The world’s largest subterranean skate park - Source in Hastings - normally resounds to an eclectic mix of rock, punk and hip hop, but on Tuesday February 14, freestyle BMXers and skateboarders will be able to hear some of the world’s most talented young pianists.
Challenging the received notion that classical music is the preserve of middle-aged and middle class people, thanks to support from the Arts Council, the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition (HIPCC) is reaching out to a new audience by creating an innovative partnership with a popular skate and BMX park and also live-streaming some of the competition to a local Academy, and to the whole world via the internet.
Appropriately, on St Valentines’ Day the organisers of HIPCC hope to create a very special connection between the two, hitherto disparate, young performers. Source will provide a stunning backdrop to a unique and free recital by a leading, up-and-coming concert pianist to visitors at the seafront facility at 6pm and 8pm. Throughout the day the piano will be available for all comers to play (those interested should contact info@ hastingsconcerto competition.co.uk).
“It’s a real random one,” says Rich Moore whom - along with brother, Marc - owns Source Park. “I think when they see the baby grand in situ for the first time, they’ll say ‘what the Hell is that?!’
“I’m really intrigued to see how they respond to the music. I’d put money on classical music never having been played before in a venue such as this.
“It’s totally different and I liked the idea from the outset. It got our attention straight away and it’s a unique way to bring two completely different groups together.
“In many ways, it is a complete clash of cultures. Our customers would never normally go to a classical music recital and vice versa, so in some ways I’m expecting to see a look of confusion and bafflement on their faces.”
HIPCC Director Frank Wibaut predicts a large degree of mutual respect: “I once organised a similar event in Australia, where classical musicians came together with young athletes and while both groups came from completely different spheres they were able to understand the dedication and hours of practice that each put into their discipline.”