Leeds hits the right note as it prepares for piano showcase

Pianos have popped up all around Leeds as the city prepares for a grand musical month.

Monday, 20th August 2018, 10:03 am
Updated Monday, 20th August 2018, 1:20 pm

A dozen decorated pianos are in situ in prominent locations across the city including Leeds Station, Trinity Leeds, the Corn Exchange, Kirkgate Market, University of Leeds and Central Square.

Members of the public are welcome to play and enjoy them as part of the Leeds Piano Trail.

The pianos, supplied by Leeds-based Besbrode Pianos, have each been decorated by local artists, art students, schoolchildren and community groups and include an illuminated instrument, one with a covering of fur and another which has been soundproofed and fitted with a gramophone funnel.

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Playing a piano in the Victoria Quarter, Leeds, Kirsten Freeman, of Leeds, alongside her Granddaughter Fifi Costigan, aged 3.

The showpieces will also host an array of musical performances by local music students and pianists, professional players, competitors and celebrity guests.

Getting the celebrations started and finding time in between rehearsals were the glamorous and influential star violinist Esther Abrami and members of the Yorkshire Young Sinfonia, who played at a number of pianos yesterday lunchtime to mark the launch of the trail in advance of their concert at Leeds Town Hall last night.

Leeds Piano Trail, curated by Leeds BID, is part of a packed programme of piano-themed events planned for audiences across the city to take part in and enjoy in the coming month as the city gears up for the return of the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition in September.

Leeds BID has been instrumental in supporting other headline activities including new, piano-themed artwork unveiled in the Windows of Leeds letters in Leeds Station and the World’s Smallest Concert Hall in Victoria Gardens.

The hall will be there in finals week from September 10 to 14 and the specially-kitted out shipping container will play host to free events including 10-minute recitals by competitors and jury members, taster piano lessons and talks and educational activities.

The Leeds International Piano Competition is held every three years and takes place over a series of different rounds. Twenty-four artists from across the world will take part – culminating in a two-day final on September 14 and 15 where by then they will have been whittled down to five competitors.

The first Leeds International Piano Competition took place in 1963 and was the idea of local piano teacher and former concert pianist, Fanny Waterman.