The Watford International Piano Competition

in memory of Christopher Duke




- Deadline for entry: EXTENDED to Friday 29th March 2024 -

for enquiries please contact


The 2024 Competition Final will be held on Saturday 4th May at 12pm

St Mary's Church, Church Street, Watford WD18 0EG


Adjudicators: Deniz Arman Gelenbe and Lara Melda

 Entry FREE for under 25s, £18 for adult tickets



Huge congratulations to the 2023 Competition Winners:

Fist Prize: Zvjezdan Vojvodic

Joint Second Prize: Jeremy Chan and Michael Tao



2023 Final Programme Running Order:

3.05pm Matthew McLachlan

I. Stravinsky  Three Movements from Petrushka
F. Chopin      Waltz in A minor, Op. 34 No. 2
N. Medtner    Fairy Tale in G major, Op. 9 No. 3


3.40pm Minsung Park

W.A. Mozart  Sonata No. 9 in D major, K. 311
  Allegro con spirito
  Andantino con espressione
F. Chopin  Waltz in C sharp minor, Op. 64 No. 2
F. Chopin  Ballade No. 2 in F major, Op. 38
F. Liszt     Transcendental Etude No. 12, “Chasse-neige”


         Interval 1 - 20 minutes


4.30pm Adam Heron

J. Bologne  Chevalier de Saint-Georges
  Andantino in C major
  Adagio in F minor
J.S. Bach  Italian Concerto BWV 971
F. Chopin  Waltz in D flat major, Op. 70 No. 3
F. Chopin  Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35
  Grave – Doppio movimento


5.05 pm Michael Tao

J.S. Bach    Prelude and Fugue in C sharp major, WTC I, BWV. 848
F. Chopin    Etude Op. 10 No. 1, “Waterfall”
A. Scriabin  Prelude Op. 11 No. 1
F. Chopin    Waltz in A flat major, Op. 42 No. 5 ‘Grande Valse’
A. Scriabin  Etude Op. 42 No. 5
F. Chopin    Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52


         Interval 2 - 20 minutes


5.55pm Jeremy Chan

J.S. Bach      Prelude and Fugue in E flat major, WTC I, BWV 852
F. Chopin      Waltz in C sharp minor, op. 64 No. 2
S. Prokofiev  Piano Sonata No. 7 in B flat major, Op. 83

6.40pm Zvjezdan Vojvodic

C. Debussy  Images I. L. 110
  Reflets dans l’eau
  Hommage à Rameau
F. Chopin  Waltz in A flat major, Op. 42 No. 5
‘Grande Valse’
A. Scriabin  Sonata - Fantasia in G sharp minor, op. 19, No. 2


         Interval 3 - 20 minutes


7.30pm Adjudication and Prizegiving


Jury: Tessa Uys & Ben Schoeman

In 2010, Tessa Uys and Ben Schoeman established a duo partnership after being invited to give a
two-piano recital at the Royal Over-Seas League in London. Ever since, they have performed
regularly at music societies, festivals and at the BBC. They embarked on their journey with the 9
Beethoven Symphonies transcribed for piano four hands by Franz Xaver Scharwenka in 2015. They
are currently recording the complete Beethoven/Scharwenka Symphonies for SOMM Recordings.


Tessa Uys
Born in Cape Town, Tessa Uys was first taught by her mother, Helga Bassel, herself a noted concert
pianist. At sixteen, she won a Royal Schools Associated Board Scholarship and continued her studies
at the Royal Academy in London where she studied with Gordon Green. In her final year she was
awarded the Macfarren Medal. Further studies in London with Maria Curcio, and in Siena with
Guido Agosti followed. Shortly after this Tessa Uys won the Royal Over- Seas League Competition
and was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
During the past decades, Tessa Uys has established herself an impressive reputation, both as concert
performer, and as a broadcasting artiste, performing at many concert venues throughout the world.
She has performed at the Wigmore Hall, Southbank, Barbican and St John’s Smith Square, and has
played under such distinguished conductors as Sir Neville Marriner, Walter Susskind Louis Fremaux
and Nicholas Kraemer.

Ben Schoeman
Ben Schoeman was born in South Africa. He studied piano with Joseph Stanford at the University of
Pretoria and then received post-graduate tuition from Boris Petrushansky, Louis Lortie, Michel
Dalberto, Ronan O’Hora and Eliso Virsaladze in Imola, London and Florence. In 2016, he obtained a
doctorate from City, University of London and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He won the
first prize in the 11th UNISA International Piano Competition, the gold medal in the Royal Over-Seas
League Competition, the contemporary music prize at the Cleveland International Piano
Competition, and the Huberte Rupert Prize from the South African Academy for Science and Art. He
has performed at the Wigmore, Barbican and Queen Elizabeth Halls in London, Carnegie Hall in New
York, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Gulbenkian Auditorium in Lisbon and the Enescu Festival in
Bucharest. Ben Schoeman is a Steinway Artist and a senior lecturer in piano and musicology at the
University of Pretoria.


2022's Watford International Piano Competition

In memory of Christopher Duke

Was held on Sunday 8th May 2022

At Clarendon Muse, Watford

Joint 1st Prize Rose McLachlan

Joint 1st Prize Yiyi Su

3rd Prize Tommy Tai

Jury: Gordon Fergus-Thompson & Margaret Fingerhut


2019 Competition:

1st prize John Lee

2nd prize XueLin Xie

3rd prize Mika Inukai


2018 Competition:

1st prize Edward Leung

2nd prize Kyle Nash-Baker

3rd prize Raymond Yiu

Special commendation: XueLin Xie


2017 competition:

1st prize Weng Soon Tee

2nd prize Misa Saka

3rd prize Chi-Hoi Cheung


2015 competition: 

1st prize Jina Shim

2nd prize Liga Korne

3rd prize Scott MacIsaac


Recent winners of the Competition who have gone on to busy international careers include Alexander Ullman and Ji Liu (both YCAT Artists in 2015 and 2016) and Riyad Nicolas (The Countess of Munster Musical Trust).