Following many recent successes under Professor Joanna MacGregor CBE, including Isata Kanneh-Mason winning the 2021 Leonard Bernstein Award and finalists and winners at the world’s most prestigious piano festivals, such as the Vendome Prize, Vigo, and Chopin Competitions, the piano department continues to demonstrate its world-class status.

Finalists were joined by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra for the last round at Leeds Town Hall on 17 and 18 September. Alim performed Rachmaninov’s virtuosic concerto Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini to take the gold medal. You can watch this winning performance in full on Medici TV.

Academy postgraduate student Ariel Lanyi took third prize, performing Brahms’s Piano Concerto No 2, which is also available to watch on Medici TV. Ariel studies on the Academy’s Advanced Diploma Programme and is a Bicentenary Scholar. His debut album of piano music by Schubert was released in July 2021 and is available now from Linn Records.

Held every three years, the Leeds International Piano Competition has been providing a platform for the next generation of world class pianists since 1963. Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic for the 2021 competition, first round auditions took place from 17 venues worldwide, including from the Academy’s own Angela Burgess Recital Hall.

The Academy’s Principal, Jonathan Freeman-Attwood CBE, said: ‘We are immensely proud of Alim and Ariel, both of whom performed outstandingly in the finals. They are both destined for wonderful careers and it will be a thrill to see how those unfold.’

The Academy’s Autumn Piano Festival, curated by Joanna MacGregor, celebrates the art of transcription and showcases the talents of current Academy piano students. Tickets are available via the Academy website.

Find out more about our piano department by visiting: