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Celebrating 'The Leeds' International Piano Competition

Celebrating 'The Leeds' International Piano Competition

The three-year wait is over – Leeds International Piano Competition is under way.

The competition, open to pianists under 30 from around the world, has had a close relationship with the University of Leeds since its earliest days in 1961.

This year’s event offers up some innovations to usher in a new and dynamic era for the prestigious competition.

For the first time The Leeds, as it is affectionately known, is taking to the road – taking the competition to the competitors.

The initial round of the triennial competition, with 68 performers from 28 countries, got under way this week in three sessions spanning the globe: Berlin, Singapore – over this weekend – and New York, next week.

Each city each is serving as a backdrop to promote the University to overseas stakeholders and alumni – as well as the city of Leeds, with its vibrant and diverse culture.

Professor Frank Finlay

Professor Frank Finlay, Director of the University's Cultural Institute and Executive Dean of its Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures, is attending the Berlin and Singapore events. He said: "Each city is celebrated as a hub for classical piano teaching and performance, and each is serving as a backdrop to promote the University to overseas stakeholders and alumni – as well as the city of Leeds with its vibrant and diverse culture."

Each city is celebrated as a hub for classical piano teaching and performance. Reception events in the three cities are respectively hosted by Leeds City Council, the University, and Welcome to Yorkshire.

All sessions are open to the public and tickets are free.

Demonstrating its shared commitment to the transformative power of culture, the University renewed its partnership with the competition earlier this year, extending its support. This has ensured more international audiences than ever before can experience contest performances live or on-demand from anywhere in the world via medici.tv, the online classical music channel.

Pianists who successfully progress to subsequent rounds of The Leeds, in September, will perform at the University’s Great Hall, while the beautifully-restored Clothworkers’ Centenary Concert Hall will host numerous masterclasses and talks with competitors and competition alumni.

These are fitting locations given the University’s School of Music recently joined prestigious international institutions around the world in securing All-Steinway School status – the first member of the Russell Group of research-intensive UK universities to do so.

For avid classical music lovers, those new to the genre and those who are simply curious, another innovation for The Leeds this year is Leeds Piano Festival, in May.

It will be the first of an annual event, featuring a series of performances in London’s Wigmore Hall, as well as the Howard Assembly Room in Leeds.

Featuring distinguished past winners and alumni of the competition Lars Vogt, Alessio Bax and Sunwook Kim, as well as performances by the young scholars of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, the festival will also include an extensive programme of outreach activities.

For further details, and to book tickets, visit the Festival web page here.

Further information

For further information or interviews, contact Media Relations Manager Gareth Dant via g.j.dant@leeds.ac.uk or +44 (0)113 3433996.

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