Andrei Gavrilov

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Andrei Gavrilov
Andrei Gavrilov, pianist.jpg
Andrei Gavrilov, January 2017.
Andrei Vladimirovich Gavrilov / Андрей Владимирович Гаврилов (Russian)

(1955-09-21) September 21, 1955 (age 64)
EducationMoscow Conservatory, Moscow
Years active1974–present
Parent(s)Vladimir Gavrilov (father)
Assanetta Eguiserian (mother)
Musical career

Andrei Gavrilov (in Russian Андрей Гаврилов, born September 21, 1955) is a Swiss pianist of Russian background.

Early life and music career[edit]

Andrei Gavrilov was born into a family of artists in Moscow. His father was Vladimir Gavrilov (May 30, 1923 – December 4, 1970), one of the eminent Russian painters during the middle of the 20th century, through whom Gavrilov also has German ancestors. His mother was the Armenian pianist Assanetta Eguiserian (December 20, 1925 – November 29, 2006), who had studied with Heinrich Neuhaus and gave Gavrilov his first piano lessons at age 2. In 1961 he was inducted at the Moscow Central Music School and became a student of Tatyana Kestner, who had studied with Alexander Goldenweiser. He completed his studies with another Neuhaus disciple, Lev Naumov, at the Moscow Conservatory. By the age of 18, after one semester at the conservatory,[1] he won the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1974 and rose to international fame when, at the Salzburg Festival the same year, he substituted for Sviatoslav Richter. Until 1979, Gavrilov performed in all the major music centers of the world performing up to 90 concerts a year, while continuing his studies at the university.[1]

In 1979, at the first peak of Gavrilov's career, Herbert von Karajan, who had heard him in Tchaikovsky's First Concerto in Berlin, offered recordings of all the Rachmaninoff concertos, despite the fact that Karajan only rarely conducted them. In December 1979, recordings were scheduled in Berlin with the Berlin Philharmonic for the 2nd concerto, but Gavrilov did not appear for the rehearsals. It was discovered that due to his critical remarks about the Soviet regime, the head of the KGB and later General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Yuri Andropov, with the approval of Leonid Brezhnev, had seized Gavrilov's passport and the flight ticket and cut his telephone line. Later, Gavrilov was put under mandatory house arrest and at times he was committed to psychiatric wards. Militia guarding Gavrilov once showed him an official order where it was stated that a fatal accident would not be unwelcome.[2]

Only through Mikhail Gorbachev's eventual intervention did this end in 1984, and Gavrilov received a "free passport", so that he could perform again in the West without having to obtain political asylum. In the following years, he lived in London and in Bad Camberg near Wiesbaden, Germany from 1989 and also assumed German citizenship.

In 1993, he retired from the active cultural scene, cancelled concerts and did not make any further studio recordings.[2] According to an interview with The Guardian: "I wasn't satisfied with myself. In a material sense I was doing very well. But I knew if I was to continue in this way I would never be the artist I dreamed of being - free, original, idealistic, out of the so-called musical industry, which is a contradiction in terms."[2]

The planned two-year sabbatical eventually grew to eight years. At this time he studied the intentions of the composers in their works, religious and philosophical questions, lived half a year in Fiji, and fundamentally reworked his piano technique.[1] In 2001 he moved to Lucerne, Switzerland and resumed concertizing in the 2001/02 season. Since August 2008 he has been living with his second wife and their son in Kanton Zürich.

In 1974 Melodiya recorded the 1st Tchaikovsky Concerto at the prize winner's concert of the Tchaikovsky Competition together with a live solo recital. In 1976 a studio recording of Rachmaninoff's 3rd concerto followed. From 1977 to 1989 he worked exclusively for EMI. From that time comes the legendary recording of the Chopin Études and many other works, notably by Chopin, Scriabin, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff and J. S. Bach. From 1991 to 1993 he recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, where he also duplicated some works already recorded for EMI. A number of projects, many with recordings new to Gavrilov's discography, were announced in 1992 but not realized: Bach's English Suites, the complete Beethoven piano concerti, the Choral Fantasia and the Diabelli Variations, as well as vaguer plans for works by Liszt (Transcendental Etudes, Paganini Etudes), Ravel's complete works for piano solo and with orchestra, and the piano concertos of Grieg and Schumann.[3]

In 2012 Andrei Gavrilov held master classes for the first time, in Madrid and later in London.[4][5] In 2013 he completed writing his three volume autobiography, the first volume of which was published in Russian[6] and German[7] in March and April 2014, and in English[8] in December 2016. He also made his first new recording for 20 years: a CD of Chopin Nocturnes, which was done specially to be included with each copy of the book.

In April 2013 Andrei Gavrilov performed a concert in Belgrade playing and conducting three romantic concertos in one evening, with a full symphony orchestra.[9] He played another concert conducting two romantic concertos from the piano in Bristol in May 2014.[10]

Complete discography[edit]

If not stated otherwise, recordings up to 1976 are released on Melodiya, those from 1977 to 1989 on EMI (in the beginning as a co-production with Melodiya), those from 1991 to 1993 on Deutsche Grammophon.





  • Handel: Suites HWV 426, 429, 431, 432, 436, 437, 440, 447 (live from the Tours Festival on Chateau de Marcilly-sur-Maulne; the other suites were played by Sviatoslav Richter).
  • Prokofiev: 10 Pieces from Romeo and Juliet; Piano Sonata No. 8.
  • Weber: Grand Duo Concertant, Op 48; Hindemith: Violin Sonata, Op. 11; Schnittke: Violin Sonata No. 2. With Gidon Kremer.


  • Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3, with USSR State Symphony Orchestra conducted by Yuri Temirkanov. Live, Melodiya.
  • Weber: Grand Duo Concertant, Op. 48; Brahms: Clarinet Trio, Op 114; Berg: 4 Pieces for Clarinet and Piano. With Ivan Monighetti, Violoncello, Anatoly Kamishev, Clarinet. Melodiya.












  • J. S. Bach: Goldberg Variations
  • Britten: Friday Afternoons, Op. 7, Golden Vanity, Op. 78 (both with Wiener Sängerknaben); Sailing, Night, Ballad of Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard (all from Holiday Suite, Op. 5).
  • Prokofiev: 10 Pieces from Romeo und Juliet; Suggestion diabolique. Prelude, Op 12/7. Ravel: Gaspard de la Nuit; Pavane pour une infante défunte.


  • J. S. Bach: French Suites.
  • Grieg: Lyric Pieces, Opp. 12/1; 38/1; 43/1, 2, 6; 47/2-4; 54/1-5; 57/6; 62/4; 65/5-6; 68/3,5; 71/1-3, 6-7



  • Chopin: 9 Nocturnes, No.1 in B flat minor, Op.9/1; No.8 in D flat major, Op.27/2; No.20 in C sharp minor, Op.posth.; No.5 in F sharp major, Op.15/2; No.9 in B major, Op.32/1; No.4 in F major, Op.15/1; No.15 in F minor, Op.55/1; No.10 in A flat major, Op.32/2; No.13 in C minor, Op.48/1 (recording: 17.5.2013 Fazioli Hall, Sacile, Italy)

TV and radio broadcasts and other recordings[edit]








Other recordings[edit]



  1. ^ a b c Gavrilov, Andrei (2004). "Bechstein ist Balsam" (PDF). (in German). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 November 2007.
  2. ^ a b c Moss, Stephen (21 December 2006). "The pianist who fell to earth". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  3. ^ Gramophone June 1992
  4. ^ "Ebi y Gavrilov actuarán en Encuentros Internacionales de Musica de Alcobendas - - Noticias Agencias". ABC. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  5. ^ "Piano Masterclass With Andrei Gavrilov at The Red Hedgehog, London". Retrieved 2015-07-17.
  6. ^ "Андрей Гаврилов "Чайник, Фира и Андрей"". Книжный магазин «Москва». Archived from the original on 2015-07-21. Retrieved 2015-07-17.
  7. ^ Andrei Gavrilov: Tchaikovsky, Fira and Me. Diederichs Verlag (Hardcover). Archived from the original on 2014-03-12. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
  8. ^ Andrei Gavrilov: Andrei, Fira and Pitch: Scenes from a Musician Life. Asteroid Publishing (Paperback – December 20, 2016).
  9. ^ "Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrei Gavrilov at Kolarac (12 Apr 13)". Songkick. Retrieved 2015-07-17.
  10. ^ "Bristol Ensemble Northern Lights: Andrei Gavrilov / Shows / Colston Hall". colston hall listings. Retrieved 2015-07-17.
  11. ^ Moss, Stephen (2006-12-21). "'Feel free': Gavrilov plays Chopin". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-04-13.

External links[edit]