Rhinegold Photo credit: David Lindsay
Engaging new audiences: The competition's Piano Trail, in partnership with Leeds Business Improvement District and the University of Leeds

Melissa Bradshaw

Leeds International Piano Competition announces pioneering new projects

12:15, 9th May 2019

The Leeds International Piano Competition, one of the world’s most prestigious music competitions, has announced two new learning, engagement and community projects.

As well as deepening its roots in the local Leeds community, these new initiatives also aim to engage and excite new audiences with the piano.

The competition has secured a grant of £7,100 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to support a partnership project with the Marks & Spencer’s Company Archive, aiming to bring the community closer to their collection of historic sheet music. The project will work with Leeds City Council’s Complex Needs provision in eight weekly sessions commencing in September 2019, with participants afterwards curating mini-recitals, as well as creating accessible and creative programme notes, to perform at three care/community settings in Leeds.

Students from the University of Leeds – a principal partner of the competition – will record pieces from the archive to be used in the sessions, and ten of these recordings will be kept within the archive permanently. The recordings, along with the programme notes created, will also be available digitally for adult learning and community groups in the UK, and a temporary exhibition of the project will be on display at the archive between January and March 2020, expecting to reach over 4,000 visitors.

The competition is also announcing ‘Skylar’s Missing Note’, a touring music and theatre project in collaboration with Leeds-based Manic Chord Theatre and supported by Leeds Music Education Partnership and Arts Council England. The project will reach over 1,500 primary school children in Leeds and will introduce pupils to the piano in a fun and engaging way while also enhancing the music curriculum.

Learning and engagement director at the Leeds International Piano Competition, Jenny Rogers, said: ‘The Leeds International Piano Competition is delighted to be announcing these two new projects within our Learning & Engagement programme which we know will connect with new audiences and introduce them to the delights of the piano. We are thrilled to be working in partnership with these incredible organisations to create trailblazing new activities which authentically engage communities with the piano.’


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