IT’S not often that a world-renowned, Russian-trained, international piano competition winner comes to Australia, let alone the Central West.
But award-winning concert pianist Andrey Gugnin is embarking on a national tour, set to share his gift with regional towns all over the country, and Bathurst and Dubbo are lucky enough to be on the circuit.
Since his win at the Sydney International Piano Competition, the young star has been in high demand around the world as, not only a soloist, but also a chamber musician and festival artist.
Gugnin said he fell into piano-playing in his childhood.
“I was seven years old when I started. It was a bit of a coincidence - when I went to private primary school, they had their own music school and I met a really wonderful teacher there,” he said.
“She immediately said to my parents that I had to learn music and that's how I got started.
“Before that, my parents tried to get me into music school but they didn't accept me and everyone just gave up on that idea so I was lucky to meet my teacher and here we are.”
Studying at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, the Russian musician said he loves to bring his music to people.
But being a successful pianist doesn't come without long hours and hard work.
“The amount I practice depends on my schedule. When I’m travelling, it’s hard to maintain very regular practice but I still practice every day, just maybe not as many hours as I would love to have to practice which can be tough,” he said.
“You really do need to practice a lot. The quantity relates to the quality of the playing so I really do need to spend a certain amount of hours on the piano and I enjoy it, so it’s not something forced for me.”
Gugnin's National Recital Series is part of the Sydney International Piano Competition’s celebration of 40 years of the competition.
Gugnin will perform at the Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre on Tuesday, August 8 with tickets available from www.bmec.com.au. He will then perform at Macquarie Conservatorium of Music on Friday, August 11 (www.macqcon.org.au).