Pianos take centre stage as exhibition
provides a counterpoint to competition

Melvin Besbrode with a piano designed by Peter Behrens, at his workshop in Holbeck, Leeds
Melvin Besbrode with a piano designed by Peter Behrens, at his workshop in Holbeck, Leeds
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AN EXHIBITION featuring some of the world’s most luxurious pianos is to be staged when Leeds International Pianoforte Competition begins at the end of August.

Besbrode Pianos, which is an official partner in the exhibition, has transported pianos from across Europe to feature exclusively in the exhibition, including a piano designed by Peter Behrens, a leading Art Nouveau German artist, and other designers whose work has featured at international exhibitions. Entry is free.

A statement by the organisers said: “Around the turn of the 20th century, a period of prosperity inspired an interest in culture and the arts. The maturity of technical innovation in the piano prompted a flourish of custom-made, luxurious piano cases. At this time, the wealthy commissioned bespoke pianos as visible status symbols.”

The exhibition will be entitled The Golden Age of Pianos and the competition and exhibition will be run in tandem from August 29 to September 16.

Leeds International Pianoforte Competition is perhaps the most prestigious of its kind in the world. It takes place in the Great Hall of the University of Leeds and in Leeds Town Hall.

It was founded in 1961 by Dame Fanny Waterman DBE DMus FRCM and Marion Thorpe CBE, who still leads its organisation.

“The Leeds” as it is affectionately known is held every three years, with young pianists’ worldwide competing to win the Princess Mary Gold Medal.