Talented young Queensland born pianist Jayson Gillham is returning home to Australia in August and September for a short series of recitals in the east coast cities.
In 2012 Jayson had a very exciting year. He was named the Gold Medallist – 60th Royal Over-Seas League (ROSL) Competition (London, UK) and became ‘Commonwealth Musician of the Year, joining the distinguished alumni of ROSL Annual Music Competition Gold Medallists including such luminaries as Australian pianists Geoffrey Parsons (1953) and Piers Lane (1982).
The Tait Performing Arts Association who supports young Australian artists in the UK and Europe are among those helping Jayson to further his career. Their aim is to nurture young talent to survive in this competitive world.
He will perform at the Bangalow Music Festival on 16 – 18th August and as a Cultural Ambassador for the Hearts for Africa Foundation, who work with people in poverty in Africa he is performing at Brisbane on the 23rd to assist their fundraising efforts.
As soloist he will play two works composed by Norwegian Edvard Hagerup Grieg (1843-1907). His Norwegian Dances and the work that Grieg is probably most famous for, his fabulous Piano Concerto in A minor Op 16.
The final piece on that marvelous program will be exquisite Mozart’s Symphony No.39, considered to be an orchestral marvel of sublime beauty.
Melbourne audiences will enjoy a marvelous program of romantic, sensitive playing at a recital in the historic Savage Club on September 12.
He will play works by Polish composer Frédéric François Chopin (1810-1849), German genius Ludgwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827), Romanian born György Sándor Ligeti (1923-2006) and German giant Franz Liszt (1811-1886).
At Sydney he will play for Friends of the Sydney International Piano Competition on the 15th September, before returning to London.
Jayson has been building a wonderful reputation in England, Europe and America for his virtuoso playing since he first left Australia’s shores aged 19.
In 2007 he went to London to further his studies and establish a career, while completing his Master’s degree at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM).
Over the next two years Gillham won the Bach, Beethoven, Romantic and 20th century piano prizes. As the RAM’s elected representative, he won first prize at the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe’s Intercollegiate Piano Competition.
At his graduation he was awarded the DipRAM for an outstanding final recital; the report from the panel reads:
“The rare occasion when the word ‘phenomenal’ is appropriate… perhaps the finest final recital we can remember.”
In the middle of all of this Jayson came home and won the Australian National Piano Award at Shepparton, Victoria in October 2008.
In October 2010 Jayson was a semi-finalist in the renowned Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw. Out of an initial 350 applicants, he reached the final twenty and is the first Australian ever to advance so far in this prestigious and difficult competition.
Of Jayson’s many competition experiences, perhaps this has been his most memorable moment to date. He performed before an all-star jury led by Argentinian pianist, the woman described as ‘both a poet and a tiger on stage’ Martha Argerich and Brazilian classical pianist Nelson Freire.
Author and competition critic Michael Moran remarked on Jayson’s playing in Warsaw: “The Australian Jayson Gillham I felt brought some much needed authentic Chopin expression into what was partly a day of the demonstration of technical prowess rather than the creation of ‘music’… marvellous ‘laid back’ approach to playing Chopin and a deep natural musicality… how refreshing… reminded me at various moments so much of the moderation and taste of Arthur Rubinstein – qualities in very short supply during this competition.”
Jayson Gillham has certainly captured the ‘hearts and interest’ of many music lovers in Australia, England, Europe and now in the US where this year for the first time he went to compete in one of the world’s toughest piano playing gigs, The Cliburn Competition, gaining valuable exposure and expanding his performance experiences. He performed the Piano Quintet by German composer and music critic Robert Schumann (1810-1856) with the critically acclaimed Brentano Quartet, (pictured) which has performed in all the world’s fabulous venues and has a strong interest in ‘both very old and very new music’.
Romantically the Quartet is named for Antonie Brentano, whom many scholars consider to be Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved”, the intended recipient of his famous love confession.
Jayson has a firm belief in putting back into the community and in his neighbourhood of King’s Cross at London he volunteers weekly as a math’s tutor at the Argyle primary school. This is part of an initiative he set up with other post-graduates and young professionals living in the area.
Jayson Gillham at 25 is a fine young man. I am certainly keen to witness his progression as a polished young performer first-hand when he visits Melbourne soon.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle 2013