The third Sussex International Piano Competition reached its climax at the Worthing Assembly Hall on Sunday.

After a week of playing solo piano pieces, 22 competitors were reduced to three finalists, each of whom played a complete concerto with the Worthing Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Gibbons.

For the first time the final was filmed for a documentary about the competition. The high standard of the final shows the growing prestige of this event, and the judges had a difficult task in deciding between three impressive finalists who played very different concertos - Tchaikovsky's first, Beethoven's fourth, and Chopin's second.

Judges, orchestra, and audience reached the same conclusion and awarded first prize to the young Russian Varvara Tarasova for a highly assured performance of the Chopin that was both sublimely lyrical and dazzlingly virtuosic. Her first prize of £5,000 is less important that the doors that this triumph will open for her.

Second prize was awarded to Ukrainian Dinara Klinton who played the Tchaikovsky though this was marred at times by the orchestra's brass section playing far too loudly.

Third prize was won by Anna Szalucka from Poland whose performance of the Beethoven was fresh and vivid, combining vitality with poetry.