Gunel Mirzayeva
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Bach - Partita no.6 in E minor - Toccata

Gunel Mirzayeva was born 1987 in Baku, Azerbaijan. She began studying aged seven at the Bul-Bul School of Music with Professor Tatyana Ryabuha and in 2004, with Professor Yuri Sabayev at the Baku Music Academy. In 2006 she commenced her Bachelor of Music with Professor Ronan O’Hora at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she is continuing on the Master’s degree. Gunel has a particular interest in Bach’s keyboard music and she intends to specialise in this field.

Gunel’s talent and prowess have won her acclaim in a number of prestigious competitions; she won 1st prize at the 2005 All Republic Competition in Azerbaijan, and 2nd prize at the 2009 Sheepdrove Piano Competition in Berkshire, England. In 2008, Gunel won 1st prize and the Audience Prize at the International Piano Competition for Young Musicians in Enschede, Holland, and her interpretation of Haydn’s B minor Piano Sonata in the second round was cited in Dutch newspaper NRC.NEXT as one of the best performances that year.

Gunel has performed extensively throughout the UK and Europe. Notable performances include concerts in the House of Commons and the Barbican Hall in London, and an evening recital at the  “Brahms Woche” Music Festival in Oldenburg, Germany. In August 2010, Gunel gave a recital at the “Les Cabardieses de Pennautier” Piano Festival in Carcasonne, France. Recently, Gunel has given  series of concerts in Holland and Germany- performance  in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw (which was broadcasted live on Dutch National Radio 4 ), solo recitals in Il Bagno and Huis Bergh Halls and concerto opportunities with the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra in Stadhalle Wuppertal and De Spiegel Zwolle. Gunel has also participated in masterclasses with  Dominique Merlet, Paul Lewis,Victor Rosenbaum, Imogen Cooper, Richard Goode and Olli Mustonen.

Gunel is indebted to the following trusts which have facilitated her studies: The City of London Corporation, The Guildhall School Trust, The Music Students’ Hostel Trust, The Leverhulme Trust, the Anglo-Azeri Society, and the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan. She has also gratefully received The Else and Leonard Cross Award, The James Gibb Award, The Alec Beecheno Bursary and the Kathleen Higginson Piano Prize.

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