The Leeds Piano Competition: Dame Fanny Waterman makes way for piano duet

Paul Lewis and Adam Gatehouse, who are taking over as joint artistic directors of the Leeds International Piano Competition when Dame Fanny Waterman steps down. (Simon Jay Price).

Paul Lewis and Adam Gatehouse, who are taking over as joint artistic directors of the Leeds International Piano Competition when Dame Fanny Waterman steps down. (Simon Jay Price).

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By Chris Bond

THE two men taking over at the helm of the world famous Leeds International Piano Competition have called it a great “privilege” to follow in the footsteps of Dame Fanny Waterman.

The Yorkshire Post, which is the print media partner for this year’s competition, can reveal that acclaimed pianist Paul Lewis and Adam Gatehouse, a former senior editor at BBC Radio 3, are to become joint artistic directors of ‘the Leeds’ when Dame Fanny, now 95, steps down from the role after the 2015 competition.

Together they aim to build on the legacy of Dame Fanny who created what is now widely viewed as one of the world’s most prestigious and influential piano competitions.

Mr Lewis said: “The Leeds International Piano Competition has long been an integral and significant part of the musical awareness of any young pianist growing up in the UK. Dame Fanny’s astonishing achievement over more than half a century stands as one of the great landmarks of the music world, and it is an enormous privilege to have the chance to play a part in its future.”

Mr Gatehouse said it was a “rare privilege” to have the opportunity to help steer ‘the Leeds’ through its next stage.

Dame Fanny, who founded the piano competition in 1961, announced she would be stepping down earlier this year. She said she was “thrilled” by the appointments.

This year’s Leeds International Piano Competition, the 18th in its history, gets underway next week.

Over the decades the event has provided the launch pad for some of the finest concert pianists of modern times, including Murray Perahia, Radu Lupu and Andras Schiff.

Artist Ruth Spencer Jolly who composed 'European Unison' an ensemble written for 28 pianos, representing the members of the European Union and symbolising Brexit, following a preview of her work at Besbrode Pianos in Leeds. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 23, 2017. The composition tells the story of the EU from its birth to Brexit. The ensemble of pianos is a metaphor demonstrating "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts". Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

A piano composition for Brexit comes to Yorkshire