Leeds International Piano Competition
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|Leeds International Piano Competition|
Leeds Town Hall in 2006
|Awarded for||Exceptional piano performance|
|Location||Great Hall of the University of Leeds
Leeds Town Hall
|Presented by||Leeds International Piano Competition|
The Leeds International Piano Competition, informally known as The Leeds and formerly the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition, takes place every three years in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It was founded in 1961 by Marion, Countess of Harewood, Fanny Waterman, and Roslyn Lyons. Waterman is today its chairman and artistic director.
The competition was first held in September 1963. It takes place in the Great Hall of the University of Leeds and in Leeds Town Hall. The competition was a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions (WFIMC), joining the organization in 1965 and resigned from the WFIMC by the end of 2011.
There have been 17 instalments of the competition to date. After the 1996 competition, there was a four-year break before the 2000 competition. This was in order to coincide the next edition with the turn of the millennium.
The 16th competition took place from 26 August to 13 September 2009 and was won by Sofya Gulyak, the competition’s first ever female first prize-winner. It was also the first time that the competition had not housed competitors at Tetley Hall, a residence hall at the University of Leeds which closed in 2006. For many years, the supervisor of Tetley Hall during the competition was Elizabeth Arnold.
The competitors are accompanied by the Halle Orchestra, under the leadership of Mark Elder, since 2003. Previous partnerships include the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Simon Rattle (1987–2000), the BBC Philharmonic with Vernon Handley in 1984 and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic with Charles Groves (1963–1975).
The 17th competition took place from 29 August to 16 September 2012 and saw the introduction of an Orchestra Prize for one of the six finalists. 2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the competition; the 18th and next edition will be held in 2015.