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Andrei Gavrilov (b1955)

After preliminary lessons with his mother, herself a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory, from the age of six Gavrilov received lessons from Tatyana Kestner, a pupil of Alexander Goldenweiser. Always a compulsive and intense person, Gavrilov received his final training from Lev Naumov, who, claims Gavrilov, curbed his ‘ungovernable temperament’. Naumov prepared Gavrilov for the 1974 Tchaikovsky Competition in which he took first prize, and by the age of nineteen he was in a position to begin an international career. That same year he was invited to replace an indisposed Sviatoslav Richter at the Salzburg Festival; Richter in turn later invited Gavrilov to the Touraine Festival in France. Gavrilov’s London debut brought rave reviews for his stunning virtuosity, and his American debut was at the Newport Music Festival. This was followed by his debut in Germany with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and a tour, after which Gavrilov conquered Japan. The authorities in the USSR however were not pleased with Gavrilov’s behaviour, which included criticism of the musical political establishment. From 1979 Gavrilov was not allowed to leave the USSR, but by 1984 he was back in London astonishing critics with his performances of Scriabin and Rachmaninov. He eventually settled in Germany.




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