Sofya Gulyak is associate professor of music in piano at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She was previously a piano professor at the Royal College of Music in London.
In 2009, Gulyak was awarded first prize and the Princess Mary Gold Medal at the 16th Leeds International PianoCompetition, the first woman to achieve this distinction.Since then, she has appeared internationally to great critical and publicacclaim. Other prestigious prizesshe has won include first prizes at the Kapell, Maj Lind,Tivoli,Isangyun, and San Marino international piano competitions, second prize(first not awarded)at Busoni, and third prize at the Long–Thibaud–Crespin Competition.
Gulyak has performed insuch venues as La Scala Theatre in Milan, Herculessaal in Munich,Salle Cortot,Salle Gaveau and Salle Pleyel in Paris, Wigmore Hall in London, MoscowConservatory, Konzerthaus in Berlin, Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Hong Kong City Hall, Shanghai Grand Theatre, and Tokyo OperaCity Hall.
She has played with such orchestras as the London Philharmonic, Royal LiverpoolPhilharmonic, Hallé, BBC Scottish and Finnish Radio symphony orchestras, Helsinki Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Philharmonic,Budapest Philharmonic,Orchestre National de France, and Shanghai Philharmonic.
Conductors with whom Gulyak has collaborated include Mark Elder, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sakari Oramo, Donald Runnicles, Vasily Petrenko,Eivind Gullberg Jensen, Theodor Guschlbauer, Lahav Shani, Karl-Heinz Steffens, and Alan Burybaev, among others.
Gulyak’s 2013 recording of Russian piano music on Champs Hill Records received a five-star review in Diapason magazine and glowing reviews in Gramophone and The Guardian,while her 2015 all-Brahms CD (on Piano Classics) led the American Record Guide to draw comparisons withthe young Martha Argerich and Fanfare magazine to hail her as “a natural Brahmsian, whatever his moods.”
Her latest CD (on Champs Hill Records) of piano chaconnes was welcomed by The Arts Desk as “a fascinating collection, superbly realised andbeautifully recorded.”
Born in Kazan, Russia, Gulyak studied at the Kazan State Conservatoireunder Elfiya Burnasheva before continuing her studies with Boris Petrushansky at Imola Piano Academy in Italy and Vanessa Latarche at the Royal College of Music in London.