The Watford International Piano Competition

in memory of Christopher Duke


Huge congratulations to the 2024 Competition Winners!

Fist Prize: Adrian Raphael Henke

Second Prize: Yang Hu

Joint Third Prize: Aida Lahlou and Anson Tang


The winners will each be performing free lunchtime recitals at St Mary's Church (Church Street, Watford WD18 0EG), on the following dates:

- Thursday 6th June at 12.30pm: Yang Hu

- Thursday 13th June at 12.30pm: Anson Tang

- Thursday 27th June at 12.30pm: Adrian Raphael Henke

- Date tbc: Aida Lahlou



for enquiries please contact


The 2025 Competition Final dates will be confirmed soon

The final will be held at St Mary's Church, Church Street, Watford WD18 0EG

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

2024 Final Programme Running Order:

12.00 noon Introduction

12.05pm Mischa Carr
Waltz in A minor, Op. 34 No. 2
F. Chopin

Sonata No.24 in F sharp major, Op. 78
I. Adagio cantabile — Allegro ma non troppo
II. Allegro vivace
L.v. Beethoven

Venezia e Napoli S.162 No. 3 ‘Tarantella’
F. Liszt

12.40pm Yang Hu
Suite for Piano, Op.14
I. Allegretto
II. Scherzo
III. Allegro molto
IV. Sostenuto
B. Bartok

Waltz in F minor, Op. 70 No. 2
F. Chopin

Piano Sonata No. 31 in A Flat Major, Op.110
I. Moderato cantabile molto espressivo
II. Allegro molto
III. Adagio ma non troppo
L.v. Beethoven

1.10pm Interval

1.30pm Anson Tang

Waltz in A minor, Op. 34 No. 2
F. Chopin

7 Fantasien, Op. 116
II. Intermezzo in A minor: Andante
III. Capriccio in G minor: Allegro passionato
J. Brahms

Ballade, Op. 6
Amy Beach

Fantasy in B minor, Op. 28

2.05pm Peter May
Waltz in F major, Op. 34 No. 3
F. Chopin

Images I, L. 110
I. “Reflets dans l’eau”
C. Debussy

Trois Études de Concert, S. 144
III. “Un sospiro”
F. Liszt

Rhapsody in B minor, Op. 79 No. 1
J. Brahms

Impromptu in A flat major, Op. 90 No. 4 (D. 899)
F. Schubert

2.35pm Interval

2.55pm Aïda Lahlou
Nocturne in B minor, Op. 62 No. 1
F. Chopin

Waltz in B minor, Op. 69 No. 2
F. Chopin

Miroirs, M. 43
III. “Une barque sur l'océan”
M. Ravel

Suite Andalucía
VI. Malagueña
E. Lecuona

Prelude No. 5 ‘Moderato’
K. Karayev

Miroirs, M. 43
IV. Alborada del Gracioso
M. Ravel

3.30pm Adrian Raphael Henke
The Goblin and the Mosquito
Florence Price

Images I, L. 110
I. “Reflets dans l’eau”
C. Debussy

Waltz in F major, Op. 34 No. 3
F. Chopin

Sonata No.2 in B flat minor, Op. 35
I. Grave - Doppio movimento
II. Scherzo
III. Marche funèbre: Lento
IV. Finale
F. Chopin

4.00pm Interval

4.15pm Adjudication


Jury: Deniz Arman Gelenbe and Lara Melda

Deniz Arman Gelenbe

Deniz Arman Gelenbe has been hailed for her prodigious technique, compelling artistic personality and poetic interpretations. As a versatile artist, she is active as a performer, adjudicator and pedagogue internationally. 

She has performed with the Japan  Philharmonic, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Slovak Chamber Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, the Presidential  Orchestra of Ankara, and with several other orchestras in Turkey, the Philippines, Spain and USA. She has played solo  recitals at Salle Gaveau in Paris, Tonhalle in Zurich, Wigmore Hall and St John’s Smith Square in London, the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, and in major cities in France, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Israel, Turkey and the Netherlands. She has performed in  Europe and USA with the Haydn, Enesco, Alexander, Borromeo, Talich and Ciompi Quartets and performed in piano duo concerts with Charles Webb. In 1994, she founded the Arman Ensemble and the Arman Trio which performs  regularly in Europe and the United States in chamber music series, festivals and prestigious venues including Carnegie Weill Hall and Wigmore Hall. 

Deniz Gelenbe founded and directed the summer academies and chamber music festivals Semaines Musicales de Rouen and Semaines Musicales d’Orsay in France for eleven years, and founded the Chamber Arts Series in 1998 and the Schubertiad Series in 2001 in Orlando, USA.

She has recorded world premiere of Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco’s chamber music for Albany Label, Erkin and  Kodalli for Hungaroton, Dvorak and Saint Saens for Arcobaleno, Dvorak and Shostakovich for Musicians Showcase and Schubert and Beethoven for  Akmuzik/EMI labels. 

She has adjudicated the International Chamber Music Competition in Paris, BBC Young Artist Competition, Windsor international Piano Competition and Hastings International Piano Competition in UK, Chopin Competition in Marianbad, the Chech Republic, International Piano Competition at Gnessin Academy in Moscow, Santa Cecilia International Piano Competition in Porto, Portugal, and competitions in China, Tunisia, in Dallas, Texas, among others. As a sought after pedagogue, she is invited regularly to give masterclasses in several cities in USA, France, The  Netherlands, Italy, UK, Spain, China, Russia, Japan, Turkey, and Malaysia. She taught at Dartington, and Chethams summer schools, and at Shanghai  International Piano festival and  Academie International de Nice.Her  students have been successful in several national and international competitions and perform at prestigious venues as Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall and King’s Place among others, and hold academic positions in various countries. 

Deniz was formerly Artist-in Residence and Associate Professor of Piano at the University of Central Florida, Orlando. She has taught at Trinity Laban Conser vatoire of Music and Dance since 2003, was the Head of Piano and Keyboard there from 2007 to 20015 and is now currently Professor of Piano. She has also taught at the Schola Cantorum in Paris. She is Liveryman of the Worshipful  Company of Musicians, and Vice  President of the Chopin Society, London. 


Lara Melda

Lara Melda won the BBC Young Musician 2010 competition, performing Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 2 in the final round with Vasily Petrenko and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in Cardiff. She has since established herself in the classical music world, becoming a regular artist on BBC Radio 3, performing at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall, travelling the world performing concertos with renowned orchestras and giving recitals in many prestigious venues including the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, Les Sommets Musicaux in Gstaad, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, Auditorium San Mattia Ai Crociferi in Palermo, Princess Noura University in Riyadh, Zorlu Centre in Türkiye where she enjoys regular engagements and has received awards including the 'Promising Young Artist' by Kadir Has University and 'Woman of the Year Arts Award' by Elele-Avon.

Her career has been versatile, spanning solo and chamber recitals, online concerts during the COVID pandemic, and innovative projects like curating a critically acclaimed multi-sensory Van Gogh immersive concert experience in collaboration with Exhibition Hub. Lara has made guest appearances on BBC TV's Proms Extra programme and in 2020 she released her debut Chopin CD. Most recently she has been performing new quartet arrangements of Chopin’s Piano Concertos with the Carducci Quartet. Lara's dedication extends beyond performance to humanitarian efforts, notably aiding earthquake victims in Türkiye and Syria.
In the summer of 2016 Lara graduated from the Royal College of Music with a first-class honours degree, where she studied with Ian Jones. She had begun piano lessons with Emily Jeffrey at the age of six and since 2017 continues working closely with Alfred Brendel. Lara continues to perform worldwide, blending her music with cultural and philanthropic endeavours.


2023's Watford International Piano Competition

In memory of Christopher Duke

Was held on Sunday 30th April 2023

Fist Prize: Zvjezdan Vojvodic

Joint Second Prize: Jeremy Chan and Michael Tao

Jury: Tessa Uys and Ben Schoeman


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).