Andrey Gugnin, winner of the 2016 Sydney International Piano Competition, performed at NECOM on Sunday 6 August to a packed audience. The concert got off to a wonderful start when local piano students were offered exclusive front row seats to see the master at work. NECOM's Board Director, Greg Moin, introduced Andrey to the stage where he started off the concert with a diverse range of pieces, covering highly technical works by Bach, Schubert and Shostakovich. Following a quick intermission, Gugnin took to the piano again to perform pieces that were obviously close to his heart, with many concert attendees commenting that Andrey introduced them to composers they had never heard before and tantalised them with fast-paced and evocative pieces by Desyatnikov, Stravinsky and Australian composer, Michael Kieran Harvey. The concert concluded with a standing ovation for Andrey who exited the stage only to return soon after to perform a show-stopping encore, the ‘precipitato’ final movement of Prokofiev’s Piano sonata No.7 ; the ability to execute this incredible work after such a physically-demanding program stunned the audience (who had already been bowled over by his performance of Stravinsky's Trois Mouvements de Petrouchka).
Concert goers shared some animated feedback about the concert and their favourite moments:
"It was so amazing! Especially, his performance after interval was absolutely stunning. Thank you for NECOM organising this wonderful concert. Add to this, thanks to letting children sit in the front rows. It was a great opportunity for kids and they are so inspired."
"…hard to pick one moment. The performance was a joy from beginning to end."
"…the Shostakovich and the Michael Kieran-Harvey pieces were the 'heart-in-mouth' performances, plus the Prokofiev encore!!!"