On the occasion of Green Cross International’s 20th anniversary, several celebratory events will take place in Geneva, among them an exceptional concert by world-acclaimed pianist Andrei Gavrilov at Victoria Hall on Monday 2 September, at 8pm.
Andrei Gavrilov was born on 21 September 1955 in Moscow. His father was a famous Russian painter and his mother, who was of Armenian origin, taught him piano from the age of two. He won the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in the 1974, during the “Cold War”. After the thunderous victory of the competition by American pianist Van Cliburn in 1958, the Russians were determined to produce the best pianists in the world and to showcase them to the world through this prestigious competition. Andrei Gavrilov was no exception.
Thus, in 1971, Gavrilov’s participation was announced at the 1974 Tchaikovsky Competition. Student of Leo Naoumov with whom he prepared for the event, Andrei Gavrilov won first prize, immediately conquering the hearts of the jury and the public through his brilliant playing. In 1976, he performed in London at the Royal Festival Hall and from 1978 he gave 30 concerts while touring in Europe with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1985, he could be found at Carnegie Hall, in Chicago, Philadelphia, Montreal, Vienna, Tokyo with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Mutti, Seiji Ozawa. Until 1990, he wan EMI’s exclusive artist before signing a contract with Deutsche Grammophon, considered a legendary performer of Chopin, Prokofiev, Bach, Schubert and Grieg.
The “lion of the keyboard” is often how Gavrilov is referred to. Yet this expression is too simplistic and ordinary to describe the playing of such an inspired artist. To watch Gavrilov play is to realize how a pianist can be inhabited by an ideal personal aesthetic. He does not play hard and fast just for the sake of displaying his brilliant and infallible technique, as he is an uncompromising, strict and engaged pianist, faithful to the original texts.
Andrei Gavrilov also distinguished himself by his political positions. His criticism of the Soviet institutions and ministers, including the Culture and his categorical refusal to play in front of Brezhnev in the Kremlin in 1979 resulted in sanctions being levied against him. In 1980, at the peak of his career, his passport was withdrawn and he was placed under house arrest, forbidden to perform in concert for three years. During this time, several attempts were made on his life. Without the intervention of Mikhail Gorbachev in 1984, he would never have had a chance to continue his career as a leading internationally renowned musician.
His repertoire is vast, ranging from Scarlatti, Bach and Mozart to Scriabin through Stockhausen, Liszt, Rachmaninoff and Chopin. Andrei Gavrilov last performed in Geneva in 1991. In 1993, he left the scene and stopped recording to achieve new spiritual heights as an artist. He returned to world podiums at the starts of the 21st century. Exceptionally, he played at the Tonhalle in Zurich in 2011 and in Cairo in the beginning of 2013. The rarity of his performances makes them even more privileged.
Since 2008, he has lived with his family in Zurich, Switzerland, and has often been seen at the Lucerne Festival of which he is a member of the Board of Directors. In 2013 – declared International Year of Water Cooperation by the UNESCO – the gala concert of Andrei Gavrilov will help raise funds for Green Cross’ flagship access to water and sanitation project “Smart Water for Green Schools”. Launched in February 2010, this project has already been deployed in communities in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.
- 9 Nocturnes
- B minor – Op 9, N°1
- Db major – Op 27, N°2
- C minor – Op KK VI a N° 16 Posth
- F major – Op 15, N°2
- B major – Op 32, N°1
- F major – Op 15, N° 1
- F minor – Op 55, N° 1
- A flat major- O p32, N°2
- C minor – Op 48, N°1
- Sonata N° 8 in B flat
Tickets go on sale 21 May. Costs:
- 80 CHF 1st category
- 60 CHF 2nd category
- 40 CHF 3rd category
- 20 CHF 4th category
- 20 and under free!
Other events taking place as part of the 20th anniversary include a special photographic exhibition on Quai Wilson starting 20 June, and the 3 September Earth Dialogues conference and debut performance of the musical titled: 2050: The Future We Want.
For more information, contact:
- Migros Culturel Service – T 022 319 61 11
- City of Geneva – T 0800 418 418
- CAGI Kiosque UN – T 022 546 14 07