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Warner Classics and the Leeds International Piano Competition today announce a major new partnership to bring the best of the outstanding pianistic talent of ‘The Leeds’ to audiences around the world.

Warner Classics, one of the world’s leading global classical music recording companies, will issue an album featuring The Leeds winner, or a finalist of their choice, shortly after the 2018 Competition Finals in September. The album, to be launched worldwide in physical and digital formats, will include the chosen artist’s live Concerto performance from the Final with the Hallé conducted by Edward Gardner, as well as a selection of recital repertoire from the earlier Rounds.

The Leeds and Warner Classics both aim to ensure that the best young artists have the opportunities, support and advice to develop significant long-term international careers and this partnership promises to enhance this shared ambition for the benefit of music lovers everywhere.

Warner Classics, with its sister label Erato, has a strong track record in signing and supporting young artists over long periods of time, including such stars as George Li, Beatrice Rana, Bertrand Chamayou, David Fray and has long-standing exclusive relationships with such artists as Ian Bostridge, Emmanuel Pahud, Piotr Anderszewski, Sir Antonio Pappano, Kyung Wha Chung and Joyce DiDonato.

For The Leeds, the recording deal is a corner-stone of its new prize package, designed to redefine what a music competition can offer young performers. In addition to this major recording opportunity, the prize also includes management with Askonas Holt, one of the world’s leading arts management agencies, engagements with leading international promoters, festivals and orchestras including London’s Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic; a personal mentoring programme from Paul Lewis and other leading international pianists, as well as a rich cash prize.

Adam Gatehouse, co-Artistic Director of Leeds International Piano Competition said:

“The Competition will bring some of the world’s most talented young pianists to prominence in Leeds this September, and as part of our re-envisaging of what the Competition can bring to both audiences and competitors, we have set out to ensure that those young artists have the best possible support as they go on to develop significant international careers into the future. Warner Classics, who have such a strong history in truly nurturing young artists, are the ideal partner in this and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with them”.

Jean Philippe Rolland, Warner Classics Head of A&R said:

“We’re thrilled to partner with the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition, especially at this particular time with the new exciting artistic and entrepreneurial leadership of Adam and Paul. The talent in this year’s competition is second to none and we cannot wait for the Finals at Leeds Town Hall in September.

The album will feature live recordings, remastered from medici.tv’s high-quality audio footage of all of the Competition performances made possible by invaluable support from the University of Leeds.