Dame Fanny Waterman DBE, co-founder, Chair and Artistic Director of the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition, was presented with a Variety Club Lifetime Achievement Award at the 22nd Variety Club Children’s Charity Business Awards. 400 members of the business community supported the prestigious annual event, which was hosted at the Queens Hotel, Leeds on 12th December, and VIP guests included quadruple Olympic gold medalist Sir Matthew Pinsent OBE and the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne MP.
Dame Fanny’s award was given in recognition of her extraordinary career in music and the contribution she has made to the city of Leeds. She co-founded the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition in 1963 with Marion Thorpe and her late husband, Dr. Geoffrey de Keyser. ‘The Leeds’, as it is affectionately known, is now one of the world’s most respected piano competitions, and Dame Fanny is a highly sought after jury member for international music competitions.
Accepting her award, Dame Fanny said:
“The work of the Variety Club of Great Britain has made the deepest impression on me and I greatly admire the unsurpassed work they do to improve the quality of life for so many young people. To receive an award of this kind from such an organisation is a great honour.”
The Variety Club Children’s Charity Business Awards recognise the region’s outstanding business figures and organisations, and also raises money to make a difference to the lives of disabled and disadvantaged children across the region.
2009 will be a busy year for Dame Fanny. This year sees the 16th staging of ‘The Leeds’, beginning on 26th August and culminating with the Finals concerts on 11th and 12th September, followed by a Gala Recital on 13th September. She is taking up a two day residency at the Royal College of Music including a lecture and masterclass on 27th January. February sees the official publication of the new edition of her best-selling piano method Me And My Piano. Look out for Dame Fanny in the music teaching press as well, with features planned in Music Teacher, Piano Journal and Pianist magazines over the coming months.
Pictured (l-r): Presenter Adrienne Lawler, Dame Fanny Waterman and next year's Variety Club Chief Barker Kenneth Mustoe.