Classical Preview: Line-up of artists who thrived on competitions

Success some years ago in the Leeds Piano Competition launched Leon McCawley onto the international stage, and next Sunday he returns to the region to open Harrogate International Concert Sunday Season (Jan 23). A pianist who thoughtfully builds his programmes to suit his elegant style of playing, he features Mozart and Chopin in the first half, concluding with the Brahms Variations on a theme of Handel.

His first taste of competition success came in the BBC Young Musician of the Year, and that event also showcased the rare talents of Guy Johnston, the soloist in the second concert of the season. Winner of a prestigious Classical BRIT Award, the young cellist is in demand around the world as a concert soloist, but is an equally committed chamber musician who here combines with the equally outstanding violinist, Matthew Trussler on a group of works that includes Kodaly, Bartok and Ravel (Feb 6).

The third event has the American pianist, Simone Dinnerstein making her debut in the region. On her morning's menu comes works by Schumann, Bach and Schubert (Mar 6). Another product of the BBC Young Musician of the Year, the vivacious clarinettist Emma Johnson, shares her appearance with the pianist, John Lenehan, the duo offer a series of instrumental showpieces by Debussy, Schubert and Giampieri (March 20). Finally a much anticipated appearance of the brilliant Brodsky Quartet playing works by Beethoven, Korngold and Schubert

(April 3).

All are morning concerts in the ballroom of Harrogate's The Swan Hotel. Details and tickets from 01423 562303.