Dame Fanny Waterman

We were saddened to hear of the death of Dame Fanny Waterman, founder and President Emeritus of the Leeds International Piano Competition, on 20 December.

Dame Fanny co-founded ‘The Leeds’ in 1961 - now widely recognised as one of the most important classical music competitions in the world - and remained its Chair and Artistic Director until her retirement in 2015 at the age of 95.

The University has supported the competition since its inception, including hosting rounds in the Great Hall on campus and providing accommodation and practice facilities to competitors. 

Dame Fanny became an honorary graduate of the University in 1992 when she was made a Doctor of Music.

In 2018, Dame Fanny gave her archive to the University Library’s Special Collections for future generations of researchers to study. The piano competition’s archive has also been given to Special Collections. 

You can read more about Dame Fanny and her longstanding connection with the University here.