Information and Terms & Conditions for the 2021 Interim Competition

The Tunbridge Wells International Music Competition is held as part of the Mayfield Festival of Music and the Arts to help and encourage advanced students and young professional musicians on the threshold of their careers. The Competition aims to support its winners in the early period of their careers; to this end, cash prizes, recital opportunities and performance subsidies are awarded. Given the ongoing severity of the coronavirus situation and the extent of current lockdowns, the Competition Council has taken the decision to defer the main Competition again to 2022. However, in order to give young musicians who are so currently constrained, a chance to perform, compete and receive feedback from high quality judges we are running an Interim Competition in 2021.

The Interim Competition

There will be one round, which will be judged virtually by video audition. There will be three sections: Pianoforte, Strings (excluding plucked strings such as harps and guitars or similar) and Wind (both wood and brass). A cash prize of £100 will be awarded to those receiving Certificates of Distinction. Those receiving Certificates of Distinction may be offered performance opportunities by the Competition and our partner organisations, as circumstances permit. All entrants will receive written feedback from the Judges and up to eight from each section will be selected to receive a Certificate of Merit or Distinction. In each section, up to three Certificates of Distinction will be awarded by the Judges for outstanding performances. The 2021 entry form will open on January 15th and close at 12 noon GMT on March 1st.

1. Interim Competition format

The Video Summission

  • A good-quality video recording of the applicant’s recital will be used by the judges to provide feedback and to select those who will receive a Certificate of Merit or Distinction.
  • The video must contain the recitals as listed in the competitor’s entry form and must last no longer than 15 minutes in total
  • String and Wind Competitors may perform unaccompanied or with piano accompaniment, at the Competitor's choice.
  • The pieces of music must be of contrasting periods or styles, please refer to the Judging section below.
  • The video image must be taken at a distance close enough to identify the competitor’s face, arms and hands.
  • The recording must be made on or after November 1st 2020; the individual recital performances may not be edited.
  • Entrants’ video submissions will be adjudicated by the two Judges of their instrumental section during March and April 2021.
  • All entrants will receive written feedback from the Judges and up to eight from each section will be selected to receive a Certificate of Merit or Distinction. In each section, up to three Certificates of Distinction will be awarded by the Judges for outstanding performances.
  • The Judges’ feedback may not be used for the entrant’s personal promotion.
  • Competitors should be aware that these video recordings may be viewed by Friends, Patrons and Supporters of the Competition for a limited period.

2. Judging

There will be an international panel of six Judges who will take into account choice, variety and balance of programme items. A very high standard of performance will be expected. Current students of judges are not allowed to enter the competition. The Judges for the 2021 Interim Competition will be: Piano: Sam Haywood; Joanna MacGregor CBE Wind/brass: Katherine Bryan (Flute); John Wallace CBE (Trumpet) (Chair of Judging Panel) Strings: Natalie Clein OBE (Cello); Tasmin Little OBE (Violin)
  • Competitors will be judged on displaying an understanding of a range of different musical languages, periods and style and should present a varied and balanced programme.
  • Competitors are not required to play from memory but if they do so it will be noted in their favour.
  • The decision of the Judges will be final and not open to discussion or correspondence.
  • The Competition Management reserves the right to appoint other Judges if this is found to be necessary.
  • While the judging panel for 2022 has yet to be finalised, potential competitors should be aware that some of the 2021 judges may also adjudicate at the full Competition in 2022.

3. Sheet music

Competitors are not required to submit copies of music played in the video.

4. Information for those who applied in 2020

Those entrants who applied in 2020 will be eligible to enter the 2021 Interim Competition. However, you will need to complete a new entry form to change your former Round One recital as this is now 15 minutes not 20, and at the same time update your biography. You will also need to send us your recording of your recital using one of the processes set out in Section 5 below. Please make sure that you have complied with the other entry requirements listed below, e.g. proof of age and recent photograph. Referees may remain the same or be changed, as you wish, but please give full details again. Please contact if you have any problems with this. Those 2020 entrants who did not request a refund of their entry fee continue to be eligible for a full refund if they do not enter the 2021 Interim Competition whilst those who enter the 2021 Interim Competition will be eligible for a partial refund.

5. Application process for all entrants


  1. The Interim Competition is open to professional musicians and advanced students.
  2. Competitors must be of concert performance standard who are ready to make a professional career.
  3. Competitors must be aged 16 years or over and not more than 28 years old on May 2nd 2021. NB. This rule will apply only to the 2021 Interim Competition.
  4. The Interim Competition has three streams, Piano, Strings (excluding plucked instruments) and Wind (including brass).
  5. Past Section and Overall winners may not enter.
  6. Current students of judges are not allowed to enter the Interim Competition.
  7. Entrants from 2020 will be given priority, subject to meeting the entry requirements. All other entrants will be dealt with on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to meeting the entry requirements.
  8. The Competition Management reserves the right to impose a limit on the number of entries in any section.

Entry Form

  1. The entry form will be open for entries from January 15th 2021 on the web page:
  2. The entry form will close at 12.00 noon on March 1st 2021.
  3. Each competitor must submit a recital programme for their video audition.
  4. At least two works, or two parts of different works, must be performed.
  5. Timings and complete descriptions (including opus or catalogue numbers and keys) of all works to be played must be clearly and accurately stated on the entry form.
  6. The Competition Management reserves the right to request a re-submission of a competitor’s programme if this requirement is not strictly observed.
  7. No change of programme by a competitor will be permitted after submission of an entry form except in exceptional circumstances.
  8. All competitors will be required to transfer a video recording of their recital programme of suitable audio and video quality to preferably using either Massive or WeTransfer. Alternatively provide a link to your file in YouTube or Dropbox. If you wish to use some other method then please first contact us via To avoid any confusion with files transferred please name your file with your name and section e.g. Yehudi.Menuhin.Strings. Any associated costs are the responsibility of the competitor.
  9. Competitors must also provide:
    • A head and shoulders passport sized photograph suitable for reproduction in the Competition programme in jpeg format.
    • A scan or other image of Birth Certificate, current Passport or other official document, showing the contestant’s date of birth.
    • A short biography in English up to 45 words, or 300 characters.
    • The names of two referees who must not be one of the Competition judges.
  10. The completed entry form, plus the entrance fee must be received by the Competition Office on or before 12 noon GMT on Monday March 1st 2021. Candidates are strongly advised to submit their entry forms and upload their recordings well ahead of this deadline to avoid problems, as this deadline is non-negotiable.

Entry Fee

An entry fee of £30 is required from each competitor, made payable by bank transfer to the following account:
  • Account Name - Tunbridge Wells International Music Competition.
  • Account number - 70496928 - Bank Sort Code - 20-88-13.
  • Bank Name - Barclays Bank.
  • Bank Address - 8 Calverley Road, Tunbridge Wells. Kent, TN1 2TB, England.
  • IBAN GB09 BUKB 2088 1370 4969 28
The fee must be paid at the same time as the entry form. Remittances from outside the United Kingdom must be payable in £ sterling, with the fee net of any banking or other expenses. Please put the competitor’s name in the Reference field. The Entry form can be found at If you entered the 2020 competition and have not had a refund of your entry fee; please select the option on the entry form for us to allocate £30 of this as your entry fee. You can indicate on the entry form whether you wish to receive a refund for the balance or leave the funds to count towards your entry to the full Competition in 2022.


  • Certificates will be awarded by the judges at a virtual event on April 30th 2021.
  • Judges’ feedback and any certificates will be sent to you in early May 2021.
  • Enquiries regarding the Competition and any further information can be made to: The Entries Coordinator.
  • Web site: email address:
Closing date for receipt of entries is 12 noon GMT on March 1st 2021