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The Leeds International Piano Competition

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  • FAQ Session: The Competition Team is available to answer questions about your application in a Zoom session at 2pm (GMT) on Monday 2nd October. Find out more and send in your questions here.


 21st Edition: 11th-21st September 2024

Applications Close: 11:59pm, 31st October 2023 

International Jury to include:

Dame Imogen Cooper (Jury Chair)
Adam Gatehouse (Artistic Director)
Eleanor Alberga
Mariam Batsashvili
Sa Chen
Till Fellner
Ingrid Fliter
Pavel Kolesnikov
Lawrence Power

A message from the Artistic Director  

The stage is set, the keys are polished and cameras are poised - the Leeds International Piano Competition is back with a resounding flourish in 2024! The competition, renowned for its unrivalled legacy and unwavering commitment to nurturing talent, will open its applications on July 22nd, 2023.

As the world eagerly awaits this prestigious musical event, we invite you to be a part of the excitement. This could be your moment to ignite your musical career on the international stage!

The Leeds International Piano Competition offers an unparalleled platform for pianists to shine with an audience of millions through and the BBC. You will get the chance to collaborate with the superb musicians of the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and their Chief Conductor, Domingo Hindoyan. The first prize-winner will receive the legendary Waterman Gold Medal, which includes a £30,000 cash award, prestigious concert engagements, international tours, a recording deal and management opportunities, as well as bespoke mentoring for the long-term. Other prize-winners gain further engagements and mentoring opportunities, and are closely supported by our extended team – we will be there for you every step of the way.

What makes Leeds really different is how we offer all pianists remarkable career-enhancing possibilities through our Competitor+ programme.

Our Competitor Director, Linda Wellings and her team offer support from the start of your application. We will be hosting FAQ (frequently asked questions) sessions online to give you an insight into what makes The Leeds different from other competitions, to help answer your questions about how to prepare for a major competition, give you guidance on how best to use social media during the competition process, and give an indication of what we are looking for in a world class prize-winner. From the International First Round onwards, we film your performances in exceptional HD quality and provide you with your recordings and photography for your own use.

We help you to make the most of your digital media, giving advice on building your social profile and website, and our streaming and social media gives you maximum visibility during the competition. In Leeds, you will attend industry insight sessions with agents, record labels and media experts, gain constructive feedback from Jurors, and you will meet a career coach who will schedule a personal session with you.

You will be hosted on the friendly campus at the University of Leeds, one of the world's top universities, where our professional team will ensure you have everything you need. Throughout the competition, we ensure you have access to Steinway pianos for your practice, as well as our outstanding concert pianos personally cared for by our Steinway & Sons technician, Ulrich Gerhartz.

The great British pianist, Dame Imogen Cooper, is once again the Chair of our jury in 2024 and we have brought together inspiring musical luminaries from around the world to join her on the international jury panel, the majority of whom are pianists. Together they will help us to identify who will join the legendary Leeds lineage of prize-winners – Radu Lupu, Murray Perahia, Mitsuko Uchida, Andras Schiff, Lars Vogt, Sunwook Kim, and more recently Anna Tsybuleva, Eric Lu and Alim Beisembayev – some of the greatest pianists in history.

We are proud of and inspired by our female heritage. The Leeds was established back in 1963 by three women pianists – Fanny Waterman, Marion Thorpe & Roslyn Lyons. Our jury in 2024 has a majority of women, we have introduced new pieces by women composers in our selected works and have recently had a new concerto written for the RLPO and our last winner, Alim Beisembayev, by composer Eleanor Alberga.

At the Leeds International Piano Competition we value diversity and are committed to equity and inclusivity. We particularly encourage applications from candidates who come from communities which are likely to be under represented.

The Leeds is a place where the universal language of music brings us closer as a global community. We work tirelessly to ensure that music education remains accessible to all and are proud of our award-winning Leeds Piano Trail, which will engage with 1.8 million people in 2023 and will host a sculpture and piano festival during the 2024 Competition.

Yorkshire is a fantastically warm and welcoming place where you will be received by an enthusiastic audience and make friends for life. By sharing your talents through our competition, together we can light a passion for the piano in hearts and minds across our global communities.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Adam Gatehouse
Artistic Director

If you have programme guideline questions please contact