Tunbridge Wells - International Music Competition at Mayfield Festival

The Competition is held every two years 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 wants to support its winners in the early period of their careers; to this end, cash prizes and recital opportunities are awarded.
The Competition will be held from Wednesday April 29th 2020 to Sunday May 3rd 2020 and all performances will be in public.

All Rounds, including the Final, will be held at Mayfield School, The Old Palace, High Street, Mayfield, TN20 6PH, East Sussex, UK.

Round 1 on Wednesday April 29th, Thursday 30th and Friday May 1st 2020
Round 2 (Semi Final) on Saturday May 2nd 2020
Round 3 (Final) on Sunday May 3rd 2020

The Format

There are three parts to the competition:

  • Pianoforte (Pianos tuned to A=440Hz).
  • Strings (excluding plucked strings such as harps and guitars or similar).
  • Wind (both wood and brass).

The Prizes

Each of the three winners winners will receive:

  • A cash prize of £1,500.
  • A recital opportunity at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London. The dates for the 2020 winners will be Tuesday 3 November, Friday 6 November and Monday 9 November 2020.
  • Grants towards performances for two years. Half their fees will be refunded to promotors who engage the winners. See Tunbridge Wells Competition Grant Scheme description for further details.
  • Performance opportunities at the 2022 Mayfield Festival. This will include a recital by the three winners as a trio.
  • Further performance opportunities by remaining in contact with the Competition, including:

The second prize winner in each section will receive a cash prize of £1,000.

The third prize winner in each section will receive a cash prize of £500.

The Overall Winner

One of the 3 winners will be selected as the Overall Competition Winner and in addition will receive:

Tunbridge Wells Competition Grant Scheme

The aim of this Grant Scheme is to assist our winners in getting performance opportunities in their early years as professionals. The admin process is directly between the Promotor and the Grant Scheme to further help our winners by not involving them in the administration.

  • Grants will be available to the three winners for the two years following their win (The 2020 winners grants will run from June 2020 to May 2022).
  • The scheme will pay half the performer’s fees to the concert promoter who applies for the grant. By example the promoter will be reimbursed £150 in respect of a £300 performance fee.
  • Each winner can have grants for up to four concerts in each subsidised year.
  • The concert promoter should apply to the Competition by emailing grants@twimc.org.uk with details of the performance programme and the address of their website.
  • Grants are reviewed at least every four weeks and the promoter will be advised within three weeks confirming the grant.
  • An acknowledgement in the programme must state: “‘Name of promoter’ gratefully acknowledges the financial support given by the Tunbridge Wells International Music Competition at Mayfield Festival to the soloist ‘name of performer’ in this concert”.
  • After the event the promoter will mail a copy of the programme to The Administrator, Tunbridge Wells Competition Grant Scheme c/o Lucks Farm House Punnetts Town, Heathfield TN21 9HU together with their bank details. Payments will be made within three weeks of submission.
  • Support is not available for the concerts shown in The Prizes section above.


There will be an international panel of six Judges who will take into account choice, variety and balance of programme items across all rounds. A very high standard of performance will be expected.

NOTE: Current Students of judges are not allowed to enter the competition

See our 2020 judges here: www.twimc.org.uk/competitors/judges/.


  • Round 1. Competitors will be adjudicated by the two Judges of their instrumental section and up to 10 competitors from each section will be selected to go forward to Round 2 (the Semi Final).
  • Round 2. Competitors will be adjudicated by the two Judges of their instrumental section and up to 3 competitors from each section will be selected to play in Round 3 (the Final).
  • Round 3. (The Final). The final competitors will perform before all six Judges who will select 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winners in each section and the overall winner.

Entry Fee

An entry fee of £95 is required from each competitor, made 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 made 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.


Wherever possible, and if required, accommodation for the period of the Competition will be provided, free of charge, with host families in the Tunbridge Wells/Mayfield area.


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 in all three rounds.

Strings and Wind entrants should, if at all possible, travel to the Competition with their regular accompanist to ensure the best performance conditions.

Official Accompanists will be available and competitors resident in the Greater London area must make their own arrangements with the allocated accompanist for rehearsals in the Greater London area before the competition.

For competitors from overseas and from outside the London area rehearsals will be arranged at Mayfield between Tuesday 28th April and Saturday 2nd May. Competitors are responsible for agreeing the fee for rehearsals with their accompanist and paying the fee directly to the accompanist. All performance fees for official accompanists, including a rehearsal on the day of the Final, will be covered by the Competition.

General Information for the 2020 Competition

Rules for the 2020 Competition

Competition Entry Form 

Apply Now!

Before applying, please check and study the programme description of your interest. Each description has its specific paragraph about the application process and a link to the online application platform. Fill in the online application form, upload the necessary documents and check your mailbox regularly.

For more information click here.