Leeds International Piano Competition announces new artistic partnerships and appointments

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The Leeds International Piano Competition (‘The Leeds’) has announced major artistic and administrative developments which build on the success of the previous Competition in 2018 and further strengthen the event’s global status.

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and The Leeds will deepen a long-standing relationship, which began at the inaugural Competition in 1963, to create a new partnership which will enhance the ongoing artistic and educational contributions of both the Orchestra and the Competition to pianists and audiences alike.

The next Competition takes place in September 2021 and the Liverpool Philharmonic will return for the first time since 1975 to accompany the Concerto Finals. The range of performance opportunities offered to participating pianists will be extended to include a concerto performance for the winner to open the Liverpool Philharmonic’s 2021/22 season and lunchtime concerts for the second and third prize winners, all in the week immediately following the Competition Finals. The Liverpool Philharmonic will also offer the winners the chance to give additional recital and chamber music performances as part of the prestigious Liverpool Philharmonic Chamber Music series the following season.

Engaging and inspiring new audiences

Both The Leeds and Liverpool Philharmonic share a vision to develop lasting and dynamic relationships with music lovers and provide creative and accessible projects to engage and inspire new audiences. With the Liverpool Philharmonic’s award-winning In Harmony programme and the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Company, The Leeds and the Liverpool Philharmonic’s Learning and Engagement teams will work together to create new concerts and learning projects in Leeds and Liverpool as well as broadening access through streaming and digital work.

A further artistic development is the appointment of internationally renowned pianist Imogen Cooper as Chair of the Competition Jury. Cooper first worked with the Competition as a jury member in 2018 and will work closely with the Competition’s Artistic Director, Adam Gatehouse, to assemble an international artist-led jury and help shape the repertoire for the next Competition, which will run from 8-22 September 2021.

The Leeds has also appointed Ken Beaty as Chair of the Board of Trustees, effective from July 2019, when Sir Vernon Ellis steps down after a highly successful tenure which began in 2015.

Adam Gatehouse, Artistic Director of The Leeds, said:

‘I am thrilled that Imogen Cooper, an artist I have long admired, will chair the Jury and bring all of her artistic integrity, authority and international repute to us and the wonderful pianists who participate in the Competition. I am also hugely excited about the new partnership with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, which promises a richer and deeper partnership that will bring new and wide-ranging benefits to both competitors and the wider community.’

Imogen Cooper, the new Chair of the Competition Jury, said:

‘My experience of being on the jury for the 2018 Competition was invigorating and fascinating. I am greatly honoured to take on the Chair in 2021, as The Leeds continues to evolve in energy and ideas, stretching ever further through global streaming to inspire and involve others.’

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