Adam Gatehouse | Artistic Director

Adam Gatehouse is 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.

Murray Perahia KBE  | Patron

In the more than 40 years he has been performing on the concert stage, American pianist Murray Perahia has become one of the most sought-after and cherished pianists of our time, performing in all of the major international music centers and with every leading orchestra. He is the Principal Guest Conductor of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, with whom he has toured as conductor and pianist throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, and South East Asia.


Born in New York, Mr. Perahia started playing piano at the age of four, and later attended Mannes College where he majored in conducting and composition. His summers were spent at the Marlboro Festival, where he collaborated with such musicians as Rudolf Serkin, Pablo Casals, and the members of the Budapest String Quartet. He also studied at the time with Mieczyslaw Horszowski. In subsequent years, he developed a close friendship with Vladimir Horowitz, whose perspective and personality were an abiding inspiration. In 1972 Mr. Perahia won the Leeds International Piano Competition, and in 1973 he gave his first concert at the Aldeburgh Festival, where he worked closely with Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, accompanying the latter in many lieder recitals. Mr. Perahia was co-artistic director of the Festival from 1981 to 1989.

Having completed a tour of North America with a debut recital in Mexico in the 2012-13 season, Mr. Perahia will embark on a recital tour of Japan followed by his historically first appearances in Australia where he will perform at the Sydney Opera House and in Melbourne in November 2013.

Mr. Perahia has a wide and varied discography. Sony Classical has issued a special boxed set edition of all his recordings including several DVDs entitled The First 40 Years. His recording of Brahms Händel Variations, which won the Grammophone Award in 2011, has been called “one of the most rewarding Brahms recitals currently available.” Some of his previous solo recordings feature a 5-CD boxed set of his Chopin recordings, Bach’s Partitas Nos. 1, 5, and 6 and Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, opp 14, 26, and 28. He is the recipient of two Grammy awards, for his recordings of Chopin’s complete Etudes and Bach’s English Suites Nos. 1, 3, and 6, and numerous Grammy nominations. Mr. Perahia has also won several Gramophone Awards.

Recently, Mr. Perahia embarked on an ambitious project to edit the complete Beethoven Sonatas for the Henle Urtext Edition. He also produced and edited numerous hours of recordings of recently discovered master classes by the legendary pianist, Alfred Cortot, which resulted in the highly acclaimed Sony CD release, “Alfred Cortot: The Master Classes.”

Mr. Perahia is an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music, and he holds honorary doctorates from Leeds University and

Duke University. In 2004, he was awarded an honorary KBE by Her Majesty The Queen, in recognition of his outstanding service to music.

Murray Perahia Pianist

Lang Lang | Global Ambassador

Lang Lang pianist

Very few artists can claim to have the same profound impact on the world of music as Lang Lang has had. As a pianist, educator and philanthropist, as well as an influential ambassador for the arts, Lang Lang has fully embraced new technology and innovation, leading the way in bringing classical music into the 21st century. Equally happy playing for billions of viewers at the 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremony in Beijing or just for a few hundred children in the public schools, Lang Lang is a master of communicating through music. Gifted with unique artistic and communicative skills, Lang Lang unites excellence and accessibility unlike anyone else, and builds bridges between Eastern and Western culture.


Heralded by the New York Times as “the hottest artist on the classical music planet”, Lang Lang works with the most excellent classical musicians of our time. He has formed ongoing collaborations with conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Gustavo Dudamel, Daniel Barenboim and Christoph Eschenbach and performs with the world’s top orchestras, such as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics as well as America’s leading orchestras. Lang Lang plays sold-out concerts in the major concert halls of every continent in the world. Recent memorable appearances include concerts at the prestigious Sydney Opera House, as well as a performance in the old town of Havana with Cuban jazz legend Chucho Valdés, fostering musical exchanges with Cuba. Lang Lang is known for thinking “outside the box” and frequently steps into different musical worlds, teaming up with artists from diverse genres. His performances at the GRAMMY Awards with Metallica, Pharrell Williams or jazz legend Herbie Hancock were hailed by millions of viewers. His video collaboration with dubstep dancer Marquese “Nonstop” Scott continues to inspire a global internet community.

For about a decade Lang Lang has contributed to musical education and support for children worldwide. In 2008 he founded the “Lang Lang International Music Foundation” aimed at cultivating tomorrow’s top pianists, championing music education at the forefront of technology, and building a young audience through live music experiences. Headquartered in New York City, the Foundation has implemented its programs in North America, Europe and Asia, and was awarded an ECHO Klassik special prize in 2015. In 2013 Lang Lang was designated by the Secretary General of the United Nations as a “Messenger of Peace” focusing on global education. He also currently serves on the Weill Music Institute Advisory Committee as part of Carnegie Hall’s educational program and is the youngest member of Carnegie Hall’s Artistic Advisory Board.

Lang Lang’s tireless energy and boundless drive to attract new audiences to classical music have brought him numerous titles and awards: he was presented with the 2010 Crystal Award in Davos and was picked as one of the 250 “Young Global Leaders” by the World Economic Forum. He is also the recipient of many honorary doctorates, notably from the Royal College of Music (presented by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales), the Manhattan School of Music and New York University. In December 2011 he was honored with the highest prize awarded by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China. More recently, he has received the highest German civilian honor, the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, in recognition of his distinguished services to music, and in January 2013 he was presented with the Medal of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture.

In 2016 Lang Lang was invited to the Vatican to perform for Pope Francis at the opening ceremony of the first Faith and Sports World Conference. He has also performed for numerous other international dignitaries and heads of state, including four US presidents and monarchs from many nations.

Lang Lang started playing the piano aged three, won the Shenyang Competition and gave his first public recital before the age of five, entered Beijing’s Central Music Conservatory aged nine, and won First Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians and played the complete Chopin Études at the Beijing Concert Hall at thirteen. He left China for Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute, where he worked with the legendary pianist Gary Graffman. He was seventeen when his big break came, substituting for André Watts at the “Gala of the Century”, playing Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach: he became an overnight sensation and the invitations started to pour in.

Lang Lang’s autobiography, Journey of a Thousand Miles, was released to critical acclaim and has been published by Random House in eleven languages. As part of his commitment to the education of children, Lang Lang also released a special version aimed at younger readers, entitled Playing with Flying Keys.

Lang Lang is leading the way in bringing music education into the 21st century through his highly regarded new publishing program, the Lang Lang Piano Academy, produced in collaboration with Faber Music. Mastering the piano, five progressive books exploring piano technique, launched the program, to which the latest addition is The Lang Lang Piano Method, an imaginative new tutor for complete beginners that is used in the public schools’ educational program “Keys of Inspiration”.

Dame Fanny Waterman | Co-Founder and Honourable President in Memoriam

Dame Fanny Waterman


Fanny Waterman was born in Leeds; her father, Myer Waterman, a Russian Jew, had emigrated to England to work as a jeweller. A gifted concert pianist, she enjoyed considerable success as a soloist in her early career. But by the early 1960s, she had turned her passion to teaching. In 1961, jointly with her friend Marion, Countess of Harewood (later Marion Thorpe) and Roslyn Lyons, she founded the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition. She was Artistic Director and chairman of the competition jury until 2015 when she retired at the age of 95. Her contribution to the city of Leeds was recognised in April 2006, when she was given the Freedom of the City of Leeds.



Fiona Sinclair

Fiona Sinclair

Chief Executive

Linda Wellings

Linda Wellings

Competitor Director

David Taylor

David Taylor

Head of Digital & Engagement

Sally Egan

Sally Egan

Head of Creative Learning & Engagement

Jenny Holmes

Jenny Holmes

Finance & Administration Manager

Linting Ruan

Linting Ruan

International Development Manager (China)


Ken Beaty

Ken Beaty

Chair of the Board of Trustees

Edward Appleyard

Baroness Judith Blake

Professor Simone Buitendijk

Martin Jenkins

Richard Morse

Cllr Jonathan Pryor

Gabrielle Solti

Christopher Tait

Judith Webster

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