Gabunia the pianist was rightly seen as a trailblazer of 20th century music in the Soviet Union, as he was among the first in the country to perform many modern works, such as Bartok’s Piano Concertos Nos 2 and 3 and Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, as well as Prokofiev’s Sonata No 9.

In 1981, he received a Hungarian government award for his performances of Bartok’s works.

In the 1970s, he performed the complete cycle of Beethoven piano sonatas, while in the last few years of his life he made several recordings, including a highly acclaimed recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations.

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