Internationally renowned acts, rising stars and homegrown talent will be performing at the University of Leeds for this year’s International Concert Series Summer Music Festival.
Showcasing the diverse variety of music Leeds has to offer, the University of Leeds International Concert Series Summer Music Festival is returning from Friday 30 June to Friday 7 July.
The festival’s theme is ‘Untold, Unheard and Hidden Stories’, inspired by the Leeds 2023 year of culture, with performances exploring music by marginalised or forgotten composers, little-known pieces, and interesting new narratives.
I've seen both Lucy and Ariel play close-up – unforgettable can be a bit of a throwaway term, but this is one event that everyone will remember for a very long time.
Three outstanding pianists with links to Leeds will take to the stage in ‘Lifting The Lid – Stories from the Piano’ as part of a collaboration with the Leeds International Piano Competition. The event on Saturday 1 July will feature:
- Lucy Illingworth, stand out star of Channel 4 series ‘The Piano’, who wowed viewers of the TV programme with her performance in Leeds railway station and has since gone on to perform at the Royal Festival Hall and the Coronation Concert.
- Ariel Lanyi, an internationally renowned pianist who won the Roslyn Lyons Bronze Medal at the 2021 Leeds International Piano Competition.
- William Nguyen, a rising star whose ability to play by ear was first spotted by staff at Castleton Primary School in Armley, Leeds. William now studies at the prestigious Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester.
- A panel discussion about the importance of musical education, with Sally Egan (Head of Creative Learning and Engagement at the Leeds International Piano Competition), Daniel Bath (pianist and piano teacher of Lucy Illingworth) and Jayne Leadbeater (Music Education Specialist, who first spotted William Nguyen’s musical talent).
Watch Lucy Illingworth behind the scenes with her piano teacher Daniel Bath:
Dan Merrick, Strategic Development Manager at the School of Music, said: “The co-production with Leeds International Piano Competition on 1 July has to be a highlight of this year’s festival. I've seen both Lucy and Ariel play close-up – unforgettable can be a bit of a throwaway term, but this is one event that everyone will remember for a very long time.
“There's also a truly international feel to the performances this year – with music from India, Brazil, Indonesia, Spain, it’s a perfect fit for an English summer.”
Sally Egan, Head of Creative Learning and Engagement at the Leeds International Piano Competition, said: “The University of Leeds and the Leeds International Piano Competition have been partners since the Competition was founded in 1963.
“We are delighted to co-produce the concert with the School of Music, and which showcases some of the incredible musical talent that we are privileged to support.”
Flute and percussion band Olayá will perform on the opening night with music hailing from North Eastern Brazil, playing traditional piano flutes, which have rarely been heard in the UK.
We are delighted to co-produce the concert with the School of Music, and which showcases some of the incredible musical talent that we are privileged to support.
The festival will also explore early music careers in Yorkshire in an evening of music and discussion with Music:Leeds’ Launchpad, a scheme supporting emerging artists from the region, on Thursday 6 July.
Closing the festival after eight days of events will be a semi-staged performance of Mascagni's ‘Zanetto’, a genre-breaking Italian opera telling the story of one woman’s search for love after a chance encounter on a park bench.
Watch Musical Education Specialist Jayne Leadbeater discussing the discovery of William Nguyen’s talent:
The concerts are all taking place in the stunning Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall and Clothworkers Bar on the University of Leeds campus. The full schedule is available online and tickets can be purchased from the box office.