Leeds International Piano Competition sells home of 60 years

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Dame Fanny Waterman CBE

Image caption

Fanny Waterman received the freedom of the city of Leeds in 2004

The founder of the Leeds International Piano Competition is selling the house that has played a “tremendous role” in its history.

Dame Fanny Waterman lived in the large Victorian house in Leeds, called Woodgarth, for about 60 years.


The six-bedroom property is for sale for offers in the region of £1.5m.

Dame Fanny, who was 100 years old in March, had to cancel a planned birthday recital and celebration with 300 guests due to lockdown.

Linda Wellings, operations director of the competition, said it played a “tremendous role in the competition’s history”.


The pianist founded and ran the competition for more than half a century before stepping down aged 95.

The house had played host to national and international classical music stars, politicians such as former Conservative prime minister Edward Heath, and many other celebrities.

More stories from Yorkshire

Image caption

Many parts of the home, including this guest cloakroom are festooned with musical memories

As a child growing up in Leeds, Dame Fanny was a talented pianist herself. In 1941, she won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London and went on to perform at the Proms a year later.

Ms Wellings said: “It’s a lovely property and Dame Fanny was very proud of it and it was a wrench to leave.

“She is now in residential care but she’s taken part of Woodgarth with her and she is surrounded by pictures and mementoes and is in good company.”

The Victorian detached home was thought to have been built around 1894.

The Leeds International Piano Competition is held held every three years, the next is due in 2021.

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