A piano prodigy from Boston won one of the world’s most prestigious piano competitions which has now been running for 55 years. Eric Lu, a Chinese American aged 20, won the judges’ vote with his rendition of Beethoven’s fourth piano concerto to secure top place at the Leeds International Piano Competition held in the United Kingdom.
Lu was the youngest of the 24 finalists, who competed at events in Berlin, New York and Singapore before arriving in Leeds. Former winners include Mitsuko Uchida and Andras Schiff, who have gone on to become some of the most famous names in music. “Winning here is a great honour,” said Lu, “This competition has such a rich history with so many of my idols among previous winners. Beethoven’s fourth is such a miraculous piece; it was an inspiration and a joy to play.”
The latest competition was different. It was launched in partnership with classic music website Medici, which streamed the event to half a million people in 140 countries. Many viewers were even able to vote online for the newly created ‘Audience Prize’ – won by Xinyuan Wang, aged 23 and from China.
An American public relations company and French private art school are in hot water after a photo of students at the school was edited to make some of them black. The Emile-Cohl art school in Lyon hired the PR firm to help them attract more students from the US.
The PR firm then digitally altered the photos to make it appear as though there were more black students on the campus, believing that diversity would encourage more American students to apply. Some white French students had their skin darkened, while other completely new black students appeared. Naturally the French students who had suddenly been transformed spotted the photos on social media and complained. The school has been forced into an embarrassing apology and blamed the PR company for the decision.
School director Antoine Rivière told L’Express magazine “this is the antithesis of what represents Émile-Cohl,”
A new university has been set up by a group of former Manchester United players in partnership with Microsoft and KPMG. Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Phil Neville, and David Beckham are involved in UA92 which stands for United Academy 92, referring to the ‘Golden Generation’ of 1992 when the former players met at the club.
With a budget of £15m the Manchester-based institution will open next year and claims to be a new kind of university which will focus on “accelerating careers in business, media and sport”.
The ex-players say it is their way of giving something back to the city after enjoying decades of success. The UA92 brand is described on its website as “disruptive” and focused on bringing young people practical skills that are often lacking in traditional academia. Jo Scott, who is handling the university’s public image, said “the education sector has never seen massive change. Gary Neville wants to disrupt that. While the traditional university places academic teaching at its core, he wanted to place personal development at its core.”
Applications are already open for the first terms in autumn 2019. Undergraduate courses include accounting, business, journalism, psychology and sports science.