David Helfgott set to visit Istanbul again
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
David Helfgott is seen on the stage during his concert at Istanbul’s Hagia Irene in 2010. He will take the stage once again in the city on April 15.One of the world’s most important pianists Australian David Helfgott, the inspiration behind the Oscar-winning 1996 film “Shine,” will come to Turkey within the scope of his last world tour.
With the main sponsorship from Yapı Kredi and the collaborations between Map Communications and Piu Music organization, Helfgott will take the stage once again in the city on April 15 and 19 at the Istanbul Congress Center.
Born in 1947, Helfgott is considered one of the most talented pianists of the century. He is known to have had a schizophrenic disorder that required 12 years of treatment. He was a child prodigy whose father first began teaching him piano when he was 5. At the age of 19, he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London, where he studied for three years. During his time there, he began showing symptoms of mental illness and was diagnosed with acute anxiety neurosis. Later, he underwent psychiatric treatment that included psychotropic medication and electro-convulsive therapy.
“Shine,” which brought actor Geoffrey Rush a Best Actor Oscar award in 1996, made Helfgott famous in many countries.
Although Helfgott’s sister, Margaret Helfgott, wrote a book titled “Out of Tune” after the film and claimed the movie’s depiction of the musician’s life was completely false, the pianist said the story was completely true.
“My father was a very authoritarian man. He was the boss at home. The film tells my story, not my sister’s. Later, my other family members said they did not agree with Margaret. Our family has finally come to terms with the situation,” he said.
Helfgott’s album, “The Last Great Romantic, Rachmaninoff,” sold more than 4 million copies around the world and received special commendation from Billboard magazine.
Helfgott is also one of the rare pianists who can play all of the pieces of Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3.