The competition was established in 1988 as a result of the 11th Duke of Devonshire’s financial generosity towards the Orchestra and gives the winner the opportunity of performing a concerto with the Eastbourne Symphony Orchestra. 

Details for 2020 competitors are here.

For further information, contact


ESO 33rd Young Soloist Competition 2020

 Birley Centre, 4 Carlisle Road, Eastbourne BN21 4EF

Round One

 4 and 5 January 2020

 Saturday (*from 2-6.30pm) and Sunday (*2-6.30pm)

 *these times may be adjusted


 Sunday 26 January 2–6pm 2020


The first round of the ESO’s 33rd annual Young Soloist Competition is on 4 and 5 January 2020. Some 30 competitors from music colleges around the UK and abroad present a 15-minute performance of a contrasting programme of their own choice, judged by four adjudicators. They will perform on piano, string and wind instruments. An audience is welcome to come and go as they wish between competitors. Just turn up; there is no need to reserve seats; a contribution of £5 to offset expenses (tea / coffee provided). The competition runs from 2pm until about 6.30pm each afternoon in the Birley Centre, 4 Carlisle Road BN21 4EF. The final round, on Sunday 26 January at 2pm (£10, on the door only, includes refreshments), has four or five competitors who present a 20-minute performance of two contrasting concerto movements. The winner plays a concerto with the ESO.