2021 Competition:
International First Round Competitors 

We’re thrilled to announce the 62 outstanding pianists who have been invited 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, and the Jury will observe each location virtually. Audiences will be able to enjoy performances from this Round on medici.tv in the summer. 24 pianists will then be selected by our Jury to come to Leeds for the main stages of the Competition between 818 September, when we will share their music with our live and online audiences for our 20th Edition!

Scroll down to meet the 62 pianists performing this spring and members of our esteemed Jury.

 International Venues | 28 March–8 April

  • London (UK)  Royal Academy of Music  
  • Berlin (GERMANY)  University of the Arts  
  • Paris (FRANCE)  Salle Cortot  
  • Vienna (AUSTRIA) University of Music  
  • Milan (ITALY) Steinway venue  
  • Warsaw (POLAND) Steinway venue  
  • Basel (SWITZERLAND) Hochschule für Musik 
  • Arvika (SWEDEN) Ingesund School of Music  
  • Moscow (RUSSIA) Conservatoire  
  • Cleveland (USA) Cleveland Institute of Music  
  • New York (USA)  DiMenna Center  
  • Kansas City (USA) 1900 Building  
  • Miami (USA) Frost School of Music  
  • Beijing (CHINA)  Central Conservatory of Music  
  • Tokyo (JAPAN) Yumeria Hall  
  • Seoul (SOUTH KOREA) National University

    Read the full press release here.

First Round Competitors:

First Round Jury:


United Kingdom

Adam Gatehouse is co-Artistic Director of the Leeds International Piano Competition and jury member for all rounds.

Adam Gatehouse has enjoyed a distinguished and varied career. First as a conductor, working internationally in Europe, the USA and the Far East both as a freelance and as music director with Ballet Rambert in the UK, the Dutch National Ballet and Dutch National Youth Orchestra, and making guest appearances at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Fenice in Venice, the Salle Pleyel in Paris and the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York. He also appeared with the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in Holland, the Lamoureux Orchestra in Paris, the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra among others.

He subsequently worked at BBC Radio 3, first as an Executive Producer, later as Editor Live Music, where he was responsible, among other things, for launching and directing the Wigmore Hall Lunchtime Concert Series and the prestigious BBC New Generation Artists scheme, helping launch the careers of many of today’s leading young musicians, including the Belcea Quartet, Alison Balsom, Alice Coote, Lisa Batiashvili, Paul Lewis, Benjamin Grosvenor and Igor Levit.

In 2006 he founded and directed the internationally acclaimed Festival de Valloires in Picardy, France.

Between 2007 and 2015 he served on the juries of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and the Leeds International Piano Competition.

In 2015 Adam was appointed Co-Artistic Director with Paul Lewis of the Leeds International Piano Competition, and since 2018 has acted as sole Artistic Director. In that capacity he has overseen a complete re-visioning of the Competition, with its International First Round in Berlin, Singapore and New York, worldwide streaming, the Leeds International Piano Series and a unique prize package. He has also spearheaded the Competition’s highly successful and innovative Learning and Engagement programme, bringing the Piano to new and exciting young audiences.




Simone Dinnerstein is an American pianist with a distinctive musical voice. The Washington Post has called her “an artist of strikingly original ideas and irrefutable integrity.”

She first came to wider public attention in 2007 through her recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations – she is, wrote The New York Times, “a unique voice in the forest of Bach interpretation.” Since that recording, she has had a busy performing career, playing with orchestras ranging from the New York Philharmonic and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra to the London Symphony Orchestra and has made ten albums, all of which topped the Billboard classical charts, with repertoire ranging from Beethoven to Ravel.  

Simone is committed to giving concerts in non-traditional venues and to audiences who don’t often hear classical music, including at state prison facilities and a concert series  hosted by New York City Public Schools to raise funds for their music education programs. The Washington Post comments that “ultimately, it is Dinnerstein’s unreserved identification with every note she plays that makes her performance so spellbinding.” In a world where music is everywhere, she hopes that it can still be transformative.



Noriko has achieved considerable renown throughout the world since appearing as a finalist at the 1987 Leeds International Piano Competition.

Noriko’s “ravishingly poetic playing” (Telegraph) sets her apart from her contemporaries and acclaim for her complete Debussy series with BIS Records, confirms her as a fine Debussy specialist. Noriko appears with all the major European, Japanese and US orchestras including recent and forthcoming performances with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech National Symphony Orchestra and the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the BBC Symphony Orchestra for the world premiere of Richard Dubugnon’s Piano Concerto.




Martin Sauer is one of the most acclaimed recording producers in the business and has six Grammy awards and over 600 recordings to his name.

Martin also founded the Teldex – ex-Teldec – studios in Berlin – ‘What Abbey Road was for EMI, Teldex is for Harmonia Mundi.’ He has been at Harmonia Mundi since 2001, where he produced recordings for great names such as conductor René Jacobs, violinist Isabelle Faust, pianist Alexander Melnikov, the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and conductor Pablo Heras-Casado. He has also produced the complete Beethoven piano sonatas with Daniel Barenboim for Deutsche Grammophon and with Paul Lewis for Harmonia Mundi, and the complete Beethoven String Quartets with the Cuarteto Casals.