02 March 2023
By Ellie Palmer
Curated by the Leeds International Piano Competition (LIPC) and LeedsBID, the Leeds Piano Trail brings music to every street corner of Leeds with a series of magnificently and uniquely designed public pianos
The much-loved Leeds Piano Trail has won a Royal Philharmonic Society Award, dubbed the 'BAFTAs of classical music'.
The Royal Philharmonic Society Awards are classical music’s annual good news story, shining much-needed light on inspirational individuals, groups and initiatives whose music has lifted hearts and minds across the nation.
Throughout 2021, over 206,000 people experienced the pianos and sculpture trail around Leeds. Edinburgh-based artist collective, Pianodrome, handcrafted a set of iconic sculptures created entirely from recycled pianos and placed them alongside artist and community-decorated playable instruments. Through the sculptures, performances and workshops, the theme of the Trail highlighted the dangers of the climate crisis, and the permanent piano trail has environmental sustainability running through it.
The Trail has continued through 2022 and will continue during the Leeds 2023 Year of Culture.
Fiona Sinclair, Chief Executive of the Leeds Piano Competition, said: “We are so excited to receive this prestigious RPS Award. The Leeds Piano Trail has done so much more than bring music to public spaces in our city. The pianos reveal incredible stories of people from all walks of life and their connection to music - astonishing everyday talents that remain hidden until they find themselves at the keys of a street piano. We are delighted to shine a light on them and are grateful to the many venues, partners and artists in our community who make it all possible.”
RPS Chief Executive James Murphy said: “With much recent reportage about funding cuts to the arts, what a story we have to share about classical musicians’ creativity, generosity and resilience. The RPS Awards shortlists represent thousands of musicians who devote their lives to uplifting, inspiring and uniting communities nationwide.”
Find out more about the Leeds Piano Trail plus upcoming events here.