Aung San Suu Kyi becomes honorary ambassador for The Leeds International Piano Competition
1 September 2012
Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has become honorary ambassador for the Leeds International Piano Competition, and the competition’s top prize will be named after her, to become the Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Gold Medal.
The Burmese politician is an amateur pianist and during the 15 years she spent under house arrest in Burma she would often play – on one occasion so fiercely that she broke some of the piano’s strings. British prime minister David Cameron (pictured with Aung San Suu Kyi during her recent visit to London) commented: ‘The Leeds International Piano Competition is one of the great classical music competitions in the world. It’s a tremendous advert for Leeds and for Britain as a whole.’ Dame Fanny Waterman, chairman and artistic director of the competition said: ‘This is the greatest honour our piano competition has ever received.’
Former prize winners of the Leeds International Piano Competition have included Murray Perahia, András Schiff and Mitsuko Uchida, and have spanned 28 different countries. The 17th edition of the competition is currently underway and concludes on 16 September. More than 270 pianists entered, from which 80 have been selected to compete in front of an international jury.