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We welcome the mastermind of 'The Leeds'

Posted on 05/02/2016 by Helga Pearson in The Georgian Theatre Royal dame fanny waterman richard shephard
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Dame Fanny Waterman – one of the most influential figures in British music – will be sharing experiences of her extraordinary life with an audience on Friday 11 March at 7.30pm.

At the tender age of 95, Dame Fanny Waterman is revered throughout the world of classical music as an inspirational teacher and founder of the Leeds International Piano Competition, widely regarded as the most coveted prize in the piano world. She will be in conversation with Dr Richard Shephard, the renowned composer and practitioner of choral music.

From humble beginnings in Leeds as the daughter of a Russian émigré jeweller, Dame Fanny’s prodigious musical talent and sheer determination was a passport out of hardship. It began when she heard Rachmaninov perform at Leeds Town Hall in the 1920s – and her love affair with the piano has lasted eight decades.

She excelled as a concert pianist – highlights included a Proms performance during the Second World War with Sir Henry Wood at the Royal Albert Hall – before returning to Leeds with husband Geoffrey de Kaiser to take up piano teaching. This led to the establishment of the Leeds International Piano Competition, which is known across the globe for emerging new talent.

Her work as a teacher and publisher of piano training books has led to more than 2 million students using her Me and My Piano series and a Channel Four 10-master class series entitled Fanny Waterman’s Piano Progress. Dame Fanny was awarded the OBE in 1971, a CBE in 1999 and a DBE in 2005.

She will be interviewed by Dr Richard Shephard, formerly Headmaster of the Minster School in York and Visiting Fellow in the Department of Music at the University of York. Dr Shephard is currently working on the music for the York Minster Mystery Plays to be performed in June this year.


Tickets for the event are priced from £10 to £20 and are available from the Box Office on 01748 825252 or via this website.

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