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Our work with Leeds International Piano Competition

Leeds International Piano Competition is one of the world’s best-known music competitions, and since its inception in 1963 ‘The Leeds’ has attracted exceptional young pianists from around the globe.

In 2023, it set out to become the first carbon neutral classical music competition in the world.

As part of this endeavour, the Priestley Centre commissioned a postgraduate student to work with The Leeds.

Working under the supervision of Priestley Centre climate experts, Masters student Palavi Kalambe undertook a 5-month part time internship with the organisation.

Palavi established a detailed emissions inventory for the competition, implemented a streamlined monitoring process, and developed a set of recommendations for reducing emissions and responsible offsetting strategies.

This work has a strong resonance as we deliver our triennial event which is watched online by over 5 million people. It has motivated, educated and inspired the whole team.

Sally Egan, Leeds International Piano Competition

Through this pairing, the Priestley Centre not only ensured valuable outputs for The Leeds, but also offered a unique development opportunity for a University of Leeds student.

The chance to play a part in an organisation’s climate neutral journey was truly invaluable. This internship has been a pivotal learning curve, fostering immense professional growth, and enhancing my understanding of practical applications in my field.

Palavi Kalambe, MSc Sustainable Cities 2023

The Leeds has shared outcomes of the project with the World Federation of International Music Competitions, a global membership of 120 music competitions, who are also seeking best practice and models to reduce their carbon footprints.

We hope that the impact of this internship goes well beyond Leeds and can inspire more organisations to take meaningful and positive climate action.

Sally Egan, Leeds International Piano Competition

Interested in an internship? Any future opportunities will be advertised through Priestley Centre website, social media channels or newsletter.