Leeds Town Hall, September 15th: Federico Colli wins The Leeds 2012
Amazing success of the Italian pianist Federico Colli at The Leeds International Piano Competition 2012, one of the most famous Piano Competitions in the world.
Founded in 1961, the Competition has awarded internationally renowned artists, such as Radu Lupu, Murray Perahia, Dimitri Alexeev, Michel Dalberto, Boris Petrushansky, Mitsuko Uchida, Andras Schiff, Louis Lortie and Boris Berezovsky.
Divided into four challenging rounds, it has seen the participation of 61 pianists (previously selected by a DVD) from the most prestigious Musical Institutions of the world, such as the Juilliard School of New York, the Curtis Institute of Philadelphia, the Ecole Normale of Paris, the Hochschule of Cologne, the Royal Academy of London, the International Piano Academy of Imola and the Gnessin Institute of Moscow.
In the final round, held on September 15th at the Leeds Town Hall and recorded live by BBC Radio 3 and BBC Four, Federico Colli performed Beethoven Piano Concerto no. 5 (Emperor) with the Manchester Hallé Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Mark Elder.
His wonderful interpretation and the excellent results obtained in the previous rounds allowed him to get, by the prestigious Jury chaired by Dame Fanny Waterman, the assignment of the First Prize with Gold Medal, consisting of a scholarship and several interesting international engagements.




 Dame Fanny Waterman (Chairman), UK
Christopher Elton, UK- Adam Gatehouse, UK- Pavel Gililov, Russia- Bao Huiqiao, China
Daejin Kim, Korea- Robert Levin, USA- Robert McDonald, USA- John O’Conor, Ireland- Cristina Ortiz, UK
Artur Pizarro, Portugal- Pascal Rogé, France- John Roos, South Africa- Soo Jung Shin, Korea

Federico Colli, Italy (24 years old)
Ballot number, 55
First Stage
Mozart: Sonata in G major, K283
Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Paganini, Op. 35 Book I
Second Stage
Schubert: Impromptu No. 2 in A flat major, Op. Posth. 142
Beethoven: Sonata in F minor, Op. 57 “Appassionata”
Ravel: Gaspard de la nuit
Semi Final
Mozart: Variations in F major on “Salve tu, Domine” KV398
Chopin: Scherzo in C sharp minor, Op. 39
Scriabin: Sonata No. 10 Op. 70
Britten: Night Piece “Notturno”
Mussorgsky: Pictures at an exhibition
Beethoven: Concerto No. 5 Op. 73
Leeds Town Hall
Saturday September 15th 2012, 6.30pm
The Hallé Manchester Symphony Orchestra
Sir Mark Elder, Conductor
Broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Four



Federico Colli, flamboyant in a scarlet cravat and cummerbund, aspired to high drama, launching the concerto with a thrilling majesty that never let up, even in the slow movement where his playing was remarkable in its lyrical beauty.
Tim Ashley, The Guardian

It was a winning performance. It was masterly.
Benjamin Frith, pianist - BBC Radio 3

He's a superb pianist, totally amazing. He was fresh, he completely reinvented the Emperor.
Kathryn Stott, pianist - BBC Radio 3

Beautiful pianism with wonderful tone; very sensitive to nuances, voicing and atmosphere; intelligent, energetic and never heavy-handed.
Jessica Duchen, journalist of The Independent



Memories from the Contest

View the embedded image gallery online at:

Excerpt from the semifinal round

W. A. Mozart: Variations in F major on "Salve tu, Domine" KV 398

F. Chopin: Scherzo no. 3 in C sharp minor Op. 39

B. Britten: Night Piece "Notturno"

Excerpt from the final round

The six finalists and the winner

Award Ceremony


On BBC Music Magazine

Italian takes the Leeds
Federico Colli flowers at prestigious International Piano Competition
"I wasn't worried by the jury. I was only thinking about the pleasure of making music."