-symphonieorchester in the Leipzig Gewandhaus Mendelssohn-Saal, to critical acclaim. In October last year he performed Schumann’s Piano Concerto in St John’s Smith Square with the Young Musician’s Symphony Orchestra and Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 in November with the Dorset Chamber Orchestra. Other concerto performances have included Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments (with Martyn Brabbins and the Royal College of Music symphony orchestra), Brahms’ Piano Concerto no. 2, Rachmaninov’s Piano Concertos nos. 2 & 3, Grieg’s Piano Concerto, and Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto no. 1. 

Solo appearances have included recitals at the prestigious Beaumaris and Beaujolais music festivals (France), Leipzig’s Media Campus Villa Ida, the Poros Piano Festival (Greece), the Banff Centre (Alberta, Canada), and in Moscow (at the invitation of the Spivakov Foundation). Closer to home, Dominic has performed at the Bolivar Hall, Cadogan Hall, Wigmore Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Elgar Room (at the Royal Albert Hall) and at 22 Mansfield Street (for the Nicholas Boas Foundation). 

Dominic has made appearances on BBC Radio 3 (performing Chopin and discussing the art of virtuosity) and on CNBC (discussing the experience of participating in a masterclass with Lang Lang). Dominic has studied in masterclasses with artists including Stephen Hough, Peter Donohoe, Boris Berman, Veda Kaplinsky, Hung-Kuan Chen and John Perry.

Finalists of the 2021 Norah Sande Award
Finalists of the 2021 Norah Sande Award - Left: 3rd place Nuno Lucas  - Centre: Winner Dominic Doutney - Right: runner up Joe Howson 

 The 2022 Award will take place on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th July 2022 and entry form is available on www.sande-award.co.uk.  This Award has been enabled by a substantial bequest from the late Norah Sande, in memory of her Grandmother, Alice Mary Caffin.  The Norah Sande Award is a registered  charity.



Registered Charity No. 1108317

Artistic Director : Spencer W Freeman MBE

Norah Sande Award Office,
70 Kings Avenue, Eastbourne. BN21 2PD
Tel: 01323 729013
Email: info@sande-award.co.uk

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