Leeds & West Yorkshire

Dame Fanny Waterman retires from Leeds Piano Competition

Dame Fanny Image copyright Andy Manning
Image caption Dame Fanny Waterman founded the Leeds International Piano Competition in 1961

The 94-year-old chairwoman and artistic director of the Leeds International Piano Competition is to step down.

Dame Fanny Waterman, who founded the world-renowned contest in 1961, will retire after the 2015 competition, which ends on 13 September.

"The Leeds" has come to be regarded among the most coveted prizes in the piano world.

Its previous winners include Andras Schiff, Radu Lupu and Artur Pizarro.

She founded the contest with her late husband Dr Geoffrey de Keyser and Marion Thorpe, then the Countess of Harewood.

Dame Fanny said: "The Leeds has achieved its renowned status and reputation through its musical integrity and I am very grateful to the excellent competitors, juries, conductors, orchestras, friends, benefactors and volunteers whose quality is everything.

"I feel ready now, after the 2015 competition, to hand over the reins, confident that it will continue to thrive and grow, offering a platform of opportunities for young pianists, music lovers and audiences long into the future."

Born in Leeds, Dame Fanny studied at the Royal College of Music in London, going on to perform at the 1942 Proms.

In 2004 she received the freedom of the city of Leeds.

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