In September 2009 Sofya Gulyak was awarded the First prize and the Princess Mary Gold Medal at the Sixteenth Leeds International Piano Competition – the first woman to achieve this distinction in the history of the competition.
Sofya Gulyak’s resume includes prizes at many prestigious piano competitions: she is a First Prize winner of the William Kapell International Piano Competition (USA), the Maj Lind Helsinki International Piano Competition, the Tivoli Piano Competition (Copenhagen), the Gyeongnam International Piano Competition (South Korea), the San Marino Piano Competition, the Second Prize winner (first not awarded) of Busoni Competition (Italy) and the Third Prize winner of the Marguerite Long Piano Competition (Paris).
Sofya Gulyak is a native of Kazan (Russia) where she studied at a Special Music College for gifted children, and afterwards at the Kazan State Conservatoire under Professor Elfiya Burnasheva. Ms. Gulyak also graduated from Ecole Normale de Music de Paris Alfred Cortot, with the highest distinction, before continuing her studies at Piano Academy Incontri col Maestri (Imola, Italy) with Boris Petrushansky and at the Royal College of Music with Vanessa Latarche.
Recitals and concert appearances have been numerous, with Ms. Gulyak having performed in various cities across Russia, Poland, France, Italy, Germany, Finland, United Kingdom, Norway, USA, Japan, Portugal, Switzerland, Morocco, Greece, and South Korea. Sofya Gulyak has performed in particular at Sala Verdi (Milan), Salle Cortot, Salle Gaveau and Salle Pleyel (Paris), Big Concert Hall of Moscow Conservatoire, Konzerthaus (Berlin). Gewandhaus (Leipzig), Sala Bossi (Bologna), Finlandia Concert Hall (Helsinki), Leeds Town Hall, Salle Moliere (Lyon), Walt Disney Hall (Los Angeles), King Theatre (Rabat), Kursaal (Bern), Tivoli Concert Hall (Copenhagen). As a soloist, Sofya Gulyak has appeared with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Halle Symphony Orchestra, the Oulu Philharmonic, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Morocco Orchestra, the Copenhagen Symphony, the Orchestre National de France, the Haydn Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, the Kazan Symphony, the Samara Symphony, and the Kazan Chamber Orchestra. She has participated in many festivals, such as Festival du Sceaux, Festival d’Annecy, the International Keyboard Festival (New York), Liszt Festival in Villa d’Este, Nordlys Festival (Norway), Ravello Festival, and the Sorrento Music Festival.
Ms. Gulyak has been honored with the role of scholar by the Rostropovich and Russian President Foundations. She has also served as a jury member at international piano competitions in Italy and Greece. Her playing has been broadcasted on radio and TV in Russia, Poland, France, Italy, Germany, USA, Finland, Denmark, and the United Kingdom.