The joint Artistic Directors of the Leeds International Piano Competition, Paul Lewis and Adam Gatehouse, have revealed their plans for the reinvention of 'The Leeds'. Prizes will be structured to offer winners long-term career opportunities, including representation by Askonas Holt; partnerships with BBC Radio 3; and a debut recording.
First rounds will be hosted internationally, with venues in Berlin, New York and Singapore participating.
Medici.tv will live-stream all of the rounds internationally. This innovation, in particular, has the potential to have a large impact on audience engagement worldwide, as was seen when all of the rounds at last year's Tchaikovsky International Competition were live-streamed from Russia last year.
There will also be new partnerships with London’s Wigmore Hall and Southbank Centre for a new Leeds Piano Festival, and with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic for a concerto engagement with Vasily Petrenko. The winner will play a concert with the RLPO and Petrenko in the 2018/19 season.
Lewis and Gatehouse were appointed as Artistic Directors last year when Dame Fanny Waterman, who founded the competition in 1961, stepped down at the age of 95.
Paul Lewis laid out his vision for 'The Leeds' today: 'I was lucky enough to be mentored as a young pianist, so realise the vital importance that being nurtured and supported in the early stages of a career can have on a musician. I am, therefore, determined that with Adam we build on Dame Fanny’s incredible legacy to develop the Leeds International Piano Competition into an event that is so much more than a competition. By doing that we can make a real difference to the lives and careers of all finalists.'
Applications for the 2018 competition will open in September 2017. First rounds take place in Berlin, New York and Singapore in April 2018 with semi-finals and finals in Leeds in September 2018.