David Helfgott


David Helfgott

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Instrumental and Vocal Competition six times, and came to the attention of Daniel Barenboim, Julius Katchen and Talas Vassary. Isaac Stern was so impressed with David's playing at fourteen that he urged overseas study for the young prodigy. However, it was not until five years later that David went to London to study at the Royal College of Music with Cyril Smith.

In 1970, however, illness overtook David and he returned to Perth and a decade of obscurity. He emerged only in the 1980s, giving his first major recital for twelve years in June 1984. Two years later, David returned overseas for study with the great pedagogue, Peter Feuchtwanger, who summed up his talents:

I am reluctant to use the word genius, but I would certainly make an exception with David Helfgott. He is certainly one of the most exceptional pianists and musicians I have ever had the good fortune to know.

Recitals in London, Bonn, Vienna, Budapest and Copenhagen followed, to critical acclaim. Rainer Lersmacher wrote in Bonner Rundscha (1989):

David Helfgott is a pianistic phenomenon and genius at the same time a natural, through breathtaking, technical and interpretative brilliance.


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