Introducing The Jury for 2018

The 2018 Jury includes Competition Director and chairman Frank Wibaut (UK), Ewa Poblocka (Poland), Akiko Ebi (Japan) and Ronan O'Hora (UK)

Artistic Director and Chairman of the Jury
Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition

Frank Wibaut is an International Soloist, Chamber Musician and recording/broadcasting Artist, in major concert halls in more than 30 countries throughout the world. With his repertoire of more than 75 concerti, he has performed with all the major British orchestras, BBC orchestras and many orchestras around the world. He has recorded for EMI, Hyperion, Chandos, Regis, Polydor, Hugo (Hong Kong), Bongiovanni (Italy), HNH (USA),etc. He also performs with many of the worlds leading instrumentalists.

Among his many first prizes are: The Chappell Gold Medal (RCM), The Royal Overseas League, the London Chopin Competition and the BBC Piano Competition etc.

As a much sought after pedagogue, he was Professor of Piano at both the Royal College of Music (where he was both a Junior and Senior Scholar) and the Royal Academy of Music, where he also became Head of Post Graduate Performance Studies. He is now a Senior Piano Tutor at the Royal Northern College of Music and a Visiting Professor in several countries. During the summer he is a Professor and performer at the Mozarteum Summer Academy (Salzburg) and the Nice Summer Academy and gives Masterclasses throughout the world.

His teachers have included John Barstow, Cyril Smith, Gordon Green, Bela Siki, Nadia Boulanger and Andre Tchaikowsky etc.

He was appointed Artistic Director and Chairman of the Jury of the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition in 2012 . During September 2016 he will be a judge for the Japan Music Competition. This is the oldest major competition in Japan. In 2017, he has also been invited to be Artistic Director and Chairman of the Jury of the inaugural London Fairfield International Piano Competition at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon

The Royal Academy of Music have awarded him their highest honour for his outstanding service to Music.


Polish pianist, juror and pedagogue, laureate of international piano competitions in Vercelli (1977), Bordeaux (1979), and Warsaw (1980). She has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in almost every European country, and also in both Americas, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Africa, Singapore, Korea, Japan and Australia.

Ewa Pobłocka was a soloist for many world premiere performances and first recordings of the works of Polish contemporary composers, including A. Panufnik, Lutosławski, Szymański and Mykietyn. She performed Panufnik’s Piano Concerto in the presence of the composer in 1990; a year later she recorded it with the London Symphony Orchestra. In 1998 she recorded that concerto again with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra. On the same album she plays the piano concerto by Lutosławski.

Furthermore there are almost 50 records in her phonographic output, covering the solo, chamber and orchestral repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary.


Akiko Ebi launched her international career as the winner of the second Grand Prix and 4 special prizes given by A.Rubinstein in the Long/Thibaud Competition in Paris and a finalist in the 10th International Fryderyk Chopin Competition in Warsaw, earning the recognition of Martha Argerich, her future mentor. She studied with Ciccolini at Paris Conservatoire, Hansen, Kentner, Perlemuter.

She has performed throughout the world at Berlin Philharmony Hall, Gewanthaus concert Hall, Teatro Colon, Wigmore Hall, Suntory Hall with outstanding orchestras and conductors such as Brüggen, Calderon, Foster, Fournet, Guschlbauer, Janowski, Klee, Milanov, Sado, Sinaisky, Skrowaczewski. As a chamber musician, she has given piano-duo recitals with Martha Argerich and performed with A.Dumay, R.Pasquier, A.Hewitt, M.Dalberto, Y.Toyoda, Parisii and Via Nova quartets. She appears regularly at festivals in La Roque d’Anthéron, Verbier, Menton, Echternach, Lugano, New York, Tokyo and Warsaw.

Her discography includes Chopin’s complete etudes, preludes, nocturnes, impromptus & concerto no.1 as well as works by Faure, Franck, Grieg, Ravel, Pierne, Webern and Dynam-Victor Fumet (first world recording). Two times Grand Prix d’Or for her disc of compositions by Hikari Ōe, which brought international attention to this composer, who was born mentally handicapped. For her services to French music, Ebi was named a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 1993, and in 2002 she received Japan’s prestigious ExxonMobile Music Prize. She is invited to give master- classes in many countries as well as jury member to major international piano competitions.


” His sound is lustrous; his playing is lyrical and full of feeling; he thinks not only of the passing notes but of the overall form. Moreover, O’Hora is blessed with meticulous taste – there was not a vulgar, swooning or overstated passage in the program. ” The Washington Post

The British pianist Ronan O’Hora has performed throughout the world, playing with such orchestras as the London Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, the BBC Symphony, Royal Philharmonic and English Chamber orchestras, the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Hallé Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony, Zurich Tonhalle, Netherlands Radio Chamber, Philharmonia Hungarica, Brno Philharmonic, Winnipeg Symphony, Florida Philharmonic and Queensland Philharmonic. He has performed in every major country in Europe as well as in the USA, Canada, Australasia and South Africa working with leading conductors such as Kees Bakels, Matthias Bamert, Hans Vonk, James Judd, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Bramwell Tovey, Hans Vonk, Edo de Waart, Takuo Yuasa and Lothar Zagrosek as well as appearing at many notable music festivals like Salzburg, Gstaad, Ravinia, Montpelier, Bath, Harrogate and Brno. Born in Manchester in 1964, Ronan O’Hora studied there at the Royal Northern College of Music with Professor Ryszard Bakst. He has won many important awards that have included the Dayas Gold Medal, the Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians and the Stefania Niekrasz Prize, which is awarded every five years to an outstanding exponent of Chopin. Broadcasts on radio and television world-wide have included a televised recital for the Chopin Society in Warsaw, a televised performance of Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto with the Netherlands Radio Symphony, two programmes of chamber music by Mozart for BBC TV, as well as over eighty concerts on BBC Radio 3. Ronan O’Hora has made highly regarded recordings on the Tring International, Virgin Classics, Dinemic and Fone labels in which he has covered concertos by Mozart, Grieg and Tchaikovsky in addition to solo piano repertoire by Schubert, Brahms, Debussy, Schumann, Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart, Mendelssohn and Satie plus chamber music by Fauré, Britten, Debussy, Dvorak and Mozart in a discography which extends to over thirty CDs. Reviewed as its Editor’s Choice, The Gramophone Magazine wrote ” The Grieg Piano Concerto [with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under James Judd] demands imagination and great delicacy of feeling as well as bravura without barnstorming if its eternal freshness is to be caught on record. Ronan O’Hora …… uncannily invests this very beautiful recording with all these virtues, and more besides, for the performance sounds totally spontaneous even on second or third hearings … The cadenza is superb …”
Ronan O’Hora is the Head of Keyboard Studies and Head of Advanced Performance Studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.