The 2018 Leeds International Piano Competition came to an end on 15 September 2018. The final evening's playing was accompanied by the Hallé Orchestra conducted by Edward Gardner.
The £25,000 First Prize and the Terence Judd Hallé Orchestra Prize were both won by twenty-year-old American pianist Eric Lu, the youngest of the five finalists. Eric Lu, born in Massachusetts in 1997 to Chinese parents from Kaohsiung and Shanghai, studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and his teachers are Robert McDonald, Jonathan Biss and Dang Thai Son.
He also receives a ground-breaking portfolio prize designed with long-term career development in mind, including worldwide management with arts management agency Askonas Holt, an international album release on Warner Classics and a range of performance and recording opportunities with BBC Radio 3.
The runners up also won two prizes each. Twenty-eight-year-old Mario Häring from Germany, a student of Lars Vogt, Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Fabio Bidini and Kimiko Higuchi, won Second Prize and the Yaltah Menuhin Award. Twenty-three-year-old Xinyuan Wang from China, a student of Balázs Szokolay at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Weimer, was the winner of the Third Prize and the Audience Award.
The other finalists, who will doubtless also receive some attention in the future, were twenty-seven-year-old Anna Geniushene from Russia and twenty-nine-year-old Aljoša Jurinić from Croatia.
The Leeds International Piano Competition, one of the world's top piano competitions, takes place every three years in the Great Hall of the University of Leeds and in Leeds Town Hall, West Yorkshire, England. It was founded in 1961 and first held in 1963. Fanny Waterman (born 1920), one of the founders, was artistic director and chaired the jury until retiring in 2015. Paul Lewis and Adam Gatehouse are currently co-artistic directors, and Lewis chaired the jury in 2018. Murray Perahia (who won the fourth Leeds competition in 1972) is Patron, and Lang Lang is the competition's Global Ambassador.
In 2018, for the first time, the preliminary rounds were held in Berlin, New York and Singapore in April, several months ahead of the main competition. Several other changes were made to the format of the competition for 2018.
Posted: 1 October 2018
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