RACHMANINNOV'S 24 PRELUDES
PIANO RECITAL BY ANDREY GUGNIN
THURSDAY 7 MARCH 2024
VICTORIA CONCERT HALL
“Extraordinarily versatile and agile technique, which serves an often inspired musical imagination” (Gramophone)
Rachmaninov’s 24 Preludes are almost entirely in the realms of emotional confession, exploring the poetics of heroic struggle and longing. They make optimal use of the full-size, industrial-strength concert grand piano, enabling it to fill all but the largest concert hall with an illusion of orchestral impact. Even the greatest virtuoso has to rise to their double challenges of athleticism and poetry.
To take them on is celebrated Moscow-born pianist Andrey Gugnin, famous for his virtuoso and passionate interpretation style. The world took notice of his talent after he won both the Gold Medal and the Audience Prize at the 2014 Gina Bachauer Piano Competition, and First Prize at the 2016 Sydney Piano Competition. Since then he has given solo recitals and performed with great ensembles in some of the world’s greatest venues, and built a discography that has swept multiple accolades and awards, including “Recording of the Month” and the Instrumental award by BBC Music Magazine and “Editor’s Choice” by Gramophone.
RACHMANINOV – Prelude, Op. 3 No. 2
RACHMANINOV – 10 Preludes, Op. 23
RACHMANINOV – 13 Preludes, Op. 32
(Programme subject to change at the artist's discretion)
ANDREY GUGNIN, piano
Concert pianist Andrey Gugnin is rapidly gaining international acclaim as a passionately virtuosic performer, who possesses an “extraordinarily versatile and agile technique, which serves an often inspired musical imagination” (Gramophone). In 2020, the BBC Music Magazine Awards named Gugnin the winner of the Instrumental Award for his recording Shostakovich: 24 Preludes - Piano Sonatas 1 & 2 (Hyperion). Since winning the prestigious Sydney International Piano Competition in 2016, Gugnin has gone from strength to strength in concerts and recordings which exhibit his impassioned interpretations.
In addition to winning in Sydney, Gugnin also received prizes at this illustrious competition for Best Overall Concerto, Best 19th/20th Century Concerto, Best Violin and Piano Sonata, and Best Preliminaries for his first-round recital. His also won the Gold Medal and Audience Award at the XCI International Gina Bachauer Piano Competition in 2014, and second prize at the 2013 Beethoven International Piano Competition in Vienna.
Increasingly in demand as a concerto soloist, Gugnin has been invited to perform as a guest artist with notable orchestras worldwide, such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mariinsky Symphony Orchestra, the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia, the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, Utah Symphony, West Australian Symphony Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony, and has performed under the distinguished batons of Maestro Valery Gergiev, Jaap Van Zweden, Reinbert de Leeuw, Daniel Raiskin, Stanislav Kochanovsky and Asher Fisch. He has also collaborated in a more chamber context with the Asko Schönberg ensemble, Orchestre de Chambre de Genève, Jerusalem Camerata and Camerata Salzburg and on several occasions as the duo partner of violinist Tasmin Little.
As a recording artist, Gugnin has published a broad scope of repertoire ranging from solo piano to symphonic works. His release of Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes (Piano Classics, 2018) were commended as Editor’s Choice, and distinguished Gugnin as “one to watch” (Gramophone). Other notable recordings include his duo programme with violinist Ioana Cristina Goicea (Atoll Records, 2019), an inspired selection of solo piano suites entitled Pictures (Steinway & Sons, 2016), and a collection of piano duets with Vadim Kholodenko (Delos International, 2010). Andrey has also extensively recorded for TV and radio in Russia, The Netherlands, Croatia, Austria, Australia, Switzerland and the USA.
Currently Gugnin continues his collaboration with Hyperion Records. His latest album of complete Scriabin’s Mazurkas (2022) was awarded the Recording of the Month by Limelight Magazine.
In addition to these recordings, Gugnin’s Shostakovich Concertos (Delos International, 2007) were selected to feature on the soundtrack of Steven Speilberg’s Oscar®-winning film Bridge of Spies.
Gugnin’s expanding list of performance venues include Vienna’s Musikverein, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Victoria Hall in Geneva, Carnegie Hall in New York, Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City, Sydney Opera House, the Great Hall of the Moscow State Conservatory, Mariinsky Concert Hall, the Louvre in Paris, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space and Asahi Hamarikyu Hall. Gugnin has also participated in a plethora of international festivals, including Verbier, Klavier Festival Ruhr, Mariinsky International Festival, Dubrovnik Summer Festival, the Ohrid Summer Festival and the Duszniki Chopin International Festival.
In 2020-21, as allowed by the Covid pandemic, Gugnin embarked on performing numerous solo recitals at prestigious venues in Russia. Gugnin joined Tasmin Little in her farewell concert at the Southbank Centre as one of her four favourite pianists to collaborate with, which was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and for which Andrey was praised for his ‘emphatic, mesmerising playing’ (Bachtrack).
In the season 2023/24, he will be returning to the Bard Music Festival in New York, Husum Festival in Germany, recitals in Salzburg and Linz in Austria, a tour in Japan (recitals in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Takasaki and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with Nagoya Phillharmonic Orchestra), in Spain (Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 with Orquesta Clasica Santa Cecilia in Auditorio Nacional de Musica in Madrid), and recitals in Portugal, Singapore, Taiwan and Australia, where he will have recitals in Sydney and Melbourne and will be acting as an artistic director of the OutWest Piano Fest.