David Helfgott

Bellingen (NSW) – Australia

David Helfgott was born in Melbourne, spent much of his early life in Perth and showed extraordinary pianistic ability from an early age, winning the state finals of the ABC’s Instrumental & Vocal Competition six times.

At age 17, Helfgott began studying with Alice Carrard, a former student of Bartok and Istvan Thoman, himself a pupil of Liszt. Two years later, he left Perth for London to study at the ROYAL COLLEGE OF MUSIC with Cyril Smith, who described him as his most brilliant student in 25 years of teaching and likened him to Horowitz, both technically and temperamentally.

He won a number of awards while in London, including the Dannreuther Prize for Best Concerto Performance for his performance of Rachmaninov’s PIANO CONCERTO NO.3, however, towards the end of his time there, he faced increased emotional instability and mental excitability and a period of frequent hospitalization followed during the 1970s.

He returned to the concert stage in the 1980’s but the international release in 1996 of the Oscar Award winning feature film about his life, SHINE, propelled him to a level of new international stardom his recording of the Rachmaninov PIANO CONCERTO NO.3 becoming the top selling CD in Australia, the UK and the USA at the time.

In October 1996, he played an  unprecedented four consecutive sold-out concerts at the SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE and the following year embarked on world tour giving which included performances at the HOLLYWOOD BOWL and CARNEGIE HALL and London’s ROYAL ALBERT HALL.

Helfgott has continued to tour internationally since, highlights including appearances at the BEIJING MUSIC FESTIVAL, at the MUSIKVEREIN in Vienna, in Copenhagen’s TIVOLI CONCERT HALL,  London’s BARBICAN CENTRE, at LA SEINE MUSICALE in Paris, the ERL FESTIVAL HALL in Austria and regular performances at the SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE.

© Weaver Artist Management 2023


All enquiries to Jeff Weaver at Weaver Artist Management