David Helfgott Shines with the Metropolitan Orchestra

A genius is born not made and when genius is dished out it can be the sunny side of an endowment inextricably linked with darker shadows which set the individual apart from the rest of us in ways that are both blessed and cursed.

The extraordinarily gifted pianist David Helfgott has thrilled and intrigued audiences, and Sydney audiences will have the opportunity to hear him in August, in performance with The Metropolitan Orchestra, conducted by Sarah-Grace Williams.

David Helfgott won the state finals of the ABC Instrumental and Vocal Competition 6 times. He was noticed by Barenboim, Katchen and Stern which led him to continue his studies at the Royal College of Music in London when was 19. Sadly, ill health forced a return to home in Perth in 1970 and for over a decade David Helfgott retired from public life. In 1984, he returned to the stage in a comeback described by his wife Gillian with one word that became the title of film about him. In a 2004 interview with ABC reporter George Negus, she said: “Twelve years since he’d had a fully professional performance. And when he went back onto that concert platform in June of 1984, the courage that took was enormous. And he went out there and he conquered the audience and he just shone.”

This renaissance triggered a world tour and further study. In 1996 Geoffrey Rush gave a brilliant and sensitive portrayal of the pianist in the movie Shine, a role which won him the Oscar for Best Actor.

The music that drove Helfgotts’ renaissance was Rachmaninoff’s third piano concerto – popularly known as The Shine Concerto. He will reprise this masterwork along with works by Katchaturian, Mendelssohn and Beethoven.

David Helfgott has been enormously popular on his current European tour with his mesmerising performances which earned him a 16 minute standing ovation after a performance of the Rachmaninov Third Piano Concerto with the Stuttgarter Symphoniker conducted by Matthias Foremny in Vienna.

Read a full trnascipt of George Negus interviewing David Helfgott at:


Tickets: From $59 (additional fees may apply) and Concessions are available.

Book at www.cityrecitalhall.com or call (02) 8256 2222 or in person at City Recital Hall Angel Place.

Full programme:

BACH Italian Concerto

BEETHOVEN Sonata Op. 57 The Appasionata

RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No. 3



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