Celebrating the 100th Birthday of Dame Fanny Waterman

Universally cherished as the Grand Dame of the piano, Dame Fanny Waterman will celebrate her 100th Birthday on the 22nd of March, 2020. Her legacy to the musical landscape of the United Kingdom and beyond is profound. She remains the UK’s most loved piano teacher and is a national treasure of the musical community.

We are seeking to honour Dame Fanny in the year of her 100th Birthday, through the creation of
The Waterman Circle.

Members of The Waterman Circle share a passion for the piano and form the closest group of our family. Together, they are helping us to secure the future of our First Prize and the Dame Fanny Waterman Gold Medal – one of the most prestigious musical awards in the world – for years to come. This continues to launch the greatest young talent onto the global stage.


Following a promising early career as a concert pianist, Fanny Waterman gave up her solo ambitions to focus on helping others to master the instrument. To this day, she champions the universal and musical benefits of learning the piano and her ground-breaking teaching method for young children remains a worldwide best-seller.

One of her defining moments was the founding of The Leeds International Piano Competition (‘The Leeds’) in 1963, which brought Fanny and her teaching reputation to a global stage. She made the name of Leeds synonymous with excellence through a succession of prize-winners who went on to achieve legendary status, including Murray Perahia, Radu Lupu, Mitsuko Uchida, András Schiff, Dmitri Alexeev, Artur Pizarro, Lars Vogt, Kathryn Stott and many others.

The Leeds’ reputation as one of the leading and most prestigious piano competitions in the world has cemented its role as a global ambassador for the city of Leeds, and our festival programming ensures that the joy of the piano can be shared with the widest audience possible. Free-to-view live online streaming of The Leeds reaches a global audience of millions.


• Two VIP invitations for the 2021 Competition
(both Friday & Saturday Finals)

• Access to our VIP Competition Lounge

• Entry to the exclusive 2021 Prize-winners Party with celebrity guests

• Complimentary Souvenir Competition Brochure (2021), including grateful acknowledgement in the name of your choice

• VIP Personalised Booking for all events


Leaving a legacy to The Leeds in your will is another way you can join The Waterman Circle and enjoy its benefits right now. Pledges of £10,000 and above, plus a cash donation of £500, will unlock all of the same benefits for donors who wish to include us in their wills.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss this option:


t: 0113 244 6586