Arts / Music / Performing Arts

Young Pianist of the North

"The funding from the Gillian Dickinson Trust has been instrumental in bringing here the world-class expertise, talent and opportunities, readily available in many other countries and areas of the UK, and putting the North East on the international map. The Trustees of the Gillian Dickinson legacy are everything any organiser could wish for: supportive, open to new approaches, creativity and experimental ideas. All future development and success of YPN will be built upon the firm base, provided in its crucial early years by the Gillian Dickinson Trust."

Young Pianist 1

All future development of YPN will be built upon the firm base provided in its crucial early years by the Gillian Dickinson Trust.

“It was a bold idea to enter the crowded world of international competitions. The success of the Young Pianist of the North only became possible because of the faith the Gillian Dickinson Trust had in us,” says Marika Slater, the creator, artistic director and the chair of the jury of YPN.

YPN has brought to the North East the world-class pedagogical expertise and outstanding young talent, and established an international platform open to the young pianists of the region. “The contributions of all our partners have been important to our success, but it was the funding from the Gillian Dickinson Trust that enabled us to involve Europe’s leading pedagogues, attracting a world-wide attention and putting superb educational opportunities and inspirational role models literally on the doorstep of the local community,” comments Marika. “Between 2008 and 2011 we have welcomed about 150 talented young musicians from 23 countries. YPN has become a recognised international forum where local children can test themselves, and it is just round the corner from where they live. For a piano teacher, the chance to listen to four days of performances and master classes of this level is invaluable. Local children, their parents and teachers can now attend individual consultations and receive feedback and advice from the world’s leading authorities face to face and at the expense of an entry fee.”

The sponsorship has allowed attract other funding. As a result, the Young Pianist of the North has distributed hundreds of pounds in local awards, supporting regional talent and promoting musical excellence and ambition from an early age. Encouraged by YPN, several young local pianists have already found their calling, others have been invited to prominent nationwide events, such as the Piano Day with the legendary Lang Lang in London, and TV programmes, and have received grants in acknowledgement of their achievements.

About 75% of the YPN funding returns to the regional economy in addition to the annual spending of around 100 visitors. For all of them this has been their first visit to the North East of England.