LICS Chineke_April 2023-7

About us

Leeds International Concert Season is run by Leeds City Council and is the largest local authority music programme in the UK.

We programme more than 200 concerts a year in the Leeds area featuring sought-after chamber ensembles, incredible soloists and brilliant brass bands.

Read on to find out more about what we do. 

Our annual programme

Leeds International Chamber Season

Each year we invite guest Artistic Directors to curate the Leeds International Chamber Season. Previous Artistic Directors include violinist Elena Urioste and pianist Tom Poster, harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, cellist David Waterman, pianist Sam Haywood, and The Gould Piano Trio. The series of six concerts takes place on Tuesday evenings at The Venue, Leeds Conservatoire.

Leeds International Piano Series

The Leeds International Piano Series is presented in association with Leeds International Piano Competition, and features renowned pianists from across the world. The series of six concerts also takes place at The Venue, Leeds Conservatoire.

Leeds Best of Brass

The UK’s finest brass band series takes place at Morley Town Hall. These eight concerts feature top brass bands including Black Dyke Band, Grimethorpe Colliery Band, and Brighouse & Rastrick Band.

Quartet in Residence

Following the retirement of the Endellion String Quartet in 2020 we have partnered with the triennial Wigmore Hall String Quartet Competition (previously the London String Quartet Competition) to award a prize winner at the competition a residency for three years. Each three years we’ll welcome a new Quartet in Residence.

The Quartet in Residence for 2023-5 is the Leonkoro Quartet, an extremely exciting group of musicians that swept the board at the 2022 Wigmore Hall competition, winning first prize and nine of the twelve special prizes on offer.

Leeds International Orchestral Season

Whilst Leeds Town Hall is closed for refurbishment Leeds International Orchestral Season concerts have been paused. Find out more about the refurbishment on Leeds Town Hall’s website.

LICS on Tour

A unique combination of daring programming and unusual and unexpected venues is at the heart of the LICS on Tour series. Previous line-ups have included sought-after chamber ensemble Manchester Collective, saxophonist Jess Gillam, viola da gamba player Liam Byrne, Chineke! Wind Quintet, and percussionist Joby Burgess.

As part of the LICS on Tour series we have commissioned work, including Cheryl Frances-Hoad’s song cycle, Small Journeys

For this series we are grateful to receive public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Free concerts

A unique series of sixty lunchtime chamber and organ recitals offers the most extensive programme of free music in Britain. Hosted temporarily at Leeds Cathedral, the lunchtime organ music series is curated by Leeds City Organist, Darius Battiwalla, and includes some of the leading organists from the UK and afar. Lunchtime chamber recitals are a wonderful mix of talented musicians, recent graduates beginning their careers, and professional artists from Yorkshire and further afield. Everyone is welcome.

Music moves outside in the summer for Summer Bands in Leeds Parks which invites the region’s best brass, jazz and concert bands to perform in the city’s green spaces. 

No pre-booked tickets are required for our free music series, simply turn up and enjoy the music!

Festivals and competitions

We organise the Leeds Conductors Competition which supports young British conductors, and Leeds Pub Piano Competition which runs triennially alongside the Leeds International Piano Competition. 

Work with us!

If you’d like to work with us we’d be happy to hear from you. Please send us an email and a member of the team will be in touch. 

Image of Katie Pearce, our Principal Music Officer © Tom Arber.