Just in: Leeds Piano Competition gets record deal

Just in: Leeds Piano Competition gets record deal


norman lebrecht

June 15, 2018

Warner Classics has won the right to record this year’s winner of the Leeds International Piano Competition.

Leeds calls the recording deal ‘a corner-stone of its new prize package, designed to redefine what a music competition can offer young performers. The prize also includes management with Askonas Holt.

Adam Gatehouse, co-Artistic Director of Leeds International Piano Competition says: The Competition will bring some of the world’s most talented young pianists to prominence in Leeds this September, and as part of our re-envisaging of what the Competition can bring to both audiences and competitors, we have set out to ensure that those young artists have the best possible support as they go on to develop significant international careers into the future. Warner Classics, who have such a strong history in truly nurturing young artists, are the ideal partner in this and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with them.

Leeds 2015 finalists



  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    Wonderful new development for this respected competition. Having a recording from this forum will help document their early careers. Good luck to all of the young aspiring musicians!

  • La Verita says:

    “Redefine what a competition can offer young performers”?? It has all been done before. Warner will produce 1 recording, it won’t sell, and they’ll drop the winner. Askonas Holt will skim commissions off of the engagements already procured by the Leeds competition, and then drop the winner after 2 years. Nothing new here, folks – same old, same old.

  • Rosemary Forbes-Butler says:

    And the first prize winner isn’t necessarily the one who’s going to have the best career.

    In 1975 Andras Schiff came 3rd to Dimitri Alexeev 1st.

  • Mike Aldren says:

    Actually, according to the Leeds website, Schiff came 4th and Mitsiko Uschida came 2nd, a vintage year with Pascal Devoyon 3rd and Myung-Whun Chung 6th.

    • La Verita says:

      Not quite – Per the Leeds website for the1975 competition:

      Joint 3rd prize:
      Hungary András Schiff
      France Pascal Devoyon
      Joint 5th prize:
      New Zealand Michael Houstoun
      United States Myung-whun Chung

  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    La Verita-totally sympathize with you. Very important that these young musicians must know that if they win, there are no guarantees to a sustainable career. If I could go back in time to my younger self, I would say, ‘Go enter. If you lose, take something positive from the experience. If you win, know the dates are one time only and you need to use the win as a stepping stone to building friendships with your colleagues, conductors, presenters, managers, and find something unique about what they out do to sustain your own career. The next winner will come in 2, 3 or 4 years. Don’t expect the world to come to your doorstep; even if they do, it may be short lived. Be ahead of the eight ball, learn a lot of repertoire and make friends in the business.’ True, I have seen past prizes offer the winner a DG recording. It is wonderful, but is a one shot deal. I often wonder if there could be a Leeds competition for pianists ages 35-45 or 35-50. That is a crucial period of an artist’s life where they have experienced some life and the musicianship mirrors that.

  • Saxon Broken says:

    Are you allowed to turn down Askonas Holt if you don’t want them to represent you?