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In addition to works by Messiaen and Lizst, the program will feature Gainsford's interpretation of Beethoven's Sonata no. 29 in B-flat Major ("Hammerklavier"), which Gainsford calls the "Mount Everest of the literature." Born in New Zealand, Gainsford began full-time music study with that country's top piano teachers before a grant from the Woolf Fisher Trust enabled him to move to London. There he studied privately with Brigitte Wild, a protégée of Claudio Arrau, before winning a place in the advanced solo studies course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His first concert tour in the United States came in 1990. "The perfect combination of head, heart, and hands" wrote one critic in response to one of Gainsford's performances. Since then Gainsford has received critical and popular acclaim for his interpretations of piano music ranging from Mozart to Messiaen to Rachmaninoff.
Gainsford has performed on four continents, including solo debuts at Wigmore Hall and Weill Hall in Carnegie Hall. He has also played in the Kennedy Center, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and St. Martin-in-the-Fields. He has recorded for the Amoris label, BBC Radio Three, and Radio New Zealand's Concert Programme and has broadcast on national television in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Yugoslavia.
More information on School of Music concerts is available at the School of Music website.
Contributed by Erik Kibelsbeck