Born in Ukraine, schooled in Sydney, killing it all over the world...
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Concert pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk is a mighty example of Australia's booming import-export trade in living cultural assets. Born in 1984 in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second city, he was already winning piano competitions before he moved at the age of 13 to study in Sydney at St Andrew's Cathedral School on a scholarship. He topped the Horowitz comp at 15.
His story almost ended in a car crash, but after four hours of surgery he went on – minus a chunk of skull – to a full recovery, further study at the Australian Institute of Music in Surry Hills, and yet more prestigious competition wins (Hamamatsu, Rubinstein). In recent years he has been giving solo recitals at the world's great halls and performances with the world's great orchestras. His recordings include the Complete Prokofiev Concertos, performed with Sydney Symphony Artistic Advisor Vladimir Ashkenazy.
An Australian citizen since 2003, Gavrylyuk is now based in the old world's new cultural capital, Berlin, with his wife and manager Zoki and their six-month-old daughter Anna. The programme for his concerts in Australia in February includes Bach's Italian Concerto Schumann’s Fantasie and Mussorgsky’s crowd-pleasing Pictures at an Exhibition. Catch him while you still can for $75; it's cheaper than following him to Concertgebouw or the Kremlin.