It was a full house for Sydney International Piano Competition winner Alexander Gadjiev’s afternoon concert at Greenway Chapel in Green Point, presented by the Central Coast Conservatorium of Music.
The 27-year-old Slovenian-Italian pianist’s Central Coast concert was part of his Australian tour, and also included an intimate morning masterclass with three selected piano students, CCCM student Chris Chen as well as Belinda Taylor and Mary-Ellen Wallace.
Year 12 Central Coast Grammar School student Chris performed Evocacion from Iberia by Spanish composer Isaac Albeniz. Belinda played Rachmaninoff’s Edute Tableaux Op 33. No 2 while Mary-Ellen – Central Coast law professional and piano player Mary-Ellen was also a finalist in the 2022 Sydney Piano Lovers Competition, gaining a Highly Commended played Debussy’s Soiree dans Grenade from Estampes. All pianists are students of Carl Schmidt.
Alexander listened to each student perform, then gave insights on the pieces as well as practical feedback and technical advice on how each performer could hone their skills and develop their pieces even further.
“I really enjoy teaching and being able to give the masterclasses,” Alexander said after the masterclass and concert. He also praised the venue and its stunning forest backdrop. “It actually reminds me of when I was at university in Salzburg and we would perform in a space quite similar, only the backdrop was mountains!” He also signed copies of his ARIA chart-topping CD for fans of all ages.
While on the Central Coast, Alexander also visited koala and more at The Australian Reptile Park and was keen to visit more beaches on his Australian tour. “I hope in Byron Bay to go in the sea,” he said.
After the concert, many Central Coast Conservatorium supporters took to Facebook to congratulate the young pianist.
“One of the best concerts held locally,” said David Gilbert, while Barbara Adams described the event as “unforgettable”.
Winsome Penn said: “Always a beautiful venue and what a wonderful concert. We felt privileged to be part of the dozen people able to attend the 90-minute masterclass in the morning.”
Alexander stole the show at last year’s SIPC competition, scooping half of all the prizes available. At the Central Coast concert, he impressed the audience with a stunning display of virtuosic skills playing pieces by Chopin and Schumann, along with the world premiere of a new work by Australian composer Colin Spiers, who won The Sydney’s ‘Composing the Future’ competition in 2021.
About Alexander Gadjiev
Born in 1994, Gadjiev was raised in a music family from Gorizia, Italy. He began piano lessons with his mother before continuing his training with his father, the acclaimed Russian pianist Siavush Gadjiev, at the Slovenian Centre for Musical Education Emil Komel in Gorizia.
He made his orchestral debut at the age of nine and gave his first piano recital a year later. In 2012 he graduated magna cum laude from the Bruno Maderna Conservatory in Cesena. A notable milestone in his career came in 2015, when he won first prize and the audience prize at the 9th Hamamatsu International Piano Competition. Gadjiev studied at the Mozarteum University Salzburg under Pavel Gililov.