Yesterday, the First Round of the Leeds International Piano Competition 2018 has come to an end and successful competitors will soon be invited to the Second Round, Semi-Finals and Final in Leeds in September.
In 1963, Dame Fanny Waterman first started the Leeds International Piano Competition, short The Leeds, which has since been taking place every three years and is now one of the top four international piano competitions globally. When Dame Fanny retired from being the Artistic Director of the competition in 2015, Adam Gatehouse and Paul Lewis became co-Artistic Directors of The Leeds, with plans to develop the international reach and engagement of the competition further.
In previous years, candidates from across the world have come to Leeds for the First Round as well as the later Semi-Finals and Finals. In 2018, however, the First Round of the competition has, for the first time, taken place in Berlin, Singapore and New York to allow candidates to participate closer to home and to raise the profile of the competition across the world.
Leeds City Council, with Leeds 2023 and VisitLeeds, the University of Leeds and Welcome to Yorkshire have partnered with the Leeds International Piano Competition during the First Round to showcase that Leeds is not only home to the Piano Competition but also a vibrant and attractive destination to visit, live, study and do business.
In Berlin, the British Embassy hosted an evening reception in celebration of The Leeds coming to Germany. Noriko Ogawa, 1987 finalist and 2018 First Round Jury Member, on the piano.
The 2018 competition sees 68 pianists compete, representing 28 nationalities, among them five British nationals. Those who make it through the First Round will be performing in Leeds from 6th to 15th September in a series of rounds that are open to the public (read more here) and will be available to watch on a live online stream for the first time.
Photographs by Simon Weir – www.simonweir.com