This year’s line-up for the Leeds International Piano Competition is more internationally diverse than ever, thanks to the fact that the earliest stages of the competition were held in more cities than ever before. Competitors from 18 countries are making their way to Leeds for the subsequent rounds and finals.
This will be the first edition of the competition that will take place without co-founder Dame Fanny Waterman, who died at the end of last year at the age of 100. She only retired from her role as chairman and artistic director in 2015, aged 94. There will be a memorial concert held in her memory on 16 September given by the competition’s most recent winner, Eric Lu.
Who are the competitors in the 2021 Leeds International Piano Competition?
Liszt: ‘Dante’ Sonata
Liszt: Transcendental Etude No. 5, ‘Feux Follets’
Alim Beisembayev is one of this year’s Leeds semi-finalists.
Liszt: ‘Dante’ Sonata
Dmytro Choni is one of this year’s Leeds semi-finalists.
Federico Gad Crema
Scarlatti: Sonata in G, K. 146
Scarlatti: Sonata in B flat, K. 551
Chopin: Étude, Op. 10 No. 10
26, United Kingdom
Rameau: Le rappel des oiseaux
So Hyang In
29, South Korea
Chopin: Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante, Op. 22
22, United Kingdom
Busoni: Élégie No. 2 ‘All’Italia!’
Thomas Kelly is one of this year’s Leeds semi-finalists.
Liszt: Spanish Rhapsody
Elizaveta Kiuchereva is one of this year’s Leeds semi-finalists.
Ravel: Scarbo (Gaspard de la nuit)
Kaito Kobayashi is one of this year’s Leeds semi-finalists.
Beethoven: Sonata No. 18 in E flat: IV. Presto con fuoco
Chopin: Polonaise-fantaisie in A-flat, Op. 61
Szymanowski: Variations in B flat minor, Op. 3
Ariel Lanyi is one of this year’s Leeds semi-finalists.
Debussy: Images, Book I (III)
Scriabin: Sonata No. 2 in G sharp minor, Op. 19
Yuzhang Li is one of this year’s Leeds semi-finalists.
Scriabin: Sonata No. 2 in G sharp minor
Rachmaninov: Étude tableau in E flat minor, Op. 33 No. 6
Priscila Navarro is one of this year’s Leeds semi-finalists.
20, South Korea
Ravel: La valse
Hyunjin Roh is one of this year’s Leeds semi-finalists.
Couperin: Prelude in G minor
Debussy: Feux d’artifice (Préludes)
Yike (Tony) Yang
Ravel: Sonatine (Animé)
Haydn: Fantasia in C: IV. Presto
Scriabin: Sonata No. 4 in F sharp, Op. 30
Xiaolu Zang is one of this year’s Leeds semi-finalists.
The semi-finalists in this year’s Leeds International Piano Competition
The following pianists made it through to the semi-finals of the 2021 Leeds Piano Competition:
Alim Beisembayev (23, Kazakhstan)
Dmytro Choni (28, Ukraine)
Thomas Kelly (22, United Kingdom)
Elizaveta Kliuchereva (22, Russia)
Kaito Kobayashi (25, Japan)
Ariel Lanyi (23, Israel)
Yuzhang Li (22, China)
Priscila Navarro (27, Peru)
Hyunjin Roh (20, South Korea)
Xiaolu Zang (21, China)
This year’s Leeds Piano Competition schedule
8-10 September | Great Hall, University of Leeds, 2pm & 7pm
Solo recital performances
12-14 September | Great Hall, University of Leeds 7pm (12 Sept), 2pm & 7pm (13 & 14 Sept)
Chamber music and contemporary repertoire
Interview: Jury Perspectives
12 September | Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, University of Leeds, 4pm
BBC Radio 3’s Petroc Trelawney talks to Jury Chair, Imogen Cooper and Artistic Director, Adam Gatehouse
15-16 September | Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, University of Leeds, 9.45am & 2pm (15 Sept), 9.45am (16 Sept)
Members of the Jury coach our semi-finalists
Dame Fanny Waterman Memorial Concert
16 September | Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, University of Leeds, 6pm
Dame Fanny Waterman exhibit & reception, followed by a special memorial concert by 2018 Winner, Eric Lu
Competition Gala Dinner
16 September | University of Leeds, 8pm
A celebration with audience, jury and competitors
17-18 September | Leeds Town Hall, 7pm
Concerto Finals and Awards Ceremony with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Andrew Manze
What’s the prize?
Cash prizes are up for grabs for finalists, worth over £90,000. The prize package also includes artist management with Askonas Holt, a studio recording with Warner Classics and a European tour with Steinway & Sons.
There will also be concert and recording engagements with BBC Radio 3 and at venues including Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre and with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
Mentorship from members of the jury including pianist Imogen Cooper will also be available to the finalists.
How to watch and listen to the finals of the Leeds Piano Competition
The second round, semi finals and finals of The Leeds will take place at the University of Leeds and Leeds Town Hall this September.
All the upcoming rounds of the competition will be streamed worldwide by medici.tv.
The semi finals and finals will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and the finals will be aired on BBC Four.
BBC Radio 3 schedule for Leeds International Piano Competition
Tuesday 14-Friday 17 September: 1-2pm; 7-10pm
In the Lunchtime Concert and Radio 3 in Concert slots throughout this week, Andrew McGregor is joined by former Leeds winner Katya Apekisheva to present coverage of the final stages of this year’s competition, with highlights from each of the recitals given by the semi-finalists. The pianists will perform both solo works and chamber music, teaming up with the 2019 RPS Young Artists of the Year, the Castalian String Quartet, along with violinist Jack Liebeck and cellist Laura van der Heijden.
Friday 17 September: 6.30-10pm
Concerto Finals, Part 1
Andrew McGregor and Katya Apekisheva move to the Leeds Town Hall to hear the first three (of five) finalists perform their concertos with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Andrew Manze.
Saturday 18 September: 6.30-10pm
Concerto Finals Part 2
Andrew McGregor and former Leeds winner Katya Apekisheva introduce the final two pianists in the Concerto Finals of this year’s Leeds International Piano Competition. The finalists will perform with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Andrew Manze.
They’ll also look back on some of the performances from earlier in the competition. The 2018 winner and BBC New Generation Artist Eric Lu will open the programme with a recorded recital.
Who was the last winner of the Leeds International Piano Competition?
American pianist Eric Lu won the competition in 2018 with a vibrant rendition of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. Since then, he went on to be named as one of the next intake of BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists and has performed with the UK’s top orchestras.