Australian classical guitarist Andrey Lebedev was announced as winner of the 25th Gisborne International Music Competition on Saturday 7 December in the Lawson Field Theatre, New Zealand. The 22 year-old guitarist took out the coveted First Prize and Holdsworth Family Bach Prize for best performance of a work by J.S Bach, walking away with a total of $8,750 in prize money and a solo engagement with Orchestra Wellington in 2015.
In a competitive field of solo orchestral instruments, Andrey Lebedev is only the third classical guitarist in the Competition's 25 year history to win the First Prize. Andrey impressed distinguished jurors David Thomas (Principle Clarinet of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra) and Natalia Lomeiko (Soloist and Professor of Violin at the Royal College of Music) with his execution of Luciano Berio's Sequenza XI, J.S Bach's Chaconne, and Alberto Ginastera's Canto & Finale from Guitar Sonata. The other finalists were Hamilton Cellist Catherine Kwak and Queensland Cellist Sam Lucas. The Gisborne International Music Competition celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013 and is reputed as a leading competition for orchestral instruments in Australasia.
This is another in Andrey Lebedev's impressive list of groundbreaking successes. In 2012 Andrey became the only classical guitarist ever to win the Fine Music National Young Performers Award and Sydney Eisteddfod NSW Doctors Orchestra Instrumental Scholarship, and only Australian winner of the Adelaide International Guitar Competition.
Andrey is currently a full scholarship student at London’s Royal Academy of Music studying with guitarist Michael Lewin. In a live audition against all instrumental disciplines he was awarded the only international full scholarship for postgraduate study in 2013 by the ABRSM. Raised in Adelaide, Andrey completed a Bachelor of Music at the Australian National University School of Music in Canberra under esteemed guitarist and teacher Timothy Kain in 2012.