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Bravura virtuosity

Miami International Piano Festival


A cornucopia of the world's finest young pianists gathered in Miami Beach for the Miami International Piano Festival (13-15 May 2005). In truly festive style some of the greatest masterpieces ever written for the keyboard were presented in world class performances.

On 13 May 2005 at the Lincoln Theater in Miami Beach, Florida, USA, Ukrainian firebrand Alexander Gavrylyuk commenced the proceedings. Gavrylyuk is the Gold Medal Winner of Israel's Artur Rubinstein Competition. From his remarkable playing and artistic insight, it was easy to see what impressed the competition jury. His awesome technique is matched by the ability to bring musical personality and character to every phrase. Gavrylyuk's supercharged performance of Brahms's Paganini Variations was stunning. He commanded a remarkable dynamic range. Extremes of volume at both ends and wide ranging keyboard leaps were conjured up with dizzying magic.

Alexander Gavrylyuk. Photo © Roy Quesada
Alexander Gavrylyuk. Photo © Roy Quesada

Gavrylyuk evoked the ecstatic frenzy of Scriabin's Sonata No 5 with an endless rainbow of cascading colors and tonal hues. He vividly conveyed the visionary mysticism of Scriabin's musical language. For sheer pianistic bravura Gavrylyuk's Scriabin evoked memories of such legends as Horowitz and Richter. His fierce approach to Prokofiev's wartime Sonata No 6 brought home the terror that this music so vividly conveys. Yet the waltz was darkly romantic and intoxicating. In a stunning encore Gavrylyuk unleashed a firestorm with Liszt's roulades on Mendelssohn's Wedding March, played with astounding tonal clarity and pianistic thunder.

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Copyright © 15 December 2005 Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA


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