Born in Moscow and raised in Australia, Andrey Lebedev built a reputation as an outstanding guitarist upon winning the NSW Drs Orchestra Sydney Eisteddfod Instrumental Scholarship in 2012 and has since gone on to make a name for himself abroad.
Now a seasoned artist, Andrey is a laureate of many top international competitions, adding more successes to his name each year. In 2017, he was awarded fourth Prize at the Guitar Foundation of America International Concert Artist Competition as well as Third Prize and Prize for the Best Interpretation of the Commissioned Piece at the prestigious ARD Music Competition in Munich.
“Being on stage is a massive buzz, but behind the scenes it can be draining,” said Andrey on the experience of performing in such competitive competitions.
“Probably the most common similar relatable experience is sitting an exam. It’s not exactly fun (although there is an immense satisfaction went it goes well) but it provides opportunities that ultimately justify the effort.”
He also recently finished performing at The Two Moors Festival in Simonsbath, a small village high on Exmoor in the English county of Somerset. The performance was new duo project with accordionist Iosif Purits, that proved to be an exciting and educational experience.
“There was no original repertoire for the ensemble so we made arrangements of excerpts of the Goldberg Variations, several classic tunes by Duke Ellington, and some Spanish pieces by De Falla and Albeniz”.
As the year comes to a close, there will not be any slowing down for Andrey who is working on a number of new projects.
“At the moment I’m preparing a new solo program for next season. I’ve recently received two new pieces that I’m programming around: Danza de los Bosques by Leo Brouwer and Proverbs by young Australian composer Joseph Havlat”.
“I am also writing several of my own pieces. Somehow my iPhone playlist is mainly American musicians: Julian Lage, Bill Frisell, Ralph Towner, and Edgar Meyer. I love how they fuse aspects of many styles into their music. Although it's quite distant from what I usually play on the classical guitar, I find it a huge inspiration for my own writing.”
Although it has been five years since he graduated from the Sydney Eisteddfod stage, Andrey insists that without the opportunities and experiences he had during that time he would not be where he is today.
“The opportunity to work towards an important performance is invaluable. It forces you to consolidate your technique and distill your concept of the music, so that you can express it clearly.”
“At different stages in my life, Sydney Eisteddfod provided different learning opportunities. I competed a number of times across categories, firstly in the Classical Guitar (16 & U) event, then in the Classical Guitar (Any Age) event, and lastly in the NSW Drs Orchestra Sydney Eisteddfod Instrumental Scholarship.”
“As an emerging professional, the NSW Drs Orchestra Sydney Eisteddfod Instrumental Scholarship helped me to think in terms of a bigger picture. Since I was competing against other instruments to a non-guitarist jury, the goal was to communicate the big idea of the music I was performing.”
“It also provided a wonderful platform to meet like-minded musicians. I have many, many friends whom I met through the Sydney Eisteddfod, for which I am very grateful.”
Sydney Eisteddfod congratulates Andrey on his recent achievements and cannot wait to see where his talents will continue to take him in the future.