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Student-designed piano installed in Rose Bowl as part of city-wide music trail


A month-long music trail across Leeds has kicked off with the installation of a student-decorated piano at the Rose Bowl Building.

student designed piano in rose bowl

From Friday 17 August, talented colleagues, students and passers-by will have the chance to show off their pianist skills in the Rose Bowl Atrium, which is one of a number of venues across the city taking part in the Leeds Piano Trail.

The campaign has been organised to help promote culture and music ahead of the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition

The instrument’s striking design was the brainchild of BA Fine Arts students Libby Howarth and Olivia Wright, alongside recent graduate Harrison Hirst.

  close up of piano keys

Their design, which uses fur to portray a resemblance of an animal, has already attracted considerable attention during its time at St John’s Centre, where the students have been painting for the past three weeks.

Speaking about the concept behind the design, Olivia said: “We wanted to balance beauty and intrigue, making people wonder what it actually is that they’re looking at.”

The group jumped at the chance to showcase their creativity to a wider public audience, with the challenge of transforming a piano serving as an ideal opportunity to show off their artistic skills.

“I’ve enjoyed working with a new team and the challenge of painting something different.” Libby added. “I’m a little nervous as to how people will react to seeing it. I think it won’t really feel real until I’ve seen it being played in the Rose Bowl.”

The Yorkshire Young Sinfonia started the trail, which runs until 16 September, with a piano-led performance on Friday.

The trail will celebrate the piano ahead of ‘The Leeds’, which is regarded as one of the most prominent and prestigious music competitions on the planet.

Competition performances in the earlier rounds take place at the Great Hall, University of Leeds, with the final held at Leeds Town Hall. Tickets, priced from £10, are still available online from leedstownhall.co.uk, on 0113 376 0318 or in person.

There is plenty planned for our Rose Bowl piano during the next month, so keep an eye out when you are in the building and on our website when more details are revealed.

Headline image taken by David Lindsay: @photosbydavid


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