A brief look back at the fascinating musical history of The Grand Hotel

Dominating the shoreline with its grand stature, this magnificent 19th-century hotel has been an iconic landmark on the seafront and has an abundance of musical heritage which seeps through the buildings history.

The Great Hall has been described as the central musical hub of The Grand since the early 1900’s and has housed some iconic moments. It is here that the first hotel Orchestra played in 1903 and offered daily musical entertainment, led by Mr Von Leer and his 4 piece Palm Court String up until 1905. It is also here where from 1924 – 1939 the BBC published a live weekly broadcast each Sunday evening, as the acoustics were (and are today) said to be one of the best.

A famous face to frequent Eastbourne and The Grand hotel was Claude Debussy, who arrived in 1905 along with his pregnant Mistress Emma Bardac. It would be in the Grand, on the 2nd Floor (Debussy Suite – Room 200) where he completed ‘La Mer’, which at the time was not a critical success but has since gone on to become one of his most well-known pieces. Today the musical influence at The Grand still lives on with events including: The Pasadena Roof Orchestra, Palm Court Strings, Damian Montagu and Stuart Prosser as well as other musical acts which are always hugely popular.