Brexit Media Call

For media enquiries contact, 07531948014 MEDIA CALL & FOR EVENT LISTINGS THURSDAY 23 MARCH 2017, 10.30am-12.00 Besbrode Pianos Unit A, Holbeck New Mills, Braithwaite Street, Leeds, LS11 9XE A…

Brexit and Me

For media enquiries contact, 07531948014


THURSDAY 23 MARCH 2017, 10.30am-12.00

Besbrode Pianos Unit A, Holbeck New Mills, Braithwaite Street, Leeds, LS11 9XE

A Panel discussion and a short preview performance of ‘European Unison’ will take place at Besbrode Pianos in Leeds on Thursday 23rd March, 10.30am-12.00.  Journalists, students and members of the business community will be in attendance for a free Q&A panel discussion about Brexit with an opportunity to speak to the artist, Ruth Spencer-Jolly, who conceived the project.

28 pianists will gather to represent the members of the European Union and play out the history of the EU from its birth to “Brexit”. The piece acts as a eulogy to the rich cultural exchange and peacekeeping cooperation that the EU was founded upon. The ensemble of pianos demonstrates that ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’.

Ruth said: “Exiting the European Union will sorely impact a young generation of people – my generation – born European citizens with the right to travel freely and work anywhere in the European Union. We now face an uncertain future in which these rights are likely to be revoked- another unwelcome blow in a series of unfortunate events, leaving a generation already financially stretched and disillusioned.”

Ruth added: “I was shocked and saddened by the EU referendum result of June 2016. I felt the need to respond artistically to such a momentous occasion and the idea for the work originated from a place of disappointment about the position in which we currently find ourselves. The score is the most complex thing I’ve ever written. The piece is written for 28 pianos, each representing a European country. The composition tells the story of the EU chronologically and the pianists join the ensemble in the order that their country did, marking their entrance with their national anthem.”

The music denotes significant moments in European history, such as Britain’s ECC in/out referendum in 1975,  ‘Black Wednesday’ in 1992 and Brexit in 2017.  The UK Brexit piano will symbolically be white.

Melvin Besbrode who is hosting the event said, “I am delighted to support Ruth and her artistic vision. Even though we export £1m worth of pianos to China I am saddened by the potential impact of Brexit and the possible break-up of the EU.  I travel extensively around Europe to buy and restore antique pianos and I worry for the future, not just for trading opportunities, but the potential rise of discrimination, isolationism, inequality and division.”


Picture attached shows 23 year old artist, Ruth Spencer Jolly

See short video about the project here

For media enquiries and to attend the Q&A panel discussion contact, 07531948014

A full performance of ‘European Unison’ with wine and nibbles will take place on Sunday 26th March from 6pm. Free to the general public.  To reserve your ticket click here 

About Ruth Spencer Jolly

Ruth Spencer Jolly is an emerging artist from Birmingham. She recently graduated from the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford and is currently Artist in Residence at St George’s School, Ascot. She has been noted as ‘one to watch’, profiled on Radio 3 Young Artists’ Day in 2015 and has featured in the Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibitions this year. She specialises in an interdisciplinary practice called ‘Musart’ which lies in the grey zone between the visual arts and music.

About Besbrode Pianos

Besbrode Pianos is a specialist piano dealer and wholesaler based in Holbeck in Leeds.  A hidden gem, this spectacular 1780’s mill consists of three storeys contains hundreds of European antique and modern pianos. Melvin Besbrode has run his family business for 30 years and is a specialist restorer of grand and upright pianos stocking  Steinway Bosendorfer, Bechstein, Yamaha and Kawai.