A PIANIST from Evenwood is going up against so of the world’s greatest pianists in a global competition.

Richard Ellis Hawley from Evenwood, County Durham is going up against musicians from Dubai and Singapore in the Luxlife Global Notes of Life awards. Mr Hawley had previously won the award back in 2018 for Best Entertainer and his hoping to win for second time. Mr Hawley said: “I would love to put Evenwood on the map.”

Mr Hawley, 44, originally from East Yorkshire is a self-taught musician and has always been interested in music since he learnt to play the recorder at school. Since then he has diversified in the instruments he plays. He lives with his husband and business partner Rowen Hawley, who runs websites and social media and sets up and takes Richard to the gigs.

He plays piano and keyboard as well as the church organ in his local church and in Ferryhill and Annfield plain. Although similar in look the instruments are not the same and each requires a special skill set to master.

He is a member of Barnard Castle town band and is also working to re-establish Bishop Auckland Brass Band, playing the Euphonium a three-valve brass instrument which is a staple part of a brass band.

Mr Hawley said that his biggest influences were Andre Rieu and Blackpool Tower Ballroom organist Reginald Dickson. “I like them because they like things to be big, they put on grand performances and I would love to do that one day.”

He is also trying to start up a DJ’ing career and is hoping to get his talents recognised by building up a varied portfolio for an application to study music at the University of Sunderland. He works nightshifts as a security officer for Britsec so he has plenty of time during the day to practice and tune his art.