Important announcements from The Leeds International Piano Competition

02 June 2017
Screen-Shot-2017-06-02-at-17.06.51-43167.png Lang Lang
A new partnership with the Lang Lang International Music Foundation & an annual Leeds Piano Festival


As applications for the 2018 competition open, The Leeds International Piano Competition announces two significant developments: a major partnership with the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, as well as a new Leeds Piano Festival to take place in Leeds and London over eight days in May 2018.


These innovations are key developments in the vision of the new artistic leadership of The Leeds by Paul Lewis and Adam Gatehouse, to expand its activities and provide more opportunities than ever for previous winners and young artists, as well as its established and future audiences.


Both The Leeds and the Lang Lang International Music Foundation have a shared passion for educating, inspiring and motivating the next generation of pianists and classical music lovers and both organisations aim to support talented young pianists in their professional development. As a first stage in a new partnership between them, three of the Lang Lang Young Scholars – exceptional young pianists aged under 16 from around the world, all personally selected and mentored by Lang Lang – will give a recital in Leeds as part of the newly-announced inaugural Leeds Piano Festival. They will also be involved in learning and engagement work in the Leeds and Yorkshire area, as well as London in collaboration with Wigmore Hall’s Learning programme.


Lang Lang, who is Global Ambassador for The Leeds, says:

The Leeds is entering a new phase of its history and redefining what a music competition can offer young performers. It shares my passion for nurturing extraordinary young talent and reaching out to encourage kids to engage in music. I am delighted to be its Global Ambassador and am excited about the new partnership with the Lang Lang International Music Foundation. I sincerely hope that together we can create wonderful opportunities for a new generation of pianists and music lovers.’


The Leeds International Piano Competition also announces the first of what is to be an annual Leeds Piano Festival, to take place across eight days in May 2018 in Leeds and London (14-22 May 2018). It features distinguished past winners and alumni of the competition Lars Vogt, Alessio Bax and Sunwook Kim, who will give recitals in both cities, as well as the brilliant Young Scholars of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, who will not only give a recital, but inspire other young people through an extensive programme of outreach work in Leeds and London, the latter in collaboration with Wigmore Hall's Learning programme.



Paul Lewis and Adam Gatehouse, Joint Artistic Directors, Leeds International Piano Competition (pictured above), said:

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'As well as reinvigorating the actual competition itself, we’re passionate about growing the reach and impact of ‘The Leeds’ by developing a much-enriched programme of events and activities around it. We are delighted to start fulfilling this vision by launching the Leeds Piano Festival where we’ll be presenting past winners and young musicians from the Lang Lang International Music Foundation in recitals in Leeds and London.

'To partner with the Lang Lang International Music Foundation will enable us to offer an enhanced platform for their young rising stars of the piano world. The Foundation shares with us a belief in the transformative nature of music.'


The announcement comes as The Leeds opens applications for the 2018 Competition. Online applications open today [1 June 2017] and close 31 October 2017.


Pianists, aged between 20 and 29 at the time of the Competition, are invited to enter the much enhanced event. FIND OUT HOW TO APPLY


The 2018 Competition will run from 6-15 September in Leeds, with First Rounds in Berlin, Singapore and New York in April 2018.



Read the interview with Paul Lewis and Adam Gatehouse inside the February/March 2017 issue of Pianist magazine. You can also read an interview with 2015 Leeds winner Anna Tsybuleva inside the same issue. The issue is still available as a digital issue. 


(Image of Paul Lewis & Adam Gatehouse: © Simon Jay Price)