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The Leeds Piano Trail | 4–19 September 2021

#LeedsPianoTrail2021

The Leeds Piano Trail is bringing music back to every street corner this September as part of the 20th Leeds International Piano Competition.

Developed in partnership with LeedsBID (Leeds Business Improvement District), the two-week festival is bigger than ever featuring a huge programme of special performances all over the city. This unique series of installations will feature sculptures made entirely from up-cycled pianos created by critically-acclaimed artists’ collective Pianodrome, alongside 10 instruments which have been transformed by professional artists and community groups.  

We have a host of piano trail events happening over the 2 weeks. View our whole programme here!

Download our Easy Read events programme here!

Look out for pianos and sculptures popping up near you! 

 

  • Kirkgate Market
  • Cookridge Street
  • Leeds Playhouse, Tiered Gardens
  • Leeds Train Station
  • Leeds Trinity
 
  • Merrion Street Gardens
  • Merrion Street Upper Gardens
  • Mandela Gardens
  • University of Leeds (LUU)
  • Victoria Quarter/Briggate
  • Wellington Place

 

Leeds Train Station

Merrion Street Rest Gardens

Kirkgate Market

Cookridge Street

Leeds Playhouse

Leeds Trinity

Mandela Gardens

University of Leeds (LUU)

Victoria Quarter/Briggate

Wellington Place

Growing Stronger Together

Animating the streets in prominent locations, The Leeds Piano Trail provides a catalyst for the people of Leeds and its visitors to come together once again, returning to the cultural hub of West-Yorkshire to enjoy a diverse programme of live performances and immersive events across two weeks.
With opportunities for everyone to get involved – from local musicians to newbie pianists, green-fingered gardeners and anyone looking to make new friends – the world famous Competition brings its passion out of the concert hall and onto the streets for everyone to enjoy and explore the piano and our vibrant city.

The Trail encourages audiences to explore the city and is designed to take approximately one hour to walk, connecting communities and igniting a passion for music along the way. ‘Growing Stronger Together’ forms a central theme throughout the Trail, tackling topics of climate change, mental health wellbeing and community.

Look out for announcements of events and piano installations near you!

 “Opportunities for everyone to get involved  from local musicians
to newbie pianists and green-fingered gardeners
 

Pianodrome

We are over the moon to work with internationally acclaimed artists Pianodrome, responsible for the world’s first amphitheatre made entirely from up-cycled pianos. The delivery of the ‘Pianodrome’ at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in August 2018, for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, attracted critical acclaim and international recognition. 

Their sculptures will be the starting point for each piano design on the Trail, as local artists and community groups have been asked to respond to the sculptures in their designs. 

 “This is a wonderful commission and an opportunity
for us to work with local artists and community groups,
 

Pianodrome Directors, Tim Vincent-Smith and Matthew Wright (pictured above) commented:
“Pianodrome never dreamed that so soon after completing our first up-cycled piano amphitheatre we would be working with such a prestigious organisation as The Leeds International Piano Competition to create a series of public sculptures. This is a wonderful commission and a wonderful opportunity for us to work with local artists and community groups, to explore new ideas and create new work in celebration of the role the piano has played in our lives for over 300 years.”

Read more about the Edinburgh-based artists’ collective here

 

Local Artists

The artists who transform our pianos into works of art are central to our story. Following a call for commissions in November, we were pleased to welcome 5 West-Yorkshire based artists to The Leeds Piano Trail team, who are working from studio spaces provided for free by the incredible East Street Arts

Rosie Vohvra shares her excitement to be involved:

“Each step of this project is going to reveal such exciting possibilities! From receiving the Piano, to responding to one of Pianodrome’s incredible sculptures to working with a Leeds-based community group in designing their own Piano and finally to the installation. It is a wonderfully collaborative venture!” 

 “Each step of this project is going to reveal such exciting possibilities …
It is a wonderfully collaborative venture!
 

Colin Frank
Rosie Vohra
Alison Smith
John Mayson
Lucy Wright

Keep an eye on our social media platforms and sign up to our monthly newsletter to get behind the scenes insights and click on the images below to learn more about our inspirational artists!   

 

Community Groups

The Leeds Piano Trail would not exist without the vibrant community of Leeds for whom this project began. With each group and organisation, we’re lucky to engage with a number of key topics from mental health wellbeing to sustainability – and to meet wonderful people along the way. Partnering community groups include Mind Leeds, Getaway Girls, Leeds citizens, Heydays and Leeds Allotments Federation. Click on the images below to find out more about their work and keep an eye out for updates on all five projects as we get closer to the September launch!

 

Leeds BID

We’re thankful to our to partner LeedsBID who are collaborating with us for the second time, following the success of our partnership in 2018.

Working together to animate the city centre and bring people together is a key ambition of the project and as we create engaging, immersive and life-affirming experiences for the entire community, from residents and workers, to shoppers and visitors to the city.