School of Music supports new era for Leeds International Piano Competition

The global reach of one of the world’s leading piano competitions is being significantly extended thanks to a renewed partnership with the University of Leeds.

The Leeds International Piano Competition and the University have worked together since the earliest days of the competition, with heats and events hosted on campus since the inaugural contest in 1963.

More people will see the 2018 competition than any other in its long and illustrious history.

The first ever overseas round of the competition takes place during April in New York, Berlin and Singapore. Sixty-eight young pianists from 28 countries have been selected for these initial stages. Those who successfully progress from the first round will gather in Leeds in September to participate in the second round and for places in the semi-finals and finals of the triennial event.

With the School of Music, the competition will connect with a wide range of audiences through educational activities and events, such as projects to reach school pupils who might otherwise not get to enjoy classical music. Students will also be able to take advantage of formal work placements, paid internships and mentoring opportunities, as well as support for course work and career advice from competition staff and alumni.

Next month will see The Leeds represented at the University’s annual research open day – Be Curious – highlighting the partnership and providing opportunities for children and families to play, experience, and be inspired by the piano.

As well as making possible the online streaming of the competition, the University will provide accommodation to all 24 pianists from around the world during its later stages, from 6 to 15 September. This includes access to the University’s world-class facilities, such as the 27 new Steinway pianos in the School, which recently joined such prestigious international institutions as New York’s Juilliard School when it became the first member of the UK’s Russell Group of universities to secure All-Steinway School status.