After a week of whirlwind travel to witness 68 of the best young pianists in the world, the First Round has officially come to an end. With heats in Berlin, Singapore, and New York, the Leeds International Piano Competition took the First Round to the competitors and showcased the city of Leeds to the world, with the help of VisitLeeds, Welcome to Yorkshire, and the University of Leeds.
In Berlin, the First Round was held at the UdK Joseph Joachim Concert Hall, where 40 pianists played over three days to a panel of judges and a riveted audience. A reception was held at the British Embassy in Berlin, where British Ambassador to Germany Sir Sebastian Wood KCMG, Co-Artistic Director Adam Gatehouse, and Leeds Councillor Adam Ogilvie, spoke about the Competition’s international reach and the future of Leeds as an international cultural destination on behalf of VisitLeeds and Leeds 2023. Noriko Ogawa, a First Round jury member and former prizewinner of the Competition, gave excellent performances at all three of the international receptions.
From Berlin, The Leeds team moved onto Singapore to the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Concert Hall. 11 pianists played over the course of a day to a large and rapt crowd. The reception was held at the British High Commission in Singapore, where the British High Commissioner to Singapore Scott Wightman, Sir Alan Langlands, and Adam Gatehouse spoke about the Competition and its partnership with the University of Leeds.
Lastly, the Competition ended its first round at the DiMenna Center in New York City. 17 pianists played over two days in the Norman S. Benzaquen Hall. The reception was held at Steinway Hall with Steinway & Sons CEO Ron Losby, Commercial Director of Welcome to Yorkshire Peter Dodd, and Adam Gatehouse speaking about all that Yorkshire has to offer. After the last pianist finished, the team packed up their bags to head back to Leeds.
With the judges finalising their picks, the 24 pianists who will be coming to Leeds in September will be announced 1st May. Their incredible First Round performances will be available for viewing on medici.tv in August. Click here to see pictures from the First Round. Click here to buy tickets to the Leeds rounds of the Competition.
First Round jury panel at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Concert Hall