David Helfgott returns to SA

2007-02-20 14:35
Good news for concert fans. David Helfgott will be returning to South Africa to celebrate his 60th birthday with a series of concerts. He will be performing four concerts, one of which will take place on 19 May, his birthday. Concerts in Cape Town will be on 9 and 13 May, and in Gauteng on 19 and 20 May.

You can win tickets to the shows in our Win section .

Helfgott, who is known for transcending views of performance and interpretation, performed in South Africa in 1998, 2001 and 2004 to sold-out audiences. He has graced the stages of Europe, Canada, USA, England and the Far East for the past 25 years, making a lasting impression on audiences with his exceptional talent. Recordings by Helfgott have been awarded with numerous prestigious awards.

Helfgott’s life story was adapted into an award-winning movie Shine, starring Geoffrey Rush.

The concerts in Cape Town will take place at the Cape Town City Hall and in Johannesburg at the Linder Auditorium in Parktown. The highlight of the four-concert series promises to be the one on 19 May, the day of David Helfgott’s 60th birthday.

Bookings can now be made at Computicket.

Short Bio

DAVID HELFGOTT was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1947.

At 17, he began studying with Alice Carrard, a former student of Bela Bartok and Istvan Thoman, himself a pupil of Liszt. Two years later, David went to London to study at the Royal College of Music with Cyril Smith, who described him as his most brilliant student in 25 years of teaching.

As a student David won a number of awards, including the Dannreuther Prize for Best Concerto Performance for his triumphant performance of Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto.

After a time away from the public eye, David was brought back to the general public’s attention by Dr Chris Reynolds, who owned a wine bar in Perth, where David performed on Saturday nights. It was here that David met his future wife, Gillian, who, with the support of promoter Mike Parry, helped David to gradually resume his concert career with performances in Perth and a sell-out tour of Australia’s eastern states in 1986.

David’s recording of the Rachmaninov 3rd Piano Concerto was named “Classical Record of the Year” by Billboard Magazine in 1997.

In October 1996, David played four sold-out concerts at the Sydney Opera House, an unprecedented occurrence. A challenging world tour followed the next year, with packed recitals and performances throughout the US and the UK, concluding with David’s return to the Royal Albert Hall in London, where he played the Rachmaninov 3rd Piano Concerto to a capacity crowd.

In 2002 David was invited to represent Australia at the Beijing Music Festival and in Guangzhou, while 2003 saw a triumphant tour of Europe.

One of the major highlights of David’s career came in October 2004 when the Edith Cowan University in Western Australia awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Music.

David conquered Europe yet again in 2005 and 2006. He played the Rachmaninov 3rd Piano Concerto in Italy, Austria and Switzerland, plus recitals in Spain, Norway and Denmark.

On 26 November 2006 David was inducted into The Australian Walk of Fame.


David Helfgott is returning to South Africa to celebrate his 60th birthday with a series of concerts.

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