Each year Pangbourne College hosts the Piano Festival in the Lent Term. Young pianists aged 6-18 from around the South of England join us and fully use our facilities, including our practice rooms and recital halls fitted with Steinway pianos.

In a series of workshops, pupils are guided by an experienced adjudicator, giving them fantastic opportunities to do in-depth work. This is ideal if they are preparing for an exam or concert, but also just a great experience to develop their skills in general.

On Saturday 2 March 2024 almost 100 young musicians from 38 schools joined us for our 12th Anniversary Piano Festival.

The annual Piano Festival is designed around the applications received from teachers and parents and this year was filled with solo competitive classes and a two-piano masterclass. 

Since 2012 all the College’s pianos have been from the world-class piano manufacturer Steinway & Sons. In June 2022, the College received its second fleet of Steinway pianos when the first were completely replaced after 10 years.

The winners of this year’s edition were:

  • Isaac (Year 10, Harbinger): Runner-up prize in the Solo Intermediate, 15 and under (Grades 5 to 6)
  • Jayden (Year 11, Hesperus): Joint-winner prize in the Duet Senior Class 

Other honoured mentions to:

Eve (Lower Sixth, St George)

James Jeffers (Lower Sixth, Hesperus)

Leo Robinson (Year 10, Macquarie)

They were among almost 100 young musicians (aged 7 to 18) from 38 schools in the South of England to participate in a variety of competitive workshop-style classes at this unique event.

Mrs contact Mrs Alex Garnier, Piano Festival Coordinator stated:  “A tremendous amount of hard work goes on behind the scenes to create such a successful event and I am indebted to all those involved.”

The Pangbourne Piano Festival is a fantastic family event. From registration to conclusion, a warm and supportive tone is combined with a nurturing musical rigour, the result being a thoroughly enriching day together.

Most conspicuous was the quality of the adjudicators who shrewdly and charitably appraised each piece and then focused on one aspect to be improved. The children then and there were able to put the tip into practice and, hey presto, their beautiful piece was instantly buffed to a shine!

The children were able to witness this for theirs and others' performances; instantly everyone further appreciated what their music teacher means by "Work on the dynamics!".

We are very thankful to all those at Pangbourne who worked so hard to host such a lovely event.

Thank you for once again staging a wonderful piano festival. The experience of playing in the festival is superb, both from the aspect of playing in front of a supportive audience and having the competitive element which spurs my pupils on to try to do their best.

The adjudicators’ feedback is so useful - it’s as if each participant receives a mini-masterclass.

I find the adjudicators’ comments are so interesting and helpful, too, and I learn so much from them.

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