Shipping container concert hall announced for Leeds

The Leeds International Piano Competition

The Leeds International Piano Competition has announced a series of events to be held throughout the city in the build up to their annual event.

Beginning in August, the organisation will be hosting masterclass talks, free live music events and will be creating the world’s smallest concert hall in Leeds City centre.

Built inside a shipping container, the concert hall is specially fitted to host a daily programme of concerts and recitals by competitors and jury members who are taking part in the competition.

The space will host taster piano lessons, talks and educational activities inside the container to allow passers-by to learn more about the competition and engage with piano playing in a new way.

Organisers have also announced the Leeds Piano Trail, which will feature 12 specially decorated pianos placed in iconic areas throughout the city from August 17 onward.

The pianos will be available for the public to play and will be the stage for mini recitals by local musicians and students through August and September.

Alongside this, the organisation will be hosting exhibitions in the city and talks with prominent pianists as part of the Piano+ initiative spearheaded by the University of Leeds.

Prominent musicians and members of the competition’s jury, Paul Lewis, Lars Vogt and Imogen Cooper, will be hosting masterclass talks as part of the initiative. There will also be conversations and events with other eminent musicians and piano-loving celebrities, including Alfred Brendel, Ed Balls and Alistair McGowan.

Known as ‘The Leeds’ by fans of the contest, organisers hope to open themselves up the widest possible audience and celebrate the piano in new and creative ways.

Adam Gatehouse, Co-Artistic Director said: ‘We are thrilled to be finding such exciting new ways of connecting the Competition to the City of Leeds, its residents and visitors as well as the wider Yorkshire community. We want to celebrate and champion the piano by creating accessible and innovative piano-centred activities, events and progammes and share our passion for the piano engagingly and imaginatively with the widest possible audience.’

‘We also want everyone to have fun in the process. In so doing we are providing a much-enhanced experience for audiences and competitors in Leeds, as well as reaching out to the world with a global First Round on three continents, international broadcasting and worldwide concert engagements. And last but not least we are also looking forward to sharing this great city with the world.’

The final round of the Leeds International Piano Competition will be held on September 6-15 in Leeds and will be streamed live on while BBC Radio 3 will broadcast the event live.

A full list of events will be published online shortly. Find out more.