Celebrating 'The Leeds' International Piano Competition

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

Playing Steinway Piano December 2017

The competition, open to pianists under 30 from around the world, has had a close relationship with the University 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 in three sessions spanning the globe: Berlin, Singapore, followed by New York. 

Professor Frank Finlay, Director of the Cultural Institute and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures, is attending the Berlin and Singapore events: "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."

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.

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.

Tickets for the second round, semi-finals and finals, in Leeds, are all now on sale here.

University staff can now get 25% off Leeds International Piano Competition 2018 tickets for the second round and semi finals at the Great Hall. You will need to log in to access the offer.  

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