"You don't have so much of a career now," I say, when I meet the Russian pianist Andrei Gavrilov. In 1974 Gavrilov (left) was the youngest ever winner of the prestigious Tchaikovsky piano competition, aged just 18. He was a protege of the great Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter, and a superstar in the 1980s. In 1990 he had a recording deal with Deutsche Grammophon and the world at his feet - or, rather, his fingertips.
That was then. It's been all downhill since - a story of abandoned concerts, loss of confidence, the end of the DG deal, a broken marriage. It was a personal and artistic implosion, though which fed which is hard to say. I asked a friend, who knows his musical onions, what Gavrilov meant to him. Nothing. He was too young. Gavrilov hasn't made any recordings since the mid-90s, and he hasn't played many concerts either. He was history.
From today's Guardian interview with fallen superstar Andrei Gavrilov, and the article allows you to download new recordings by him of seven Chopin Nocturnes.
* If you don't know Gavrilov's recording of Handel's Keyboard Suites made with Sviatoslav Richter in 1982 when Gavrilov was an EMI superstar you are missing something seriously beautiful - two double CDs at mid-price here and here.
But now follow this link and read about The Real Piano Man
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