International First Round | 28 March-8 April 2021, Various International Venues
Second Round, Semi-Finals & Finals | 8–18 September 20021, Leeds
We’re thrilled to announce the sixty-two outstanding pianists selected to participate in our International First Round this spring. Due to the impact of Covid-19 on international travel – and to ensure the safety of our Competitors and Jury – the First Round will take place behind closed doors in 16 locations around the world from London to Tokyo, with the Jury observing each location remotely.
Twenty-four pianists will then be invited by our Jury to Leeds for the main stages of the Competition between 8–18 September, when we will share their performances with our live and online audiences as we celebrate our 20th Edition!
Click here to meet the Competitors, alongside members of our esteemed Jury. And find out where this year’s Competition will take us around the world!
First Round: 28 March- 8 April 2021 | LONDON | PARIS | BERLIN | VIENNA | MILAN | WARSAW | BASEL | ARVIKA | MOSCOW | CLEVELAND | NEW YORK | KANSAS CITY | MIAMI | BEIJING | TOKYO | SEOUL
Second Round, Semi-Finals and Finals: 8-18 September 2021 | LEEDS
Chair of the Jury: Imogen Cooper
Orchestra for the Finals: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Andrew Manze
From the Artistic Director:
Ever since it was founded nearly 60 years ago by Dame Fanny Waterman, The Leeds has had a reputation for being a competition that above all cares for its musicians, where who you are as a musician and a person comes first. This has never felt more important or pertinent than in these difficult, challenging times, when so many musicians and artists are alone, unable to perform and exercise their art and craft before a grateful public. As a world-renowned institution, we aim to remain true to the guiding principles that have governed The Leeds since its inception, whilst innovating to meet the needs of the young artists of today and tomorrow.
With the help of our world-class partners, we share a joint vision which is dedicated to:
+ Cultivating and developing young artists
+ Inspiring the widest audiences
+ Building digital innovation and engagement
This combination of world-leading career development, our commitment to partnership and innovation, and a deep sense of community responsibility, has established The Leeds at the pinnacle of piano competitions in the world.
We hope you will join us and discover for yourself, what makes ‘The Leeds’ so very special.
About The Leeds
The Leeds International Piano Competition has launched the careers of some of the greatest pianists of our time.
Drawn by the challenge of performing stimulating repertoire to an international performer-led jury, Competitors undertake the First Round in Berlin, Singapore and New York. Successful candidates then compete in Leeds through individual and collaborative rounds, featuring solo work, chamber music performances and a concerto finale with the world-renowned Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, HD global streaming of the competition with medici.tv reaches audiences of over 1 million in some 190 countries.
Developing Young Artists
Helping our artists to develop is at the heart of what the Competition stands for. We seek not only to discover the finest young pianists in the world, but to nurture and cultivate their talents in as broad a way as possible, and to equip them for the swiftly changing world we are living in.
A World-leading Prize Package
We offer a prize package that is truly transformative, including worldwide management with Askonas Holt, a debut recording with Warner Classics, recitals at Wigmore Hall and the Southbank in London, tours of Europe and East Asia in association with Steinway & Sons, broadcast opportunities with the BBC and an extensive package of national and international engagements with a range of promoters and orchestras, including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
Building Your Career
Competitor + is a unique programme that provides career-enhancing opportunities and support packages for Competitors, and equips pianists to become more resilient in a fast-changing competitive environment. This offers access to masterclasses, mentoring from our world-class Jury members, Jury feedback and a programme of expert tailored industry advice. In addition, the 24 Competitors who progress to Leeds will receive broadcast-quality footage of their Competition performances to use on their own promotional platforms.
We are passionate about the role of the piano to inspire diverse communities and bring people together, both locally and around the world. We offer unique opportunities for Competitors and Prize-winners to reach out to and connect with audiences. These include:
+ Recitals in the Leeds International Piano Series
+ Recital opportunities in our urban Piano Fringe festival
+ Participation in our enriching programme in schools and other community settings
Digital Innovation and Engagement
We aim for audiences in every corner of the world to have access to our music. In 2021 we will develop our video broadcast content, working with medici.tv and other partners to generate visibility for our Competitors and reach a global audience:
+ Live-streaming with medici.tv broadcasts the Competition in over 190 countries
+ Warner Classics ensures the global distribution and high profile of our winner’s music
+ High impact social media gathers the interest of millions of viewers to experience our young pianists
+ Developing innovative ways of using digital content and experiences to reach the next generation of audiences
Friendships For Life
Most importantly the city of Leeds offers a warm Yorkshire welcome to all its pianists! Hosted by our Principal Partners, the University of Leeds, you will meet members of our audience and may even be sponsored by a member of our ‘family’. Lifelong friendships are built in our city and may keep you coming home to Leeds for many years to come…