Star of BBC Proms returns to play in Waikanae

From rave reviews at the recent BBC Proms in London’s Royal Albert Hall to the Waikanae Memorial Hall could be said to be quite a step back, but not one that bothers multi award-winning international pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk.

Gary enjoys coming to Waikanae he will be making his third visit on Sunday 22 October and the Waikanae Music Society audience cannot wait to again hear the pianist who has been described by the great Vladimir Ashkenazy as “a major talent”.

At the end of last year’s concert the sizeable crowd leapt to their feet in a spontaneous standing ovation and the general consensus was that this was the best ever concert in the 38 years of Waikanae Music Society. Since then his reputation has soared to new heights, culminating in his debut at the prestigious BBC Proms playing Rachmaninov’s incredibly difficult third concerto. Reviews were rhapsodic: “Gavrylyuk’s ease with Rachmaninov’s passagework was startling. Technique is one thing, taste is another. His triplets and trills were pert and crisp, and the clarity and quietness were revelatory…” (The Times). Some New Zealand radio listeners will have heard this performance recently broadcast on Radio NZ Concert.

Alexander Gavrylyuk first reached the notice of the musical world when he won the First prize and Gold Medal at the 1999 Horowitz International Piano Competition, followed by First Prize at the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in Japan in 2000 when the Japanese press lauded him as the “most talented 16-year old pianist of the second half of the 20th Century”. Most significantly, in 2005 he took the coveted Gold Medal at the renowned Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Masters Competition.

Alexander’s CDs have earned prolific praise too, for example: “… a virtuoso in the fullest sense. he remains among an elite able to reach out far beyond mere proficiency to the musical heart… Gavrylyuk is as vivid and characterful as he is dextrous.” (Gramophone Magazine). There is little doubt that all these attributes will be found in his programme for Waikanae which ranges from Busoni’s virtuoso transcription of Bach’s famous Toccata and Fugue, through the sparkling clarity of Haydn to a generous selection of beloved Chopin Etudes and Rachmaninov Preludes, plus Scriabin’s Sonata which the composer described as “a great poem for piano” and culminating in Rachmaninov’s fiery second sonata. Definitely, a concert not to be missed.

The concert, Gavrylyuk’s only NZ appearance this year, is in the Waikanae Memorial Hall, starting at 2.30pm. Tickets are available are Waikanae New World, at Moby Dickens Books in Paraparaumu Beach and at Lush Design Gallery in Raumati. Enquiries are welcome on 04 905 6070 or visit