Pavel Gililov studied at the Special Music School of the Leningrad State Conservatory under the legendary Leah Zelikhman at the same time with Grigory Sokolov. For a musical connoisseur it is a piano playing quality stamp. Then Gililov graduated from the Leningrad Conservatory, where he studied under another famous educator of his day Moisei Halfin. He became a prize-winner at the All-Russian Piano Competition in 1972, when he was still a student. Three years later, he stole the spotlight at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw. In 1976, he began teaching at the Conservatory (and thus became the youngest teacher in history of special piano class). However, he soon left the USSR and started his international career.
Gililov has worked in Cologne, Salzburg, and Bonn. He has given many recitals, chamber concerts, master-classes; recorded 15 CDs. There is no need to list all his achievements as a pianist and educator; he has already etched his name into piano elite history. Natalia Trull, his former younger fellow student at the Special Music School and now professor of the Moscow Conservatory, recalls: “When we were in school, I always looked at Pavel in awe. I still remember that he was a wonderful young man, who could brilliantly play Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 30 and Liszt’s Chasse-neige.” Perhaps some part of that young romantic pianist still resides in the experienced master, professor of music academies, and jury president at many piano competitions?
Having found his place abroad, Pavel Gililov rarely performs in Russia. The 28 December concert marks his first performance at the new venue of the Mariinsky Theatre.