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Leeds International Piano Competition appoints Fiona Sinclair as Chief Executive




She will succeed Mark Wingate, who completes his three-year appointment as the 2018 Competition closes (6-15 September), joining Artistic Directors Paul Lewis and Adam Gatehouse at The Leeds on 1 October.



Fiona Sinclair is currently Managing Director of Lancaster Arts at Lancaster University. She has been a senior member of the team at Lancaster Arts since 2010 and was previously Chief Executive of the Lancashire Sinfonietta from 2000.

Fiona read music at the University of Glasgow and undertook post-graduate qualifications at the Royal Northern College of Music and the Liszt Academy in Budapest.

She has a long track record for supporting emerging artists and composers, as well as developing music programmes inspired by local communities.


Sir Vernon Ellis, Chair of the Board of the Leeds International Piano Competition, comments:

'Fiona joins at a very exciting time in the history of this great Competition. Our Artistic Directors Paul Lewis and Adam Gatehouse have built on the Competition’s hallmark qualities of excellence and integrity and grown it into an ever-stronger platform for young pianists, music lovers and audiences. As Chief Executive Fiona will continue the work of her predecessor in providing a strong platform for the artistic plan. Fiona brings very relevant skills and experience and we greatly look forward to working with her.'

'I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mark Wingate, who has played a crucial role in the creation of this new phase for The Leeds. He had the vision to recruit our Artistic Directors for a new style of competition. His creativity was also to the fore in promoting new imaginative partnerships, in particular our core partnership with the University of Leeds, and has ensured that the artistic vision is underpinned by sound and efficient administration and governance. The Leeds would not be where it is today without Mark's leadership.'


Fiona Sinclair says:

'It is a huge privilege to take forward the legacy of The Leeds at this exciting time in its history. Personally it means a great deal to me, as I grew up watching the competition on TV with my dad, and internationally it has always represented the very pinnacle of musical excellence. I am particularly excited by the challenge of connecting with new audiences as we seek to redefine the Competition for the future, both at home and on our global platforms.

I am expecting many emotional and nail-biting moments during the 2018 Competition performances and especially look forward to joining the Leeds family in welcoming audiences from across the city and beyond to experience this unique event.'


The 2018 Competition begins in Leeds on 6 September and continues until the final stages with the Hallé under the baton of Edward Gardner at Leeds Town Hall on 14 and 15 September. First Round performances of the 24 remaining Competitors are available to view now at leedspiano2018.medici.tv, where audiences can watch all the forthcoming performances live. Highlights from the Semi-Finals will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 at 1.00pm on 11 – 14 September. The Finals will be broadcast live by BBC Radio 3 and transmitted in extract form by BBC FOUR on 21 September.    


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