Leeds names piano finalists

Leeds names piano finalists


norman lebrecht

April 21, 2021

The audition round for this autumn’s competition was held online.

The 24 selected contestants, all under 30, include three from China and two each from the UK, Russia, South Korea and Ukraine.

View the full list here.

This will be the first competition without its founder, Fanny Waterman, who died last December.



  • christopher storey says:

    It is typical of how this competition is now sinking without trace that we are not told what repertoire was played by either a. the unsuccessful entrants or b. those selected to go forward. The organisation of the competition, which in the past was exemplary, has become incompetent

    • BRUCEB says:

      I remember getting hold of a program book from the 1989 (?) Van Cliburn competition: it listed every entrant and their country, and their repertoire choices for all rounds (should they advance). I don’t remember who even won that year (Sultanov maybe?) but it was interesting to see which people thought they could make their best showing with what repertoire. E.g. if someone planned to play a Mozart concerto if they reached the finals: that takes balls. (Of course it also takes balls to schedule Rachmaninov #3 or one of the other giant competition warhorses… but you get the idea.)

      I remember they had a string quartet lined up for the semifinals, with a list of pieces to choose from (I guess the quartet wasn’t willing to sight-read the entire piano quintet literature on 2 days’ notice). Most people chose one of the big standards — Brahms, Dvorak, Schumann — but a couple of people chose Franck.

      At Leeds the repertoire choices are wide open https://www.leedspiano.com/repertoire/, so it would be particularly interesting to see what choices people made.

  • Eugene says:

    I find appaling that Kate Liu, 3 prizewinner of 2015 Chopin competition was not selected.She is just unique.Significant loss for Leeds competition imho

    • Patrick Park says:

      Eugene, You are absolutely right! There are many in the best musical circles that thought Kate should of won the Chopin Competition too! Leeds is in trouble if they truly bounced Kate. There were no pianists there that are in her league. Even the jury pianists are not in her league. What happened! Even on a bad day her pianism is virtuoso. Kate is already established as one of the top pianists so she doesn’t need competitions. If in fact she was bounced there should be an investigation into what happened and why. If all performances were recorded then I recommend only the audio be listened to by another set of jurors and not the live/video just audio. Watching performers is a distraction from hearing the actual performance. Someone should wave a red flag and request an investigation. Maybe if Horowitz entered the Leeds he would be bounced too. A sad day for Leeds but in the end Kate is a winner.

      • Eugene says:

        She needs competitions & agents & recordings companies to project her talent to.the world. She is so modest & discreet.E

  • Nik says:

    It is slightly odd the way you have selected the photo of Ariel Lanyi, 23, Israel, to illustrate a story about a contest in which 24 candidates supposedly compete on equal terms.
    Is there something about him you wish to tell us?

  • Anonymous says:

    One Japanese candidate out of five from the first round made it through. The best showing from Japan at Leeds was in 1975 (Uchida 2nd Place).

    We are with you Kobayashi (Maru)

  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    The young UK pianist Tyler Hay is competing and he is a very strong player.
    Isn’t “Finalists” in the heading the wrong word ? Surely in any competition they are just the very few left at the end ?

  • Come on says:

    Not even a mention of having a south american in the roster?