Following the UK Government and Public Health England’s announcement of enhanced recommendations to counter the spread of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic by avoiding large gatherings, we have taken the decision to cancel the 2020 Leeds Lieder Festival.

Joseph Middleton, Director of Leeds Lieder, writes:

“Leeds Lieder had planned our most ambitious and vibrant 10th Anniversary Festival and are desperately sad not to be able to share our programming with you, but it is clear that cancelling gatherings such as our Festival is necessary to protect our audience members, our artists and our colleagues. In these extremely difficult times, a silver lining is that the majority of our education work has taken place this year and has had an enormous impact across the region. We have also already commissioned 13 new works this year.

Ticket sales make up just over a fifth of our income, providing vital support for our performances, education work and commissioning. Forced closure represents a very serious blow to our charity. We would be hugely grateful if you would consider donating the price of your tickets to help us continue our important work. A large number of arts organisations are enforcing the ‘force majeure’ clause in contracts meaning that artists will not be paid their concerts fees. Artists are already facing serious financial hardship, with months of work cancelled. At Leeds Lieder we value our artists enormously. They enrich our lives. By donating your ticket and by allowing us to claim Gift-Aid (which will increase your donation by 25%) it is our intention to pay our artists 50% of their fees. We feel this is the least we should be doing and by giving generously you will ensure that Leeds Lieder can mount activity once this crisis is over. Everyone who can help us is in this way, will be sent a link to download a specially recorded CD of Debussy and Mozart songs by Ruby Hughes, Kate Royal, Nicky Spence, Ashley Riches and myself. You can donate to Leeds Lieder via this link:

Of course, if you would like a refund of your ticket, we will arrange this. If you have booked tickets, please do email or telephone 0113 343 2584 and let us know how you would like to proceed (and please bear with us if it takes a little while for us to respond to everyone).

We love championing song, and being a vital part of the UK music scene, and we will continue to find ways of sharing our past masterclasses and concerts via social media and on our website over the coming weeks. Keep an eye on our website and social media pages for updates.

We remain indebted to our staff, our artists, and above all our audiences and look forward filling the city with song as soon as we can.

Best wishes, and I hope you are keeping well and safe throughout these current circumstances.”

Joseph Middleton – Director