Key role for campus in piano contest’s art installation

The University is taking part in a fun and colourful public art project organised as part of The Leeds International Piano Competition.


As the campus prepares to host competitors for the prestigious event, which attracts the finest young musicians to West Yorkshire once every three years, it will also provide a home for a specially-decorated piano as part of Me & My Piano, an exciting art installation taking place across the city this summer.

A dozen instruments are currently being decorated by a range of arts groups and retail venues around Leeds. They will be placed around the city for almost three weeks from Saturday 22 August.

Members of the public will be encouraged to play the pianos and share their performances via social media. A downloadable map shows the location of the pianos, and budding players can access easy-to-play excerpts from Me And My Piano, the best-selling series of tuition books co-written by competition founder Dame Fanny Waterman.

Almost 80 of the world’s finest young pianists from 19 nations will converge on the University for the 30-plus stages of the competition taking place in its Great Hall between Wednesday 26 August and Tuesday 8 September.

The finals take place with the Hallé ensemble in Leeds Town Hall on 11 and 12 September. The victorious competitors return to the Great Hall for a gala finale on Sunday 13 September.

Tickets for all events, as well as a rare chance to see Chinese superstar player Lang Lang and 2012 competition winner Federico Colli perform at the town hall on Wednesday 9 September, are on sale now.

The University has a proud association with the competition that reaches back across the contest’s 50-plus year history - the very first competition was held at the University in 1963.

During the competition, the University Library’s Special Collections will be delving into the vast archives for special displays showcasing a range of manuscripts and artefacts relating to the world of classical music, ranging from precious scores to locks of Beethoven’s and Mozart’s hair.

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