Sofya Gulyak has triumphed over almost 200 applicants to win the 16th Leeds International Pianoforte Competition. The 29-year-old Russian impressed the panel of judges - including Beaux Arts Trio pianist Menahem Pressler and 1981 Leeds first-prize winner Ian Hobson – with her performance of Brahms’s First Piano Concerto with Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé in the final. She receives the Princess Mary Gold Medal and a cash prize of £15,000.
One of the world’s most prestigious piano contests, the Leeds competition was established in 1961 by Dame Fanny Waterman and Marion Thorpe. Throughout the years it has launched a number of outstanding pianists including Radu Lupu, Murray Perahia, Andras Schiff and, in 2006, Sunwook Kim.
The triennial event this year received applications from 45 different countries. The Silver Medal went to Alexej Gorlatch from Ukraine and the Bronze Medal to Alessandro Taverna from Italy.