International Concert Pianist
Professor of Piano, Royal College of Music, UK
In 2009 Sofya Gulyak was awarded First Prize and Princess Mary Gold Medal at the 16th Leeds International Piano Competition, the first woman to achieve this distinction. Since then she has appeared internationally to great critical and public acclaim. Other prestigious prizes she has won include: First Prizes at the Kapell, Maj Lind, Tivoli, Isangyun, San Marino International Piano Competitions ; Second Prize(first not awarded)at Busoni and Third Prize at Marguerite Long Competitions.
Sofya Gulyak performed in such venues as La Scala Theatre in Milan, Herculessaal in Munich, Salle Cortot, Salle Gaveau and Salle Pleyel in Paris, Wigmore Hall in London, Moscow
Conservatory, Konzerthaus in Berlin, Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Kennedy Center in Washington,
Hong Kong City Hall, Shanghai Grand Theatre, Tokyo Opera City Hall etc.
She played with such orchestras as London Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Halle, BBC Scottish,Finnish Radio Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, St Petersburg Philharmonic, Budapest Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Shanghai Philharmonic etc.Conductors with whom she has collaborated include Mark Elder, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sakari Oramo, Donald Runnicles, Vasily Petrenko,Eivind Gullberg Jensen, Theodor Guschlbauer, Lahav Shani, Karl-Heinz Steffens,Alan Burybaev and others.
Her 2013 recording of Russian piano music on Champs Hill Rec. received a 5-star review in Diapason magazine and glowing reviews in Gramophone and The Guardian, while her 2015 all-Brahms CD (on Piano Classics) led the American Record Guide to draw comparisons with the young Argerich and Fanfare magazine to hail her as ‘a natural Brahmsian, whatever his moods’. Her latest CD (on Champs Hill Rec.)of piano chaconnes was welcomed by The Arts Desk as ‘a fascinating collection, superbly realised and beautifully recorded’.
Born in Kazan (Russia), she studied at Kazan Conservatoire under Elfiya Burnasheva, before continuing her studies with Boris Petrushansky at Imola Piano Academy in Italy and with Vanessa Latarche at the RCM in London.
She is a piano professor at the Royal College of Music in London.