Rhinegold Photo credit: Simon Jay Price
Adam Gatehouse and Paul Lewis

Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

The Leeds announces annual piano festival

12:35, 1st June 2017

The Leeds International Piano Competition has announced a major partnership with the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, and a new annual piano festival.

The new initiatives have been introduced by the competition’s new artistic directors, Paul Lewis and Adam Gatehouse. They are intended to expand the event’s scope and provide further opportunities for previous winners and young artists, as well as its established and future audiences.

The inaugural Leeds Piano Festival will take place 14-22 May 2018 in Leeds and London. Past winners and alumni of the competition – including Lars Vogt, Alessio Bax and Sunwook Kim – will give recitals in both cities.

As a first stage in a new partnership with the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, three Lang Lang Young Scholars – talented pianists aged under 16 from across the world, all selected and mentored by Lang Lang – will give a recital in Leeds as part of the Festival. They will also be involved in learning and engagement work in the Leeds and Yorkshire area, as well as in London in collaboration with Wigmore Hall’s Learning programme.

Lang Lang, Global Ambassador for the Leeds, said that the competition ‘is entering a new phase of its history and redefining what a music competition can offer young performers. It shares my passion for nurturing extraordinary young talent and reaching out to encourage kids to engage in music.’

In a joint statement, Lewis and Gatehouse said: ‘As well as reinvigorating the actual competition itself, we’re passionate about growing the reach and impact of “The Leeds” by developing a much-enriched programme of events and activities around it.’

The announcement comes as applications open for the 2018 Competition, which will take place 6-15 September in Leeds, with first rounds in Berlin, Singapore and New York in April 2018. Pianists who will be aged between 20 and 29 at the time of the Competition have until 31 October to apply.


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