|Fleeing the stage in 1990
'The most spectacular upset of the competition... occurred... with the dramatic self-elimination of the exceptionally gifted Pole, Piotr Anderszewski. His recital programme consisted of just two works - Beethoven's massive Diabelli Variations and Webern's tiny three-movement Op 27 Variations. Having delivered a magisterial exposition of the Beethoven, "with a mastery of long-range structural tension that far senior pianists would envy, and relentless, searching concentration" (David Murray, The Financial Times), Anderszewski returned for the Webern, only to freeze up and withdraw - apparently dissatisfied with his performance - with only the third variation to go, thereby forfeiting an almost certain place in the finals. However, as Murray remarked, "for a pianist of this order, it cannot have been a real disaster"...'
Wendy Thompson with Fanny Waterman, Piano Competition: The Story of the Leeds, © Faber & Faber 1991
Link to: Leeds Piano Competition
Photo: © Robert Workman/Virgin Classics 2007