Federico Colli from Italy, has won the 2012 Leeds International Piano Competition in a thrilling conclusion to this year's event.
This prestigious first prize includes a £18,000 cash prize, donated by the Liz and Terry Bramall Charitable Trust; the Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Gold Medal sponsored by Michael J Gee, Rowland J Gee and Nigel Gee of the Cecil Gee Charitable Trust and the Champs Hill Records Award enabling the winner to record his debut solo CD at the Music Room, Champs Hill.
The Finals, broadcast live by BBC Radio 3, saw Colli give an outstanding performance of Beethovens 5th Piano Concerto at Leeds Town Hall with the Hallé Orchestra directed by Sir Mark Elder. The other prize winners were Louis Schwizgebel (24) from Switzerland (Second prize); Jiayan Sun (22) from China (Third Prize), Andrejs Osokins (27) from Latvia (Fourth prize), Andrew Tyson (25) from the USA (Fifth prize) Jayson Gillham (26) from Australia (Sixth prize).
Dame Fanny Waterman, Chairman and Artistic Director of the Competition, now in its 50th Anniversary year, said of the results: The standard of this years competition was exceptionally high and the six prize winners were all truly remarkable as we have heard at this afternoons wonderful Gala Recital. Federico Colli said: It has always been my dream to win the Leeds International Piano Competition and I am absolutely overjoyed at being the First Prize winner of the 2012 Competition. This years prizes saw the addition of a new Orchestra Prize, The Terence Judd Hallé Orchestra Prize, in memory of a brilliant young pianist and past pupil of Dame Fanny Waterman.
Members of the Hallé and their music director Sir Mark Elder, awarded the prize to Andrew Tyson who will receive £5,000, at least three paid engagements with the Hallé and the possibility of a recording on the Hallé label. Sir Mark Elder commented: It was a great honour for me to award, on behalf of The Hallé and the Terence Judd Trust Fund, the first ever Terence Judd-Hallé Orchestra award. We very much look forward to welcoming the talented young winner, Andrew Tyson, for three performances with the Hallé Orchestra later this season. From Friday 21st September Dame Fanny Waterman and Lang Lang, the Competitions new Global Ambassador, will feature in a six-part BBC Four documentary about the Leeds International Piano Competition presented by Suzy Klein as part of the Piano Season on the BBC.
The documentaries will be shown on consecutive Friday evenings from 7.30pm to 8.30pm. The Finals (Friday 14 and Saturday 15 September) and the Gala Recital, featuring all six finalists (Sunday 16 September) can be heard on listen again on BBC Radio 3 any time up to a week after the live transmission. The BBC is the Competitions official broadcast partner. The Competition is presented in partnership with Steinway & Sons, the University of Leeds, and Leeds City Council.
There were two new important ambassador roles announced this year - Aung San Suu became the Honorary Ambassador on her visit to London earlier in the year and Lang Lang became the Global Ambassador.
For more information about the Competition visit http://www.leedspiano.com/. The next Competition will take place in 2015.
Image credit: SWPix
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