The Leeds forced to cancel Dame Fanny Waterman's 100th birthday celebrations

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By Ellie Palmer

16 March 2020

COVD-19 disrupts the Leeds International Competition founder's celebrations, which were due to take place this Sunday 22 March

Due to the current situation regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19), The Leeds International Piano Competition has cancelled a day of public events planned to celebrate the 100th Birthday of Dame Fanny Waterman on Sunday 22 March.

The day of events, which included a public concert with past Leeds Gold Medallists, a tea party and a dinner, was scheduled to take place on the very day of her 100th birthday at the University of Leeds.

Fiona Sinclair, Chief Executive of The Leeds, said:

“With more than 400 people expected to join our celebrations from many different countries, we feel that the rapidly developing situation presents too much risk to Dame Fanny and our guests.

It is with great regret and disappointment, therefore, that we have decided to cancel the public celebrations and will celebrate this great landmark for Dame Fanny more privately. We extend our heartfelt thanks to all those who have sent messages of love and admiration to Dame Fanny and who support our work.”

Dame Fanny Waterman founded the Leeds International Piano Competition in 1963 and remains its Life President and Founder Director Emeritus.

Anyone who purchased a ticket to the Birthday Celebrations is being offered full refunds. However organisers are calling for supporters to consider donating the full or partial cost of the tickets to The Waterman Circle Fund so that The Leeds can safeguard the future of the competition in this unprecedented situation, and continue to build vital opportunities and resilient futures for its young artists.

Pianist sat down with Dame Fanny for a special pre-birthday interview, which you can find inside issue 112. Get your copy here.