At the Wigmore Hall today, joint Artistic Directors Paul Lewis and Adam Gatehouse announced their ambitious and exciting vision for the 2018 Leeds International Piano Competition.

At the heart of their new plans is a desire to ensure that The Leeds builds on its position as among the most coveted prizes in the piano world.


Innovations announced today include:


  • New-concept portfolio prize offering winners unprecedented long-term career opportunities, including new partnerships with Askonas Holt; an enhanced partnership with BBC Radio 3 that offers concert and recording possibilities; a debut recording, and engagements with leading promoters and venues


  • International first rounds in Berlin, New York and Singapore


  • The BBC to cover the Semi-finals and Finals with more details to be announced in due course.


  • to stream all the rounds internationally


  • Creation of enriched programme of events and activities in Leeds for audiences and participants, including a new chamber music element in the semi-final


  • An international and performer-led jury, chaired by Paul Lewis


  • 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


  • Consolidation of existing partnerships with BBC television and radio, The HallĂ©, Leeds City Council, Leeds University and Steinway with broadcasts and events to be announced


  • Personal mentoring programme with Paul Lewis and other international pianists



In creating a new and distinctive portfolio prize for the winner, Lewis and Gatehouse have set out to redefine what a music competition can offer young performers. Askonas Holt, one of the world's leading arts management agencies, will offer management to one of the prize winners; an enhanced partnership with BBC Radio 3 will offer concert and recording possibilities to the winner. Also included in the prize portfolio will be a debut recording with the Champs Hill label, engagements with leading international promoters, festivals and orchestras including London's Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic; a personal mentoring programme from Paul Lewis and other leading international pianists, as well as a rich cash prize.


It is a package unmatched by any other music competition and aims to ensure that the best young artists have the opportunities, support and advice to develop significant long-term careers.

Please click here to read our full press release.