LEEDS, WEST YORKSHIRE – For the first time in its illustrious 55-year history, the Leeds International Piano Competition will be hosted by an All-Steinway School.
The University of Leeds recently invested more than $1 million in 27 new pianos by Steinway & Sons. Gifted pianists chosen from an exquisite pool of 68 global competitors will vie for top honors at the University’s Great Hall in September. The University and Steinway are principal partners in the triennial contest. Twelve previous winners are now Steinway Artists, as are its Global Ambassador Lang Lang and Joint Artistic Director Paul Lewis.
Professor Frank Finlay, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures said: “having world-class facilities like those afforded by Steinway brings huge benefits to the university, the city – and through this prestigious competition – the world.”
“Having world-class facilities like those afforded by Steinway brings huge benefits to the university, the city—and through this prestigious competition—the world.”
He was among a contingent who toured the Steinway factory in Hamburg, delightfully charged with selecting an eclectic mix of grands and uprights that arrived at the school in mid-December.
Dr. Karen Burland, Head of the School of Music, expects the new pianos will spark a fusion of across-the-board collaborations. Music majors, vocalists, instrumentalists, composers, accompanists, sound engineers and technicians all stand to profit from the Steinway experience. “We are very excited about the opportunities this investment affords the school, its students and staff. We know it will help us continue to attract world-class performers and colleagues. It will also help strengthen our place in the cultural life of the city.”
Guido Zimmermann, Vice President and Managing Director for Steinway & Sons Europe, was honored to welcome the University of Leeds into the ranks of All-Steinway Schools. “There are few places in the world for students to apply where the majority of the pianos are new Steinways. It is highly befitting that the University of Leeds is now one of the elite few, not only enabling musicians to reach their full potential, but also enriching the experience of every student with a passion for music.”
Founded in 1904, Leeds is one of the UK’s largest universities with more than 34,000 students and nearly 7,900 staff members. It was named “University of the Year 2017” by the Times and the Sunday Times’ Good University Guide. Leeds also represents the first university in the Russell Group to gain coveted All-Steinway status. The Russell Group consists of 24 prominent institutions in the UK that according to its website are “committed to maintaining the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience and unrivaled links with business and the private sector.” The association derives its name from the Hotel Russell in London, where organizers conducted formative meetings.