The Leeds International Piano Competition is pleased to announce that the Finals of its next edition will take place in Bradford’s St George’s Hall on the 20th & 21st of September 2024, due to the ongoing refurbishment of Leeds Town Hall.
This decision was made with great consideration of the close historical and cultural links between the two cities and presents a unique opportunity to connect the Leeds 2023 year of culture with Bradford’s 2025 UK City of Culture.
Fiona Sinclair, CEO of the competition said:
‘St George’s Hall is a stunning and historic venue in the heart of Bradford, a city with amazing personality and warmth. In the 100 days before Bradford becomes UK City of Culture, we are proud to celebrate the culmination of our 2024 Competition with our friends in Bradford in front of a global audience.’
The rounds leading up to the finals will be held at the University of Leeds, Principal Partner of the competition, so this exciting move will enable the competition to continue showcasing the world’s most talented pianists and bridge the cultural heritage of Leeds and Bradford.
The competition attracts thousands of visitors from around the world and takes the piano into the streets through its award-winning Leeds Piano Trail – a network of public pianos that are free for all to play. The 2024 trail will be enhanced by a 3-week street piano festival including a set of iconic commissioned sculptures crafted from recycled pianos. It is estimated that 1.8m people will experience the 2024 Leeds Piano Trail.
Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s deputy leader and executive member for economy, culture and education, said:
‘We’ve been immensely proud to host this hugely prestigious piano competition in Leeds and for some of the most esteemed classical pianists in the world to have showcased their talents in our city. Whilst Leeds Town Hall is undergoing its once-in-a-generation refurbishment, it’s wonderful to be sharing this incredible occasion with our neighbours in Bradford and for two Yorkshire cities to be working in partnership to celebrate our close links and further enhance the region’s growing reputation as a unique cultural destination.’
Shanaz Gulzar, Creative Director at Bradford 2025 said:
‘As we prepare to welcome the world to Bradford for our celebratory year as UK City of Culture in 2025, we are excited to able to work alongside our neighbours in Leeds to be part of this significant event. The Leeds International Piano Competition is a well known and loved date in the cultural calendar and we look forward to working alongside the Leeds team to create some additional artistic collaborations and make the most of this shared musical moment for our cities.’
Over 5 million tuned in from 140 countries to watch the competition in 2021 which has made its reputation as a ‘star-maker’ of young piano talent. The Finals are a particularly thrilling occasion where 5 young pianists get the chance to play with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in front of a jury of international musicians and music leaders to compete for the legendary Waterman Gold Medal.
Further details about the 2024 competition, including the dates and ticket sales, will be announced soon. The competition will return to a refurbished Leeds Town Hall in 2027.