VIDEO: Leeds Piano Trail hits right notes in city centre

Promoted by LeedsBID

Leeds is tuning up to hit the right notes with a trail of a 12 decorated pianos at iconic locations across the city centre.

And they are not just there to be looked at.

The public is being invited to tinkle the ivories while 'mini rectials' are also planned to bring the city alive with the sound of music.

The Leeds Piano Trail - August 17 to September 16 - is part of a packed programme of piano-themed events to celebrate the return of the Leeds International Piano Competition.

The Leeds, as it is known, is one of the world’s foremost music competitions, held in the city every three years and attracting the world’s finest young pianists, with the finals from September 6 to15.

Leeds Business Improvement District (LeedsBID) is working with competition organisers to organise talks, masterclasses, other concerts and some events held inside what is billed as the world's smallest concert hall – a shipping container, to be sited near Leeds Town Hall.

TICKETS: For paid events information, tickets and to find out more about the Competition visit www.leedspiano.com/whats-on and follow The Leeds on Twitter @leedspiano.

For 2018 the Competition spread its wings with first rounds held in Berlin, New York and Singapore, while more locally, the first annual Leeds Piano Festival took place in Leeds, and London, in May.

Leeds-based Besbrode Pianos have supplied all the pianos for the trail and each has been decorated by local artists, art students, schoolchildren and community groups.

Blenheim Primary School and Leeds Dads are among those who have got involved.

There will be pop-up performances on the pianos featuring competition alumni, competitors, celebrity guests and music students.

A specially produced map and accompanying web app will help members of the public to follow the trail.

Pianos will be in Central Square, University of Leeds Parkinson Building, The Rose Bowl, Leeds City Museum, Merrion Centre, 9 Bond Court, Trinity Leeds, Leeds Station, Victoria Gate, Kirkgate Market, Corn Exchange and The Tetley.

Talks, masterclasses, exhibitions, free family events and other concerts are planned.

Leeds Piano Trail bringing sound of music to city centre from August 17 to September 16

Leeds Piano Trail bringing sound of music to city centre from August 17 to September 16

Classic FM, the UK’s classical music station, is a media partner and will broadcast its popular More Music Breakfast show, presented by Tim Lihoreau, from its studios in Leeds on Friday, September 14.

The so-called 'World's Smallest Concert Hall'. a specially-fitted shipping container, will be sited in Victoria Gardens near Leeds Town Hall, from September 10 to 14.

It will host a daily programme of free events including 10-minute recitals by competitors and jury members, taster piano lessons, talks and educational activities for local community groups.

The installation, provided by LeedsBID, will also enable passers-by to learn more about the Competition, pick up Leeds Piano Trail maps, watch footage from the Competition's past and present, and generally engage with the world-famous event in a new way.
In addition, The Leeds has launched Piano+, designed to offer a new layer of entertainment and insight to music lovers and Competition audiences, including masterclasses, talks and insight events with world-famous pianists of the distinguished Competition Jury.

There will also be conversations and events with other eminent musicians and piano-loving celebrities, including former MP for Morley and Outwood Ed Balls and Alistair McGowan.
All Piano+ events are hosted by the Leeds International Piano Competition’s principal partner, the University of Leeds, with its restored Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall hosting the numerous masterclasses, talks and conversations.

Its Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery is the venue for an exhibition of historic pianos – including those owned and played by Chopin and Haydn – from the Cobbe Collection, brought to Leeds especially for the Competition.

Tinkle the ivories and enjoy 'mini rectials' on the Leeds Piano Trail

Tinkle the ivories and enjoy 'mini rectials' on the Leeds Piano Trail

Eminent past winners and alumni of the Compettion, since it launched in 1963, include Radu Lupu and Murray Perahia.

More recent winners with growing professional careers include Alessio Bax, Sunwook Kim and Federico Colli. The roll call of other Competition finalists is equally illustrious as that of the winners and includes Dame Mitsuko Uchida and Sir András Schiff (1975), Peter Donohoe (1981), Louis Lortie (1984), Lars Vogt (1990), Denis Kozhukhin (2006) and Louis Schwizgebel (2012).

Adam Gatehouse, Leeds International Piano Competition 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 programmes 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.”

Andrew Cooper, LeedsBID Chief Executive, said: “LeedsBID is delighted to be helping celebrate the city as the home of this most prestigious international competition while animating places and spaces with piano-themed events and activities to extend its appeal and accessibility to new audiences.

“LeedsBID’s investment in enhancing high profile city events such as the Leeds International Piano Competition brings together business with cultural and creative organisations to make exciting things happen and puts Leeds firmly on the international map.”

* LeedsBID (Leeds Business Improvement District) is a business-led, not for profit organisation, focused on delivering an ambitious business plan to transform Leeds city centre – improving experiences, standards and adding value for all city users. It is at the forefront of attracting new headline events to Leeds including the MOBO Awards, Audio & Radio Industry

Awards (ARIAS) and the Leeds International Festival, while helping enhance established city centre events with financial and practical investment to support expansion, appeal, impact and overall enjoyment, putting Leeds firmly on the map and enriching its cultural landscape.

For more visit www.leedsbid.co.uk

Piano Trail Performances List per Venue

Victoria Quarter:

Fri 17th August, 11.30am – 12.30pm: Yorkshire Young Sinfonia

Sat 25th August, 12pm – 1pm: Piano duets by Leeds Comp volunteer

Sat 8th September, 11am – 1pm: Leeds Leider – piano and singing

Sun 9th September, 1pm – 1.30pm: Let’s Play Piano – social group who all play piano

Wed 15th September, 2.15pm – 2.45pm: Kirsty Newton. Piano Human Jukebox – solo piano playing popular songs

Rose Bowl

Fri 17th August, 11.30am – 12.30pm: Yorkshire Young Sinfonia

Leeds Station

Fri 17th August, 11.30am – 12.30pm: Yorkshire Young Sinfonia; 12.15pm – 12.30pm: Ester Abrami – violin and piano

Sun 9th September, 10.30am – 11am: Let’s Play Piano – social group who all play piano

Tues 11 September, 4.30pm – 5.30pm: Competitor Performances

Sat 15th September, 11am – 12pm: Competitor performance Kirsty Newton; 4pm – 4.30pm: Piano Human Jukebox – solo piano playing popular songs

9 Bond Court

Sat 17th August, 12.30pm – 1.30pm: Yorkshire Young Sinfonia

Tues 11 September, 12pm – 1pm: Competitor Performances – shared on social media as “Packed Lunch at the Piano” encouraging people to come and enjoy at lunchtime.

Trinity

Sat 17th August, 12.30pm – 12.45pm: Ester Abrami – violin and piano; 1pm – 1.30pm: Yorkshire Young Sinfonia

Sun 9th September, 12pm – 12.30pm: Let’s Play Piano – social group who all play piano

Tues 11th September, 12pm – 1pm: Competitor Performances – shared on social media as “Packed Lunch at the Piano” encouraging people to come and enjoy at lunchtime.

Tues 11th September, 4.30pm – 5.30pm: Competitor Performances

Sat 15th September, 3pm – 3.30pm: Kirsty Newton, Piano Human Jukebox – solo piano playing popular songs

Leeds City Museum

Sat 17th August, 12.30pm – 1.30pm: Yorkshire Young Sinfonia

Kirkgate Market

Sat 8th September, 10.30am – 2.30pm: Leeds College of Music Junior Students

Tues 11th September, 12pm – 1pm: Competitor Performances – shared on social media as “Packed Lunch at the Piano” encouraging people to come and enjoy at lunchtime.

Sat 15th September, 11am – 12pm: Competitor performance; 1.30pm – 2pm, Kirsty Newton, Piano Human Jukebox – solo piano playing popular songs

Merrion Centre

Sun 9th September, 11.15am – 11.45am: Let’s Play Piano – social group who all play piano

Corn Exchange

Sun 9th September, 1.45pm – 12.15pm: Let’s Play Piano – social group who all play piano

Sun 9th September, 2.30pm – 5pm: Brudenell Piano Sessions – Simeon Walker

Sat 15th September, 11am – 12pm: Competitor performance

Tetley

Sun 9th September, 2.30pm – 3pm: Let’s Play Piano – social group who all play piano.

Thurs 6th Sept, 7pm: + Pub Piano Competition, + Heats

Thurs 13th Sept, 7pm: + Pub Piano Competition + FINAL

Central Square

Tues 11th September, 12pm – 1pm: Competitor Performances – shared on social media as “Packed Lunch at the Piano”