The end of an era

Sadly, the decision has been taken to end the Lark Reviews website. The site was founded in 2012 by Dr Brian Hick, one time deputy editor of Musical Opinion, editor Emeritus of The Organ, regular columnist for the Hastings & St Leonards Observer and educational consultant for many years. The aim of the site was to post well informed and succinct reviews within 24 hours of musical performances across the country, with an added focus on the Hastings area. Regular CD and DVD reviews were also included for major labels and distributors as well as smaller scale productions.

Before Brian’s death in 2021 we had already discussed the changing context in which we were operating. When the site was founded there were relatively few sites doing the same. Now that is no longer the case.

Since taking on responsibility for Lark I have been ably assisted by Susan Elkin and more recently further reviewers have been working with us. With limited time and resources, however, and wishing to concentrate more on my own performance and teaching work it seems that the best thing now is to end the website. I feel sure that Brian would support this decision, bringing the site to a proper end, rather than letting it gradually wind down.

The site will be archived with all content available for the forseeable future.

Thank you for visiting and supporting Lark Reviews

With best wishes
Stephen Page

Hastings International Piano Competition News

2022 Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition Countdown

Continues With Announcement of International Jury Chaired by Professor Vanessa Latarche
Also Announced is Patron of The Newly Established Royal College of Music Prince Consort Orchestra His Serene Highness Dr Donatus, Prince Von Hohenzollern.

With competitors from more than 40 countries, a record number of entries and two
orchestras accompanying both semi-finalists and finalists, the sixteenth prestigious Has-tings International Piano Concerto Competition will take place for the first time in both Rye
and Hastings from 24th February to 5th March 2022.

For more details see


2022 Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition

The sixteenth prestigious Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition will take place for the first time in both Rye and in Hastings from 24th February to 5th March 2022.

Due to heating difficulties at St Mary in the Castle, which could not be sufficiently rectified and the lack of availability of The White Rock Theatre, Hastings International Piano have made the decision to move round one of the competition to Rye Creative Centre.

The second round, semi-final and finals of the competition will then return to Hastings and take place at The White Rock Theatre.

Hastings International Piano is delighted to announce that a unique partnership has been agreed with The Royal College of Music to create a graduate orchestra, administered in Hastings to offer Royal College of Music graduates orchestral training and paid
performance opportunities during the concerto competition semi-finals and throughout
the year. We are also thrilled that the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will return to accompany our finalists during our two-night Final. Steinway and Sons, the most prestigious piano maker in the world was recently announced as the piano sponsor for the next concerto competition.


Tickets for all rounds of the competition at both venues in Rye and Hastings can be purchased from The White Rock Theatre Box Office from :

Monday 22 November: Presale for Friends & Patrons of Hastings International Piano

Wednesday 24 November: Public Booking Opens



Ministry of Sound Bring The Biggest Party On The South Coast To Sussex Next Month


Ministry of Sound invites you to relive the greatest dance music of all time with a new live concert at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill on Friday 26th November 2021. Bringing the magic of timeless club hits, this show combines high-energy anthems with a full orchestra to create the ultimate party experience.

This breathtaking event is Ministry of Sound’s first ever fully produced classical music show. Alongside the biggest dance tracks reimagined by The London Concert Orchestra, there will be special guest live vocalists and a set from DJ Danny Rampling – one of the original founders of the UK’s rave / club scene.

All this against a backdrop of large screen visuals, lights, lasers, special effects and a live-scored documentary featuring Judge Jules, Paul Oakenfold, Brandon Block and key Ministry of Sound players including Justin Berkmann and Lohan Presencer.

The show spans chart-topping albums with huge tracks getting a never heard before classical remake. Expect to hear iconic club favourites such as Faithless’Insomnia, The Chemical Brothers’ Hey Boy Hey Girl, Darude’s Sandstorm, Fatboy Slim’s Right Here, Right Now, Moloko’s Sing It Back and so many more.

Edward Gilroy, Managing Partner of Coastal Events said “It’s been a tough time for most people over the past two years, especially those of us who are passionate about dancing to live music; that’s why we are so excited to be bringing this massive show to the south coast. The De La Warr Pavilion is a stunning venue and I can’t wait for the people of Sussex to get their raving buddies together for this awe-inspiring event; clubland classics meets classical in this high-energy concert that is going to be endless fun!

Tickets for Ministry of Sound Classical at De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill can be purchased online via and

Oxford Lieder Concert Series, Fairlight Hall 7th November 2021

Oxford Lieder Concert Series return to Fairlight Hall, Hastings this November with a concert from James Atkinson Baritone and Sholto Kynoch (piano).

Sunday 7 November 11am

Tickets £15 include coffee and cake and can be booked from

Fairlight Hall concert series, in collaboration with Oxford Lieder, resumes with the outstanding young baritone James Atkinson. At Oxford Lieder’s online Spring Weekend in February 2021, The Times wrote of James: ‘This young man is still in his final year at the Royal College of Music, but so confident was his stage manner and command of Schubert’s music… that he proclaimed himself a natural lieder singer and linguist, savouring the words almost as idiomatically as a native German speaker, his lovely lyric baritone responding to the words with invigorating warmth. As a recitalist he’s clearly a name to watch.’

Bloom Britannia – St Mary in the Castle Hastings

St. Mary in the Castle, Hastings

Friday 22nd October 7.30PM
Saturday 23rd October 7.30PM
Sunday 24th October 4PM 

Artistic Director: JENNY MILLER
Assistant conductor: MARK AUSTIN

We invite you to experience our new ‘people’s opera’ BLOOM BRITANNIA, an affectionate, comic opera bringing together influences from folk, pop and jazz. An opera, but not as you know it!