Following a hugely successful 2018 event, Paul Lewis has decided to step down as co-Artistic Director of the Leeds International Piano Competition to enable him to concentrate on his international performing career. Adam Gatehouse becomes the sole Artistic Director of The Leeds.

Paul is delighted to have been part of the remarkable team that helped to formulate and build a vital and exciting new vision for The Leeds following the retirement of Dame Fanny Waterman in 2015. Looking ahead to the next three years and his performance and family commitments, Paul feels that he will not have the time to give the Competition the attention it deserves.

Paul Lewis said: “The journey at LIPC over the last three years has been an endlessly fascinating one, full of discoveries, challenges, and surprises along the way. It has been a huge thrill and a privilege to have played a part in the process of renewing the competition, and I have no doubt that The Leeds will continue to evolve and develop in exciting ways over the coming years.”

Adam Gatehouse, Artistic Director of The Leeds, said: “It has been a pleasure working with my old friend Paul Lewis on re-envisaging and transforming the Competition these past three years. We will all miss the knowledge, passion, inventiveness and commitment that Paul has brought to the Competition. The Leeds is now in a great place and I look forward to working with our team in further developing and enhancing its position as one of the world’s pre-eminent music competitions in the coming years.”

Fiona Sinclair, newly-appointed Chief Executive of The Leeds, said: “Paul Lewis brought a passionate and visionary approach to The Leeds and I have greatly admired his very personal commitment to supporting the welfare and development of young pianists. We are hugely grateful to Paul for all his work with Adam towards creating such a successful 2018 Competition and wish him well. The future holds many exciting opportunities for The Leeds and we are looking forward to our next Competition in 2021 which aims to further raise the barre internationally for wider engagement with the piano.”

During the past three years, and especially during the 2018 Competition, The Leeds has built on its reputation as one of the world’s most cherished music competitions. The Competition’s renewed mission is to celebrate the piano in new ways, aiming to unlock its transformative potential and inspire, educate and connect people through its music.

The success of the 2018 Competition ensured that over one million people enjoyed The Competition, either in person in Leeds or watching online in 158 countries. The new-look festival programme enlivened the city of Leeds with 7,730 people taking part in 65 events. Eric Lu won First Prize to great critical and artistic acclaim, securing worldwide management with Askonas Holt, a recording with Warner Classics, a recital at Wigmore Hall and international touring opportunities.


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