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Concert shines light on Brexit views of Leeds’ young

By Kelly Woodward

Music enthusiasts were treated to a preview of ‘European Unison’, a piano concert expressing the views of young people in Britain about the recent Brexit vote.

The preview took place at Besbrode Pianos in Leeds where 28 pianists imitated each country within the European Union.

A panel including Leeds Councillor Neil Walshaw and the composer of ‘European Unison’, Ruth Spencer-Jolly, debated the impact of the Brexit vote and how Leeds will move forwards and prosper.

Councillor Walshaw stated that he was, and still is, an avid remain supporter and that his ward, Headingley, voted to remain in the European Union.

He expressed that Headingley has a big student population and a great creative population and many of those students are millennials.

Ruth Spencer-Jolly, a millennial herself, expresses within her piano piece her views on the Brexit vote.

She believes that ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ and that was reflected throughout the 28 part music piece.

She said: “Each piano part is introduced by the playing of their national anthems to show when they joined the European Union.

“The piano part imitating Great Britain in the ‘European Unison’ has a solo at the end to show the sadness of a lone piano after such a strong ensemble.”

Leeds have a big art culture within the city with the likes of the International Piano Competition that comes every year.

Councillor Walshaw said: “We are bidding to be the capital of culture 2020 and we want all of Leeds to get involved and to show their creativity.

“Culture is a huge part of our economy and in Leeds it is important.

“For example, in my ward, there is Hyde Park Picture House and Brudenell Social Club which puts Leeds on the map.”

Besbrode Pianos is ran by Melvin Besbrode and he strongly opposes Brexit.

When asked what his one wish would be for a post-Brexit Britain he said “a second referendum”.

The full concert is free to attend on Sunday 26th March at Besbrode Pianos in Leeds, tickets are available here.

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