Postponed – CIMF Witch’s Variations

Dates & times

Thu 7 May 2020, 12:30pm


ANU Drill Hall Gallery

Image: Calvin


 Calvin Abdiel,  piano  – courtesy of Theme & Variations Foundation

Paganini’s famous 24th Caprice prompted Brahms to devise variations for the keyboard and a set of very sturdy fingers. Enter young Calvin Abdiel playing one of the repertoire’s most diabolically difficult pieces, labelled by Clara Schumann as the ‘Witch’s Variations’ .



Johannes Brahms – Variations on a Theme of Paganini op 35  (1863)



Calvin Abdiel is currently studying at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under the guidance of Natalia Ricci. He has given recitals and concerto performances in Australia, Russia, Indonesia, Denmark and Switzerland. He has participated in masterclasses with Orli Shaham, Angela Hewitt, Ingar Rose, Ingo Dannhorn, Justas Dvarionas, Michael Endres, Helen Krizos, Vyacheslav Gryaznov and Jahja Ling.


He performed his orchestral debut in 2017 with the State Capella Orchestra of St Petersburg in Russia, playing the Tchaikovsky concerto as the 2nd prize-winner in the International Competition for young pianists: Steps to Mastery. Shortly after his success in Russia, Calvin won 2nd prize in the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition in Brisbane, held in September 2017. At 16 years of age, Calvin was the youngest pianist to be a finalist, winning the Concerto Prize, the People’s Choice Prize, Queensland Symphony Orchestra Prize, and prize for the Best Performance of an Australian piece. In 2018, he won 3rd prize in the International Competition for Young Performers in Val de Travers, Switzerland. This year he was recipient of the Henderson Piano Scholarship at the SCM which allows him to travel abroad in July to attend masterclasses in Weimar and Portugal with legendary pianists Ferenc Rados and Boris Berman.




Lucy Chetcuti

Updated:  16 March 2020/ Responsible Officer:  DHG Director/ Page Contact:  Drill Hall Gallery