We team up with Leeds Piano Competition - you can win VIP tickets

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THE Yorkshire Post has today announced an exciting partnership with the Leeds International Piano Competition which returns to the city later this month.

Over the coming weeks we will be going behind the scenes and getting under the skin of this renowned competition that over the past 52 years has helped launch the careers of some of the world’s greatest pianists, including Radu Lupu and Murray Perahia.

Dame Fanny Waterman at Leeds Civic Hall.

Dame Fanny Waterman at Leeds Civic Hall.

Nicola Furbisher, managing editor of The Yorkshire Post, said: “The Leeds Piano Competition is a prestigious event that attracts some of the world’s most talented young pianists here to Yorkshire to put their musical skills to the ultimate test. 

“We are delighted to be the media partners for this year’s competition and look forward to seeing these gifted musicians performing on stage here in Leeds.”

This year’s competition, which gets underway on August 26, features 71 pianists from over 17 countries who have been selected to compete in front of a distinguished international jury, chaired by world famous music teacher Dame Fanny Waterman.

The competition, known popularly as ‘The Leeds,’ was set up by Dame Fanny back in 1961 since when it has helped put Leeds and Yorkshire at the forefront of classical music.

Dame Fanny, who will be stepping down as artistic director after this year’s event, said: “This great competition which started as a cottage industry owes much to many people, in particular, Marion Thorpe, former Countess of Harewood, and my late husband, Dr Geoffrey de Keyser who was the backbone of the whole institution.”

She said the competition had served as a model for others around the world. “The Leeds has introduced to the world some of the greatest pianists of our time - the list is extremely long and very impressive.

“Competing in ‘The Leeds’ has assisted many pianists in the establishment of international careers. Its renowned status has been achieved through musical integrity, total honesty and transparency and the amazing quality of jurors and competitors.”

Chinese classical music superstar Lang Lang is a global ambassador for ‘the Leeds’ and describes it as a “legendary” competition.

He said: “The list of previous winners speaks for the high standard it has set. The Leeds is a vital part of the piano world, not just in Britain, but for aspiring students worldwide.

“I don’t think there has been a concert hall around the globe that has not felt the impact of the Leeds International Piano Competition in the great names it has helped on their way.”

He added: “I am truly honoured to be associated with this tradition, and I can only say that I hope the competition will leave on as a positive force for many years to come.”

The Leeds is held every three years with the two finals at Leeds Town Hall broadcast by the BBC. The six finalists will perform with the Hallé, conducted by Sir Mark Elder, on September 11 and 12.

Sir Peter Bazalgette, chairman of Arts Council England, said the event’s fame was global. “The competition’s support for both British and International talent has been remarkable.”

He added that it has also helped establish Leeds as one of the world’s great venues for classical music, with the list of finalists reading like a “who’s who of today’s piano world.”

For tickets go to www.leedstownhall.co.uk or call 0113 224 3801.

• Leeds International Piano Competition have teamed up with The Yorkshire Post & Yorkshire Evening Post and are delighted to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a VIP package to see world famous pianist Lang Lang at Leeds Town Hall on September 9th 2015.

Entrants will win a pair of premium tickets, a programme for the event and enjoy a meet and greet with Lang Lang following the concert. The lucky winner will also enjoy a one night stay at the luxurious DoubleTree Hilton Leeds on Wednesday, September 9 with breakfast included.

To be in with the chance to win this fabulous prize for two, just answer the simple question below, then send in your answer via SMS:

What is the name of the world famous pianist who will be performing at Leeds? 
a) Lang Lang 
b) Fazil Say 
c) Yiruma

TEXT: YPN (space) PIANO (space) A, B or C (space) followed by your name, address and email to 65550 before Friday 14th August at 12 noon

Competition terms and conditions: This prize cannot be exchanged, nor the dates changed. Transport not included.

Terms and Conditions: Texts cost £1.50 plus your standard network rate. By entering, you are indicating that you are happy to receive offers from Johnston Press Plc. by SMS. Please add NOINFO at the end of your message if you do not wish to receive these. Multiple entries accepted. Please note entries received after the stated closing deadline will not be valid but you still may be charged. Winner will be notified by phone on the telephone number used to enter within 10 working days of end of competition. UK entrants, 18 and over only: Bill payer’s permission must be obtained before entering. This is a Johnston Press Group competition. NO CASH ALTERNATIVE. For full T&C’s go to http://www.johnstonpress.co.uk/competition.