Sofja Gülbadamova, prizewinner of many international competitions in USA, Spain, France, Germany and Russia, has won 2008 the first prizes at two prestigious piano competitions in France: the International Piano Competition in Aix-en-Provence as well as the 6th International Francis Poulenc Piano Competition, where she also received the special prize for the best interpretation of Poulenc’s music. 2010 brought new success: in August at the Rosario Marciano International Piano Competition (Vienna, Austria) Sofja Gülbadamova was awarded the Grand Prix and a few months later, in October, she won the 2nd prize at the International Piano Competition “André Dumortier” in Belgium.
Sofja Gülbadamova has been dedicating herself since many years to the work of the Hungarian composer Ernst von Dohnányi. In February 2018 a double CD featuring his major works for piano has been issued by the label Capriccio. A live recording of the piano concerto No.2 with the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra (conductor Dmitri Jurowski) was released by the label HD-klassik in November 2017. Both recordings have been enthusiastically praised by the international press.
The pianist‘s newest album, „Humoresques“, containing works by R. Schumann, E. Grieg, A. Dvořák and M. Reger was published by the label hänssler CLASSIC in November 2019.
Among the most significant recent concerts are to be mentioned Sofja Gülbadamova’s performances at the Laeiszhalle Hamburg with Hamburger Camerata under Hartmut Rohde, with Maestro Michail Jurowski and the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra (Sweden) as well as the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, at the Festival „Weilburger Schloßkonzerte“ with the Staatskapelle Weimar under Kirill Karabits, at the International Festival in Colmar (France) with the Russian National Philharmonic Orchestra under Emmanuel Plasson, at the Historical City Hall with Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Marc Piollet and Dmitri Jurowski.
Furthermore Sofja Gülbadamova appeared at the National Theatre of Sarajevo with the Symphonic Orchestra of Sarajevo (December 2016), at the International Music Festival of Colmar (July 2016), at the Kurhaus Wiesbaden (Germany) in December 2015 as a soloist in the Piano Concerto No.5 by L.van Beethoven, at the Historische Stadthalle in Wuppertal (Germany) in September 2015 with F. Chopin’s Piano Concerto in e minor as well as within a prestigious recital series of Bayer Kultur in Wuppertal and Leverkusen in February 2015, at the Teatro Colón in Bogota (Columbia) in August 2015 as a soloist in the Piano Concerto op.7 by Clara Schumann, at the Great Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmony in February 2014 with Antonin Dvořak’s Piano Concerto op.33 and the Konzerthaus Berlin in 2013 which count to the most important venues worldwide, as well as at the festivals such as Sine Nomine Festival (2017) and Cully Classique (2014) in Switzerland, Les Pianos Folies in France (2014) and Piano festival Tübingen in Germany (2013), among the others. A specially remarkable event was Sofja Gülbadamova’s debut recital at one of “Top ten” piano festivals in Europe (“Piano International”, England), “Rarities of piano music” in Husum (Germany) in August 2012 where her 3-hours-long program consisting of almost unknown works by Gabriel Fauré, Reynaldo Hahn, Claude Delvincourt, Ernst von Dohnányí, Claude Debussy, Francis Poulenc and Peter Tschaikovsky has been highly acclaimed by both the press and the public. Not only the program itself but also standing ovations already after the first half of this enormously challenging concert proved to be another “rarity” of this festival in spite of its extremely critical and professional audience. An immediate reinvitation for the year 2013 followed. The CD from the festival 2012 edition, published by the danish label Danacord, where Sofja Gülbadamova’s recital is represented by a third of the total time, has been enthousiastically reviewed by the international musical press, BBC Music Magazine as well as International Piano (Jan./Feb.2014) among them, and has been selected as Editor’s Choice in the November 2013 issue of GRAMOPHONE.
Appearance in July 2012 at the festival “Liszt en Provence” in France where Sofja Gülbadamova gave two recitals on one evening performing all ballades by Chopin, Brahms, Liszt as well as those by Debussy and Fauré was one of the highlights of this year.
In June 2012 she was invited to the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival in Detroit (USA) where she played with James Tocco, Yehonatan Berick and David Geringas, among the others. In May 2012 she gave a recital at the historic Ehrbarsaal (Ehrbar Hall) in Vienna (Austria) and in February 2012 she was featured as a soloist in a concert in Paris (France) in three piano concertos in a row (Haydn Piano Concerto in D major Hob.XVIII:11, Mozart Piano Concerto in E flat Major KV 271 “Jeunehomme” and Chopin Piano Concerto in e minor op.11) with the Orchestre de Chambre de la Nouvelle Europe under the baton of Nicolas Krauze. This event has been praised by the musical press calling the pianist a “touching, sincere and inspired artist” and describing her performance as “infatuating but never hysterical, expressive but never maudlin, Sofja Gülbadamova’s playing is literally overwhelming”…
In November 2012 Sofja Gülbadamova followed an invitation to give a recital and to perform in a chamber music formation at one of the most important festivals in Argentina, “Semana musical Llao Llao”.
Highlights of the past years include recitals at the major French festivals such as the Festival “Journées Lyriques de Chartres”, Festival de St. Lizier, the Festival de St. Robert, “Les Nuits Pianistiques” in Aix-en-Provence, “Les Nuits de Piano d’Erbalunga” in Corsica throughout the summers 2012 and 2011, debut recitals in Washington D.C. in April 2011 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts and in London in the St. Martin-in-the-Fields in April 2010 during the “World Concert Pianists” series. Sofja Gülbadamova played a very successful tour throughout Chili in January 2010, where she gave recitals in the Teatro Municipal in Viña del Mar and during the festivals “Semanas Musicales” in Reñaca as well as the „Semanas Musicales“ in Frutillar. She also gave a masterclass in the “Conservatory Sergei Prokofiev” in Viña del Mar.
In 2010 and 2009, she was invited to perform at eminent venues such as the “Schönberger Musiksommer” (Germany), the international festival “Les nuits du Suquet” in Cannes, the Festival de la Vézère, the Festival d’Hardelot and “Liszt en Provence”, all of them in France. Another highlight of the year 2009 has been the performance as a soloist in Antonin Dvorak Concerto for piano and orchestra at the “Piano nights” festival in Chisinau (Moldavia).
Sofja Gülbadamova performs regularly at famous festivals, such as the Schleswig-Holstein music festival, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the Rheingau Festival (Germany), the International Music Festival Lucerne (Switzerland), the “Salzburger Schlosskonzerte” (Austria), to name just a few.
Sofja Gülbadamova concertizes extensively throughout Europe and the United States, for instance in France she appeared at prestigious venues such as the Cité de la Musique and the Salle Cortot in Paris as well as at the Arsenal in Metz, to name just a few. Invited by numerous German cities to perform, she played with the Staatskapelle Weimar, Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra, State Radio and Television Orchestra of Russia, the Collegium Instrumentale Halle, the Magdeburg Philharmonic, the Lübeck Philharmonic in Germany among the others.
As a chamber musician she collaborates with such outstanding artists as James Tocco, Denis Goldfeld, Alexandra Soumm, Priya Mitchell, Alexandre Brussilovsky, Anastasia Kobekina, Gert von Bülow, Guillaume Martigné, Mark Drobinsky as well as the Prometeo Quartet, Psophos Quartet, the Aviv Quartet, the quartet Sine Nomine and the New Russian Quartet.
Sofja Gülbadamova was born in Moscow where she began her musical studies at the Gnessins Special Music School. She continued her academic piano courses at the Musikhochschule Lübeck in the class of the exceptional American pianist James Tocco. She also studied at the Paris Conservatory with Jacques Rouvier as well as at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris with Guigla Katsarava and David Lively, where she was awarded a scholarship by the Zygmunt Zaleski Foundation.
Sofja has recorded for Russian, American, Polish, Spanish, French and German radio and television. Several CD recordings have already been published in Germany and France, notably at the “Passavant Music” recording company.