Anna Gourari began receiving piano tuition at the age of five at the Special Music School for highly talented children in her native city of Kazan in Russia. Several master classes with Professor Vera Gornostaeva at the Moscow Conservatory stand out among Anna Gourari's early musical experiences; then, in 1990, she moved to Germany and continued her piano studies with Professor Ludwig Hoffmann in Munich. Her first piano recital in Germany was in 1991, and she made her French debut in Paris a year later. In her approach to the piano, the Russian artist unites the influences of two eminent European piano traditions: analytic stringency combines with the emotionality of her Russian heritage. Anna Gourari began winning prizes and awards at an early age. In 1986 she won first prize at the Kabalevsky Competition; four years later she won first prize at the International Chopin Competition in Göttingen. At the first International Clara Schumann Piano Competition in Düsseldorf in 1994, a prestigious panel of adjudicators made up of Joachim Kaiser, Martha Argerich, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Nelson Freire and Alexis Weissenberg awarded her first prize and praised her "almost mystical piano playing". Since then Anna Gourari has built up an excellent reputation as soloist and chamber musician in the most important centres of music. She regularly performs at international music festivals like the Salzburg Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Festival Pianistico Internationale Bergamo-Brescia, the Gustav Mahler Festival in Dobbiaco, the St Moritz Festival, the Bad Kissingen Summer Festival, the Lockenhaus Festival, the Rheingau Music Festival, the Festival of Flanders, the Ruhr Piano Festival, the Septembre Musical Montreux, the European Weeks in Passau and the Musica Insieme festival in Bologna, performing with renowned orchestras such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, the Solistes Européens in Luxembourg, the Russian State Academic Symphonic Orchestra, the SWR Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra with conductors like Lorin Maazel, Roger Norrington, Zubin Mehta, Colin Davis, Marco Armiliato and Iván Fischer. "You do not make music, you are music!" That was the opinion of the legendary film and opera director Werner Herzog, who cast Anna Gourari in the lead part in his cinema film Invincible, in which she portrays a pianist. The acclaimed premiere of the German-American co-production took place at the Venice International Film Festival in the autumn of 2001. In February 2007 Anna Gourari returned to Russia for the first time in more than sixteen years to film six TV articles on art and culture in Moscow for Deutsche Welle. Numerous radio and CD recordings document her wide-ranging repertoire, including her special interest in twentieth-century music. Entitled "Désir", her most recent recording presents works by Alexander Skryabin and Sofia Gubaidulina. Composers like Rodion Shchedrin and Jörg Widmann have dedicated works to her. Her highly acclaimed recordings - several featured for months in the German classic charts - have made her the Deutsche Phonoakademie "Up-and-coming Female Musician of the Year" and she has twice been named ECHO Klassik "Instrumentalist of the Year".