Photo by Vladimir Vyatkin
Andrei Gavrilov was born in Moscow in 1955 in an artistic family. His father Vladimir Gavrilov was a well known Russian artist, while his mother was a prominent pianist of the school of Heinrich Neuhaus. After being taught piano by his mother, Gavrilov graduated from Central Music School at Moscow State Conservatory in 1973 with Professor Tatiana Kestner. Later in the same year, he entered Moscow Conservatory where he studied in the class of Professor Lev Naumov.
In 1974, at the age of 18, Andrei Gavrilov won first prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition and in the same year made a triumphant international debut at the Salzburg Festival when he was substituting for Sviatoslav Richter. Since then he has enjoyed an impressive international career which included performances with the world's greatest orchestras.
He made his London debut in 1976 with Paavo Berglund and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in the Royal Festival Hall. In 1978 he performed with the Berlin Philharmonic in a European concert tour that included 30 performances. By 1980 he had performed in all of the major cultural centers in the world. In 1984, Andrei Gavrilov made a triumphant return to the British concert platform, after a few years of politically enforced absence, giving recitals at the Barbican and the Royal Festival Hall. During that period of his life, he successfully petitioned Mikhail Gorbachev for his freedom, and became the first Soviet artist to be granted permission to stay in the West without having to file for political asylum.
Following his Carnegie Hall debut in 1985, Andrei Gavrilov was proclaimed "a major artist" by The New York Times' Donal Henahan. He has since performed with orchestras in New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, Philadelphia, Montreal, Toronto, London, Vienna, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Moscow, St-Petersburg and many other major orchestras with conductors including Abbado, Haitink, Muti, Ozawa, Svetlanov, Tennstedt, Rattle and Neville Mariner among numerous others. Between 1976 and 1990, Andrei Gavrilov was an exclusive artist with EMI, winning several international prizes including the Gramophone award in 1979, Deutscher Schallplattenpreis in 1981, Grand Prix International du Disque de L'Academie Charles Crois in 1985 and 1986, and International Record Critics Award (IRCA) in 1985. In 1998 Andrei Gavrilov was included in Philips' "Great Pianists of the Twentieth Century" collection. His achievements also include the International Accademia Musicale Chigiana Prize assigned to him in 1989 when the jury of music critics proclaimed him “the greatest pianist of the world”.
In October 1990 Andrei Gavrilov signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. That contract resulted in acclaimed recordings of him performing Chopin, Prokofiev, Schubert, Bach and Grieg.
In 1994 – 2001, Andrei Gavrilov took a 7 years long pause during which he performed almost no concerts devoting his time to the studies of philosophy and religion as well as to searching for new ideas and new approaches to music.
In 2001 he made his triumphant comeback starting with his tour to Russia where he played 4 piano concertos in one evening at the Moscow Conservatory. Since then he has been performing more and more regular around the world with greater success than ever. In 2008 Gavrilov came back for a concert to the United States. In 2009 he made a world tour marked with enormous success. In February 2010 he was invited to the Vienna Philharmonic Golden Hall to play 4 concertos in a row after a 14 years long break. The concerts were received with great critical acclaim.
In 2013 Andrei Gavrilov completed writing his three-volume autobiography the first volume of which was published in Russian and German in March and April 2014 respectively. In December 2016 it was also published in English. The book was accompanied with his new recording of Chopin Nocturnes, which was made specially to be included in this book.
In April 2013 Andrei Gavrilov realized his long time dream of conducting all concertos from the piano himself. He performed a concert in Belgrade playing and conducting three romantic concertos in one evening with a full symphony orchestra. The concert was completely packed, and everyone in the audience was enthralled by the supreme finesse and musicianship of all the players. It was a truly memorable if not to say magic evening. In May 2014, Gavrilov performed another special in Bristol, USA were he was conducting two romantic concertos from the piano. In 2015 Gavrilov gave two concerts in Bucharest (Romania) with the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra and in 2016 he was back in Bristol playing and conducting major piano concertos with even greater success. In 2017 similar performances were given by him in Pecs and Budapest (Hungary), Catania (Italy) and 5 cities concert tour throughout Ukraine. In October 2017 Gavrilov will perform a concert in the same revolutionary format (without conductor) for the first time in Asia where he is going to play in Seoul (South Korea) with the SPO Philharmonic Orchestra.
Andrei Gavrilov is planning to publish series of CD / DVD recordings that will include his performances of Bach, Chopin, Liszt, Schumann and other master composers.