Yuval Gilad was born in Israel in 1992, and started playing the piano at 6. At the age of 9 he had already performed as soloist with the Jerusalem Symphony and soon thereafter with the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion, the Israeli Stage Orchestra, and the Haifa Symphony Orchestra. At the age of 11 he won the Bartok-Prokofiev International Competition in Virginia and later won four of the most important Israeli competitions for young pianists: the Pnina Salzman, the Turjeman, the Katz, and the Psanter Letamid Competitions. Yuval has performed recitals and chamber music both in Israel and abroad in such venues as the KHS Hall in Taipei, Taiwan; Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Carnegie Hall in New York. He has worked with Gyorgy Sandor, Joseph Kalichstein, Murray Perahia, Dmitry Bashkirov, and Andras Schiff. He has been a recipient of the America Israel Cultural Foundation excellence scholarships since 2004, and a student at the Buchmann-Mehta School of music in Tel Aviv with Professor Tomer Lev.
1) What or who inspired you to want to be an artist?
As a young boy, I was rather introverted and timid. When my parents first exposed me to the worlds of plastic art and its great champions, as well as to classical music, I remember being amazed and in awe at their highly expressive quality, and their ability to communicate so much in abstract ways. Being a musician for me is all about expressing and communicating–with the audience, with my colleagues and playing partners, and with myself.
2) What was your creative journey that has brought you to where you are in your career today?
My creative journey is in many ways synonymous with my personal journey. The life-lessons, victories, failures, and battles are all an integral part of my own artistic personality and relationship with music. In many ways, I feel I owe my development mostly to the great teachers I had at each period of my life, teachers who gave me not only endless insights and knowledge, but also exposed me to numerous special opportunities to develop and perform.
3) What do you need as an artist today?
I think the most important thing for our world of classical music is strong institutions, both for studying and for performing, and their strength and ability to promote the very best in each field. Aspiring for excellence, beauty, perfection, and never-ending progress as musicians requires that.
4) What creative project are you working on now?
At the moment, I’m working on expanding my repertoire and stepping outside of comfort zones I have found in music in recent years, in preparation for international competitions and auditions. In addition, I’m working hard towards performing the entire 2nd book of J. S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, which I see as a significant and important challenge. Other than those solo ambitions, I constantly surround myself with other musicians and engage in as much chamber music as possible. I truly learn the most about myself and my playing doing that.
5) Where do you see yourself and your career in 10 years?
I see myself being part of regular ensembles, performing not only a lot but with a wide, ever-expanding variety of music, and being able to bring fully my expressiveness, intentions, and approaches to the stage and performances.
6) What does it mean to you to be an Israeli artist?
That is a very multifaceted issue. Growing up in a melting pot of cultures and people with many differences is an amazing thing. Being able to receive and contribute to the wonderful make-up of people, combining east and west, different religions and beliefs–this is a great privilege, and it is a most inspiring and enriching thing for me as a person and an artist. My personal view is that if you step outside of yourself and aspire to break down walls and be inspired by differences, you gain much more than you forfeit.
7) What does it mean to you to have an organization like AICF available in the art world?
The AICF has supported me since my youngest years and first steps in the music world. It is constantly giving me wonderful opportunities to work and connect with peers locally and abroad, and providing the financial ability to afford and be focused on my studies and development. This institution, in many ways, made and is making my becoming of an artist possible.