Tune in to medici.tv on Friday and Saturday evenings to watch the final performances with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Andrew Manze

17 – 18 SEPTEMBER | 7pm (BST) via medici.tv

The Leeds International Piano Competition, one of the world’s leading music competitions which has launched many international careers, announces details of the five pianists who will perform in the Finals of the 20th Edition of the Competition in Leeds this weekend (17-18 September). The five finalists, aged between 22 and 28, represent Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and the UK.

The five finalists are:
Alim Beisembayev (23, Kazakhstan)
Dmytro Choni (28, Ukraine)
Thomas Kelly (22, United Kingdom)
Kaito Kobayashi (25, Japan)
Ariel Lanyi (23, Israel)

Adam Gatehouse, Artistic Director of The Leeds International Piano Competition, said ‘It has been a remarkable experience listening to these amazingly talented pianists tackling not only their solo repertoire but also some of the great works of chamber music in collaboration with these world-class chamber musicians. Deciding on who will go forward to the Concerto Finals has been a huge challenge for us all ok the jury, but I am certain that, whether watching live in Leeds Town Hall or to our live stream on medici.tv, we are in for a very exciting and musically rewarding Final with the wonderful Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under Andrew Manze.’

Over 60 pianists took part in the First Round earlier this year, before 22 pianists travelled to Leeds last week to compete in the Second Round and Semi-Finals. The 22 pianists represented 17 countries including Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Morocco and Peru, the competition’s most regionally diverse set of competitors in its 58-year history.

The Concerto Final performances take place at Leeds Town Hall with The Leeds’ new orchestral partners, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Andrew Manze, alongside an enhanced programme of activities during the Competition in Leeds. Audiences worldwide will be able to watch the Finals free of charge on medici.tv and BBC Four, and can listen to the live broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

With a city-wide festival across the Competition’s own community piano trail, piano workshops for schools, masterclasses, discussions, industry lectures from major figures in classical music, and a special exhibition on the life and work of the late Dame Fanny Waterman, the competition aims to create a much-enriched experience for both competitors and audiences.

Watch replays of the First and Second Round performances here: https://leedspiano.medici.tv/en/replays/ 


For further press information please contact Rebecca Johns at Premier PR: rebecca.johns@premiercomms.com
+44(0)7715 205 196


Tickets and information available at: www.leedspiano.com @leedspiano

Photos of the finalists are available here


The Leeds is one of the world’s foremost music competitions. Since the first Competition in 1963, it has attracted the world’s finest young pianists, drawn by the opportunities offered by the outstanding prize package, the challenge of demanding repertoire, a stellar jury – and a warm welcome from the City of Leeds.

The competition is held every three years with the support of Principal Partner the University of Leeds which has played an integral role in its history from the first Competition. The University works closely with The Leeds on a global national and regional level to seek out new partnerships and explore opportunities to benefit a diverse audience.

A bold new vision, launched in 2016 by Co-Artistic Directors Paul Lewis and Adam Gatehouse, has seen The Leeds spread its wings. Internationally, in 2018 First Rounds were held in Berlin, New York and Singapore. And for the first time the whole Competition was broadcast online with medici.tv, attracting over 1 million views across more than 190 countries.

Locally, the Competition’s roots are further deepened through its partnerships with Leeds City Council and Leeds BID, who support a varied programme of year-round Learning & Engagement work, including the Leeds Piano Trail, a diverse and imaginative festival of city-wide activity held during the competition.

The Leeds is led by Adam Gatehouse, who became sole Artistic Director in 2019, and is honoured to have the support of Murray Perahia as Patron and Lang Lang as Global Ambassador.

The University of Leeds
is the Principal Partner of the world-renowned Leeds International Piano Competition and has played a vital role in its development locally, regionally and internationally since its inception in 1963. As a global institution, the University works with the Competition to create and curate partnerships around the world, and to widen opportunities to participate locally and internationally.

Further information on the University of Leeds website.

The finalists are competing not just for generous cash prizes, worth over £90,000, but for a career-changing prize package which has redefined what a competition can offer young artists, and which has helped to attract young international pianists of the very highest calibre promising a thrilling Competition.

The portfolio prize includes artistic management with Askonas Holt, one of the world’s most renowned music management agencies; recordings, including a studio recording with Warner Classics; a major European tour organised with partners Steinway & Sons; concert and recording opportunities with some of the world’s premiere venues and orchestras, including London’s Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; concert and recording engagements with BBC Radio 3, broadcast partner of The Leeds; a programme of recital engagements in Yorkshire and other UK venues; and mentoring from members of the performer-led jury, chaired by Imogen Cooper (England), which includes Artistic Director Adam Gatehouse (UK), Silke Avenhaus (Germany), Inon Barnatan (Israel/ USA), Adrian Brendel (UK), Gaetan Le Divelec (France), Ingrid Fliter (Argentina), Ludovic Morlot (France/ USA), Steven Osborne (Scotland) and Ryan Wigglesworth (UK).


Alim Beisembayev (23, Kazakhstan)
Alim Beisembayev was born in Kazakhstan in 1998 and began playing the piano at the age of 5. He moved to study at the Central Music School in Moscow in September 2008 and later that year, he won the International Television Contest for Young Musicians ‘Nutcracker’ which led to wide exposure around Russia from a young age. By the age of 12, Alim had played with numerous orchestras and conductors and after two years in Moscow, he pursued his studies at the Purcell School for Young Musicians where he was taught by Tessa Nicholson. In addition to his already wide performing experience, Alim won several prizes during his time at the Purcell School including the First Prize at the Junior Cliburn International Competition in the US. 

In 2016, Alim continued studying with Tessa Nicholson at the Royal Academy of Music where he was supported by a generous scholarship. He achieved numerous successes the Jaques Samuel Intercollegiate Competition which led to his Wigmore Hall recital debut in June 2018. Later that year, Alim attended the Verbier Festival Academy where he performed and had masterclasses. Most recently, he won the Second Prize at the Vigo International Competition with Martha Argerich as president of the Jury. 

Alim enjoys collaborating with other musicians and regularly performs in chamber ensembles in London. Currently, Alim is completing his Master’s degree at the Royal College of Music with professors Vanessa Latarche and Dmitry Alexeev. He is generously supported by the ABRSM Scholarship and is an award holder of the Countess of Munster, Hattori Foundation, and the Drake Calleja Fund trusts.

Dmytro Choni (28, Ukraine)
Dmytro Choni was born in Kyiv, Ukraine in 1993. His first piano lesson he received at the age of four from Galina Zaslavets. Later, he went on to study in Kyiv with Nina Naiditch and Prof. Yuri Kot. He is currently studying with Prof. Dr. Milana Chernyavska at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz.

At 28 years old, Dmytro has much Competition experience including First Prize at the Bösendorfer USASU International Piano Competition (USA, 2019), First Prize at the Los Angeles International Piano Competition (USA, 2018), First Prize and Audience Prize at the ZF-Musikpreis (Germany, 2018), First Prize at the Roma International Piano Competition (Italy, 2017), First Prize at the Tucumán International Piano Competition (Argentina, 2016). In 2019 he received the prestigious “Prix du Piano Bern” at the Interlaken Classics (Switzerland) and in 2018 achieved First Prize and Gold Medal at the Paloma O’Shea Santander International Piano Competition in Spain. 

Dmytro has given a number of solo recitals and chamber music concerts, including performances with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, the RTVE Symphony Orchestra, the Ensemble Esperanza, the Republic of San Marino Symphony Orchestra, the Seongnam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Real Filharmonía de Galicia, the Ukraine National Symphony Orchestra, among others. 

Dmytro is the recipient of a scholarship from the International Academy of Music in Liechtenstein.

Thomas Kelly (22, United Kingdom)
Thomas Kelly was born in 1998 and studied at The Purcell School for 2 years from 2015. He was taught by Andrew Ball at The Purcell School and since then has carried on this relationship through his current studies at the Royal College of Music. 

Thomas has been fortunate enough to play in a variety of venues including the Fazioli Hall in Sacile, St Martin in the Fields and twice at the Wigmore Hall. After winning The Purcell School Concerto Prize, he performed the Brahms Second Concerto at Cadogan Hall, conducted by Moritz Gnann March 2018. 

In August 2017, Thomas participated in the Pianale International Piano Competition in Germany where he won the EMCY prize, Senior Jury Prize and the privilege to a recital in Bayreuth in July 2018. Other competition success includes First prize at the BPSE Intercollegiate Beethoven Competition 2019 and First prize at the RCM Kendall Taylor Beethoven Competition 2019.

Kaito Kobayashi (25, Japan)
Born in 1995 in Yokohama, Japan, Kaito Kobayashi studied at the Yamaha Music Foundation and the Ueno Gakuen Senior High School, taking lessons in piano, composition, and general musicianship and received winning prize at the 12th Ettlingen International Competition for Young Pianists in 2010. In 2011, he won the Special Student Prize at “Junior Academy Eppan”, and qualified to participate in “Piano Academy Eppan”.

He continued his Competition success when he won Second prize at the 11th Tokyo Music Competition (2013), Third prize at the 20th Santa Cecilia International Competition and reached the semi-finals of the 7th Sendai International Music Competition. 

In 2014, Kaito began a two year Artist in Residency pogramme at the the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel. He performed as soloist with the National Orchestra of Belgium, Liege Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Sinfonieorchester Basel and indeed many Japanese Orchestras. Chosen by Maria João Pires as a member of her social project called ‘Partitura’, Kaito performed duo recitals with the famed pianist in Italy, Morocco and Japan. 

He has also appeared in concert with the violinist and conductor Augustin Dumay. 

Currently, he has been studying at the Musikhochschule in Basel, Switzerland under Claudio Martinez Mehner.

Ariel Lanyi (23, Israel)
Born in Jerusalem in 1997, this year Ariel completes his studies as a full scholarship student at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Ian Fountain, having previously studied with the late Hamish Milne. Prior to this, he studied at the High School and Conservatory of the Jerusalem Academy of Music, first with Lea Agmon, later with Yuval Cohen. Whilst there, he also studied violin and composition. He has received extensive tuition from eminent artists such as Robert Levin, Murray Perahia, Imogen Cooper, Leif Ove Andsnes, Steven Osborne, and the late Leon Fleisher and Ivan Moravec. Awards include First Prize at the 2018 Grand Prix Animato Competition in Paris and 1st Prize in the Dudley International Piano Competition, as well as a finalist award at the Rubinstein Competition. He was also a prize-winner at the Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) International Auditions in 2021.

Ariel has performed widely in Europe in cities such as Paris, London, Rome, Prague and Brussels, and regularly appears in concerts broadcast live on Israeli radio and television, and on Radio France.  

As a soloist he has appeared with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and at the Royal Academy of Music. An avid chamber musician, Ariel has collaborated with members of the Berliner Philharmoniker and Concertgebouw Amsterdam, as renowned musicians Maria João Pires and Torleif Thedéen. 

Ariel has recorded music by Schubert for Linn Records (due for release in 2021) and given ‘online live’ recitals for the Vancouver Recital series in Canada and the Banco de la República in Colombia.

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