Renowned pianist Gavrylyuk to take Amp stage twice in coming days

Katie McLean | Daily file photo
Pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk rehearses before an evening performance in 2013.

Piano recitals at Chautauqua generally take place in intimate venues with just a few dozen or couple hundred in the audience, but tonight, Alexander Gavrylyuk performs from the biggest stage the Institution offers in front of a few thousand adoring fans.

Gavrylyuk, the renowned pianist and Chautauqua community favorite, will give a solo recital at 8:15 p.m. tonight in the Amphitheater.

His program begins with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Rondo in D Major, K.485, and Johannes Brahms’ Variations on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 35. Following an intermission, he’ll perform “Danse Macabre” by Camille Saint-Saëns, “Liebestod” from Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner and three selections by Franz Liszt: Consolation No. 3, “Rábóczy March” and “Tarantella, Venezia e Napoli.”

Gavrylyuk has visited Chautauqua each of the past nine seasons, but visitors during the latter half of the summer have never heard the renowned pianist play from the Amp stage. This week, they have two chances.

The Ukrainian-born Australian pianist will also join the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra at 8:15 p.m. Saturday in the Amphitheater for renditions of Franz Liszt’s Les préludes and George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” in celebration of the 90th anniversary of its premiere.

During his Chautauqua stays, Gavrylyuk also generally conducts several master classes, though his visit in 2014 comes too late to work with students of the School of Music’s Piano Program.  

“Honestly said, I don’t teach one-on-one,” Gavrylyuk told the Daily in 2012. “And Chautauqua is one of the few places that I do that.”

Which is a testament to his devotion to Chautauqua, where he made his debut in 2006 with the CSO on Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 18 in C Minor, following a gold medal win in the 2014 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Israel.

“I am hopelessly and irretrievably captured by the charm and the magic of Chautauqua and the people there,” Gavrylyuk said in 2011. “I find it a great example of harmony, inspiration and the expression of love in many forms.”