The Competition was previously called Tunbridge Wells International Young Concert Artists Competition (TWIYCA) and in 2019 was renamed as Tunbridge Wells International Music Competition (TWIMC).

The Competition was founded in 1979 as the "Tunbridge Wells International Young Concert Artists Competition”. The inspiration for the competition came from Hans Romney, the then chairman of the Tunbridge Wells Green Room Music Club, under whose auspices the competition was established and initially run. The club no longer exists, but the competition continues and with each biennial event grows in importance and international stature: a worthy tribute to the original founders. After Hans's death in 1982, his widow, Mary, endowed the competition for some years. The‘Hans and Mary Romney Prize’ for the Overall Winner of the competition is named in their honour and is funded by their family.

This international competition for outstanding young concert artists is recognised around the world as a unique event. The competition became part of the Mayfield Festival in 2016, and is hosted by Mayfield School. It was renamed as the Tunbridge Wells International Music Competition (TWIMC) in 2019.

The competition has played an important role in the careers of many internationally celebrated musicians. Past winners include: piano virtuoso Paul Lewis; opera stars Anne Sofie von Otter and Patricia Rozario; great Spanish clarinettist Joan Enric Lluna; Russian pianist Yuri Didenko, and flautist Michael Cox, currently principal flute of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Competitors, aged between 16 and 27, perform in one of three sections: piano, strings or wind (including brass); they must be of concert performance standard and be ready for a professional career. At least two works, or two parts of different works, must be performed in each round. They are judged on displaying an understanding of a range of different musical languages, periods and styles and must present a varied and balanced programme in all three rounds.

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