Real Piano Music.com
"David to a tea...a hell of a lot of Helfgott" book by Rosanna Every
David plays at home - Rachmaninoff, Op. 32, Nos. 5 and 12
Click HERE for an awesome audio interview with Gillian Helfgott, "David's love affair with the Rach 3"
David performs "The Rach 3" (Live version) with the Metropolitan Orchestra Movement 1
David Helfgott has been a featured artist on Real Piano Music.com since March 24, 2015.
Training for the "Rach 3"
Trailer - "Shine"
Playing "Flight of the Bumblebee"
David plays Franz Liszt - "La Campanella"
David plays Rachmaninoff - Prelude in G Major
David Helfgott and Rhodri Clarke give an amazing dual piano performance of "The Rach 3"
Performing Arts Hub - October 30, 2013, Katherine Gale
Management: Weaver Artists Management
David Helfgott was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1947. He showed extraordinary pianistic ability from an early age, winning the state finals of the ABC’s Instrumental & Vocal Competition six times. At age 17, David began studying with Alice Carrard, a former student of 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 and likened him to Horowitz, both technically and temperamentally.
David won a number of awards at the College, including the Dannreuther Prize for Best Concerto Performance for his triumphant performance of Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto. However, towards the end of his time in London, David faced increased emotional instability and mental excitability, compounded by the death in Perth of his mentor, writer Katherine Susannah Pritchard.
A period of frequent hospitalization followed during the 1970s, but by 1976 David had moved to a halfway house where he stayed for six years. The greatest crisis for David had been the loss of his inner music, but he remembers the day the music came back: “The fog lifted, I could hear again … I survived.”
David was brought back to the public’s attention by Dr. Chris Reynolds, who owned Riccardo’s wine bar in Perth, where David performed on Saturday nights. It was there he meet his future wife, Gillian, who, with the support of promoter Mike Parry, helped David gradually resume his concert career with concert performances in Perth and a sell-out tour of Australia’s eastern states in 1986. This was followed by a trip to Europe, with recitals in Germany and Denmark.
David triumphantly returned to an active life of concert-giving and performance, and made a series of CDs, including the soundtrack of the Oscar-winning film Shine, which celebrates his remarkable and inspiring life. David’s recording of the Rachmaninov Third was the number one selling CD in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom for many months. Both attained gold status.
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, were he played the Rachmaninov Third to a capacity crowd and received a thunderous standing ovation.
Over the next five years, David kept up his world touring, through Asia, Africa, Japan, New Zealand and Europe, while also maintaining a busy Australian schedule. David released four more CDs, including Brilliantissimo, Brave New World, and one featuring the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1 and Rachmaninov’s Variations on a Theme of Paganini, two of David’s favourite works. However, the highlight release for this year was In Viva, a disc containing two movements of the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 24 from David’s prize-winning performance in Perth when he was fourteen years of age.
In 2002, David was invited to represent Australia at the Beijing Music Festival and in Guangzhou, while 2003 saw a triumphant tour of Europe – particularly of Austria, where he completely won the hearts of the Viennese. 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. His whole family was in attendance.
David conquered Europe yet again in 2005 and 2006. In Italy, he played the Rachmaninov Third in Montecatini Terme, where both Verdi and Puccini lived and where David and Gillian were awarded the Key of the City. Then it was on to sell-out performances of the concerto in Vienna and Zurich, plus many recitals in Spain, Norway and Denmark. On 26 November 2006, David was inducted into The Australian Walk of Fame.
In 2007 and 2008, David had extremely successful return tours of South Africa, New Zealand and Japan, and major European tours. But his recital in Sydney in November at the City Recital Hall gained the greatest accolades heard in the Hall in recent memory. The year 2009 opened with David receiving a huge honor when a 2.7 metre sculpture by the internationally recognized sculpture, John Van Der Kolk, was dedicated to David and placed in the Bellingen Council Park in recognition of David’s courage, contribution to music and his work in the community.
In June, David performed in Israel for the first time in both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv as part of the Australian-Israel Cultural Exchange, and then toured Turkey and Europe, with a very successful recital in Vienna receiving one of the greatest ovations of David’s career. He will return there in October 2010, as well as play in Luzern and Denmark.
This extraordinary artist is continuing to receive the worldwide recognition that his remarkable technical and interpretative genius deserves. His continuing success comes as no surprise to David’s legion of devoted admirers everywhere. They have long regarded his recitals as transcending mere music-making. They are an affirmation of the tenacity of the human spirit and imagination.
Biography reprinted with permission
The music you hear is David's performance of "Flight of the Bumblebee" at the 1997 Oscars in the video below.
Click on an album to explore / purchase.
David performs "Flight of the Bumblebee" at the 1997 Oscars
Rich Waterman, Real Piano Music
I was introduced to David Helfgott in 1996, along with millions of other people, through the movie "Shine," which tells the story of David's life as a child prodigy through his adult years where he has embraced his music and overcome adversity. The movie portrays how David was able to rise above the challenges of mental illness with the help of people around him, most notably his new friend and eventual wife Gillian, and triumphantly return to stage performance. The movie was nominated for several Academy Awards including best picture, and actually won the Academy Award for best actor (Geoffrey Rush, who played the role of David Helfgott). At the Academy Awards ceremony, David himself took the stage to play "Flight of the Bumblebee" for a delighted audience (video below). The picture to the right is David and his wife Gillian at the Academy Awards. David's life story and his music touched me in a very personal way. When I saw "Shine," I was inspired to learn to play several of the works of Rachmaninoff who has been my favorite composer ever since. I've seen "Shine" several times and I always have a tear in my eye when David triumphantly returns to the stage to play Franz Liszt's "La Campanella." In my view, David's story, as portrayed in the movie, is not about his genius as a pianist, though he certainly is an immense talent. It's more about the triumph of a man who overcomes great adversity and with the help of people who love him, returns to greatness and achieves his own potential as an artist and as a human being. This fact was lost by several music critics shortly after the movie was released and David had started touring world-wide. They argued that the movie overstated David's genius as a musician. The reality is that millions of people identify with David's story of redemption and personal triumph. David Helfgott will always be an inspiration to me and to millions of others. His inspiration flows not only from his great ability as a pianist, but from the love and joy he pours into the lives of everyone around him every day. Thank you David Helfgott for being who you are and for inspiring all of us to reach a little higher. You will always be a hero to millions of people.
Real Piano Music says:
"Shine" DVD (click below)
"David Helfgott - A Music Journey" DVD
Click HERE to see a great video interview with Gillian Helfgott!
Real Piano Music.com
David performs "The Rach 3" (Live version) with the Metropolitan Orchestra Movement 3
David performs "The Rach 3" (Live version) with the Metropolitan Orchestra Movement 2
Playing the "Rach 3"
Scenes from "Shine"
David plays Franz Liszt - "Un Suspiro" as a wedding gift for his friends
David shares the love with his audience!
David helps children with autisim
David plays "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2"
"David revisits his old college" (mini-documentary)
"Love You to Bits and Pieces" book by Gillian Helfgott (click below)