SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE RECITAL 29 OCTOBER 2016 AT 2 PM
David would love you to come and share three anniversaries with him on 29 October at the Opera House performance. It is twenty years since David gave his memorable 1996 record four sell-out recitals and the anniversary of Shine. An even longer anniversary is the 30 years since Andrew McKinnon started his long and successful career of touring David, and David would have so much joy in sharing these memorable occasions with you.
REVIEW OF PERFORMANCE OF DUO PIANOS RACHMANINOV THIRD PIANO CON CEFRTO WITH DAVID HELFGOTT AND RHODRI CLARKE
Rain. Steady vertical rain.
Wet chairs were wiped by helpful staff.
Umbrellas jostled for position driven by owners more interested in their comfort than others' sight lines.
Humidity fogged the specs, and writing was rendered even less legible by heavenly tears.
And yet this turned out to be a memorable Saturday night at the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival - a night to savour, and a night with the potential to feed a dozen dinner parties.
It began with the film, Shine, a much praised nineties Aussie flick which condensed the life of the remarkably versatile pianist, David Helfgott, into just under two hours.
This film, despite its being about a musician, committed that dastardly cinematic crime of playing mere segments of great musical works and interrupting them with spectacularly explosive moments or fades to black.
But the film worked and by the time the 69-year-old real Mr Helfgott arrived, live, and also dry, on stage, the audience was already won.
He was only stopping off to play one work, the mind-bendingly difficult 3rd concerto by Rachmaninov.
The film introduced him, but no-one was prepared for his arrival in a cossacky yellow shirt accompanied by a black tied co-pianist, Rhodri Clarke, ready to run the Rach 3 on two pianos.
The initial chords promised very different Rachmaninov with Clarke as reliable as a metronome, and Helfgott introducing his characteristically idiosyncratic adaptation.
The occasional time differences in striking a common note, so much the target of count-less critics, here became immaterial.
The couples' interactive technique, their passion for their music and their unique interpretation of the immortal work they were performing over-rode any technical indiscretions and engaged the audience utterly - except for a moment when a woman called through the music to abuse an umbrella owner.
That was followed by loud applause when the offender withdrew - to which a slighty bemused Helfgott gave a tiny acknowledging nod of the head.
The two piano form, despite its arramgement by Rachmaninov, is less dramatic than the orchestral work, but in this context, in such a bizarre ambience, it was perfectly judged.
A memorable evening - for many reasons.
Hamilton New Zealand 29 February 2016
David Helfgott returns to screens in Europe with HELLO I AM DAVID, a very moving film of his concert tour with the Rachmaninov Third Piano concerto.
This is a very touching, funny and uplifting film and a wonderfully sincere portrait of the pianist and catches his irresistible personality and his music. Not to be missed.
Check the Tour Schedule on the web site for the concert details for Graz, Salzburg, Luzern and Copenhagen.
David had the great honour of being selected for the Performing Arts Walk with 17 other Australian performing to have a plaque installed on the walk-way to Hamer Hall in Melbourne. He felt very honoured to have received this recognition of his performances and the words he used for the plaque describing how he approaches performing were
I PLAY IN THE SPIRIT OF JOY, CARING, SHARING AND LOVE MUSIC IS MY LIFE AND MY PASSION.
It was a very proud day for him.
HELFGOTT TRIUMPHS AT CHATSWOOD CONCERT HALL, SYDNEY
David Helfgottâ s performance on Friday 15 November, at the beautiful Concourse Concert Hall was a musical triumph. To the largest audience ever in the venue, his playing electrified those attending and the resulting applause and cheering did justice to the extraordinary performance.
Audience members said they had never experienced such passionate playing and adulation before at a classical concert.
I just wanted to write and let you know that we were honoured to be a part of the audience at Davidâ s Johannesburg concert. Over the years I have seen many of the worlds â~greatestâ artists â" but this was simply the most memorable, haunting and hypnotic performance I have ever witnessed. Just one man and a piano. David seems to be able to pull those bottom notes from the centre of the earth â" and fill the room with a cascade of notes like an endless waterfallâ¦ Never before have I seen or heard those pieces played with so much individuality and passion. We were seated in row D â" so very close, and indeed privileged to see firsthand, this amazing relationshipâ¦
I just wanted you to know â" and to please thank David from us for sharing his unique talent one more time here in South Africa.
Best to you both always,
On 21 June David had the great honour and joy of receiving Honorary Citzenship of Montecatini Terme in Tuscany. This beautiful spa town is famous for its association with Puccini and Verdi and now david has his signature in the very historic visitors book with Puccini and Verdi. He also got to play Veri's piano on a previous visit and now feels so much a part of this charming Italian city. He is seen here with the Mayor, and our dear friend Dr Montalbo receiving the honour.
Gillian Helfgott has just published a ground-breaking book on numerology with the additional feature of the zero, which is traditonally ignored by numerologists. This system is based on an ancient Chinese method, which was the inspiration for I Ching.
In this method you calculate your birth numbers and put them around a turtle which gives a fascinating image of how the numbers are energized and their meanings.
In part two of the book she traces David Helfgott's extraordinary life journey via his numbers, and also has many case studies.
In the words of Professor Burger "The study of numbers is a beautiful one that has captured human-kind's imagination throughout the ages. it continues to inspire us to explore its enless frontiers."
The book is available on amazon.com and fishpond.com or signed copies by writing to email@example.com The web site www.theinsightfulturtle.com which will be activie by mid December This site will give you the ability to take out subscription and the computer will calcuate your turtles and draw them beautifully.
During April and May David gave performances of his beloved Rachmaninov Third Piano Concert in Europe and these were filmed for a DVD and CD which will be available in a few months time. Also a documentary of this tour was made and will screen in Europe on the Arte channel next year.
It was a very exciting time of us both and we look forward to the release of these recordings and film.
We are not planning to return to Europe in 2013 as the Australian touring schedule is very busy, but we will be in South Africa in September and also Zimbabwe again. We are very happy to be returning to these countries.
The next European tour is organised for May 2014 and at the moment we do not have any plans for either the UK or USA due to lack of time, but hope to return to both countries sometime in the future.
David's mother died recently. She was a very gentle soul and will be sadly missed. She was 92 years old.