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Daniil Trifonov in NYC This Winter: Third Solo Carnegie Recital, with Live Webcast (Dec 9), Plus Collaborations with NY Philharmonic and Gidon Kremer

 “What makes him such a phenomenon is the ecstatic quality he brings to his performances. … Small wonder every western capital is in thrall to him.”

– Financial Times

At just 23 years old Daniil Trifonov is already a mainstay of the international piano circuit; his engagements this fall have already taken him to the musical centers of London, Tokyo, Vienna, and beyond. This winter New Yorkers are especially blessed to have a trio of opportunities to sample the Russian phenomenon’s rare combination of extreme sensitivity and sheer power live in concert. Having just scored an ECHO Klassik Award for Trifonov: The Carnegie Recital, which captures the young artist’s 2013 sold-out debut at the historic venue, Trifonov returns for a third consecutive year to Carnegie’s main stage, where he gives a solo recital of Bach, Beethoven, and Liszt on December 9. His performance will be streamed live as the final webcast of Carnegie Hall’s inaugural collaboration with, as well as broadcast live by WQXR in the “Carnegie Hall Live” series. Trifonov also returns to the New York Philharmonic – with which, at his 2012 debut, he “clearly had chemistry” (New York Times) – to ring in the New Year with four performances of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (Dec 30–Jan 6). And January 23 finds piano’s “tender demon” (Deutsche Welle) back at the Stern Auditorium for the culmination of his nine-city North American duo recital tour with Grammy Award-winning violinist Gidon Kremer.

Carnegie solo recital, with live WQXR broadcast & webcast
It should come as little surprise that Trifonov has been invited back to Carnegie Hall, where he has already proved himself a favorite. His two previous main-stage recitals followed his first-prize wins at the 2011 Tchaikovsky and Rubinstein competitions and drew capacity crowds. It was the first of these recitals – his momentous February 2013 debut – that is documented on Trifonov: The Carnegie Recital. Marking his first recording as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, the album not only won this year’s ECHO Klassik Award for Newcomer of the Year (piano) but also inspired rhapsodic reviews worldwide. Typical of these was the UK’s Guardian, which explained:

 “It is not merely the power and dexterity of Trifonov’s playing that make such an arresting impression, though the torrents of octaves in both the right hand and the left towards the end of the Liszt are astonishing in their brilliance, boldness and bravura. Rather, the key thing here is that Trifonov can harness his digital strength, stamina and skill to a highly developed sense of the music’s expressive substance.”

For next month’s return to Carnegie Hall, the pianist’s program combines masterpieces by three giants of the keyboard. Liszt’s transcription of Bach’s Fantasy and Fugue for Organ in G minor, BWV 542 is a testament to the genius of both composers, contrasting free-form expression with highly structured musical thought. Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111 – the composer’s final sonata – pushes the capabilities of the piano, the compositional boundaries of the time, and the interpretive abilities of the performer. Finally, each of Liszt’s notoriously difficult Transcendental Études is a miniature tone poem, depicting a specific narrative theme and showcasing the composer’s dramatic and poetic side as well as his virtuosic technique. Trifonov featured the Études at his recent Royal Festival Hall debut in London, prompting the Financial Times to conclude:

“Trifonov’s technical prowess, though astonishing, was simply a means to an end. The main point of wonder was his emotional agility; the way he leapt from the feral rumblings of the ‘Wild Hunt’ to the tenderness of the ‘Ricordanza’; the way his touch or tempo would suddenly metamorphose into something completely unexpected, without it once coming across as unnatural. He looked and sounded like a person possessed.”

Trifonov reprises the same formidable program for his return to Boston’s “Celebrity Series” (March 13), and for a pair of Californian recitals in La Jolla (April 10) and Aliso Viejo (April 12).

Meanwhile, his upcoming Carnegie recital will be broadcast live on WQXR in the “Carnegie Hall Live” series, and co-hosted by Emmy Award-winning actor David Hyde Pierce. For the first time, the Russian pianist’s Carnegie performance will also be filmed  – streamed live, free of charge, in a webcast that will subsequently be available for free on-demand streaming for 90 days. Carnegie Hall’s new partnership with represents the venue’s first significant foray into live video concert streaming, and Trifonov’s will be the fourth and final concert of their initial series of webcasts.

Rachmaninoff at the New York Philharmonic
In his debut with the New York Philharmonic and music director Alan Gilbert two years ago, the New York Times praised Trifonov’s chemistry with the orchestra, admiring the way “their vivid dialogues unfolded with both verve and spontaneity, at brisk tempos that stopped short of breathless.” As for the pianist’s own performance as soloist in Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto, the review continued:

“Mr. Trifonov is certainly a virtuoso with a demonstrably prizewinning technique, evident as he fluidly sailed through bravura passages, his fingers moving in a blur through rapid octaves and chords. But he offered far more than mere virtuosity … demonstrat[ing] an elegant touch and witty grace in more lighthearted moments and poetic insight in more introspective passages.”

For Trifonov’s return to the Philharmonic, in four appearances at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall under the leadership of Juanjo Mena, he will play Rachmaninoff’s First Piano Concerto. The Russian composer is one of those to whom the pianist has himself been compared, and his accounts of Rachmaninoff’s orchestral works are held in high regard. When he joined Washington’s National Symphony for the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini earlier this year, the Washington Post pronounced his rendition “breathtaking.” Similarly, after a traversal of the same work with the San Francisco Symphony last winter, the San Francisco Classical Voice marveled:

“[What] made this such a dazzling event, was the total conviction, the wash of fresh light that the soloist shone on a familiar work. … An artist like Trifonov can come along and knock off the dust and received wisdom about how a familiar piece ought to sound. This was a concussive, ravishing, startling and altogether convincing Rachmaninov Rhapsody to remember.”

Trifonov also plays Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini for his Atlanta Symphony debut (Jan 8 & 10). The First Concerto is his vehicle for his Dallas Symphony debut (March 26–29) and for his return to the Chicago Symphony (April 16–21), and the Third Concerto for his return to the National Symphony (April 2–4). For his only remaining U.S. concerto engagement this season, the pianist turns to the music of another of his countrymen, playing Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1 for his subscription debut with the Cleveland Orchestra (March 19–22).

Return to Carnegie as final stop of tour with Gidon Kremer
Trifonov makes his final New York appearance this season when he returns to Carnegie’s Stern Auditorium for the closing concert of his nine-city North American duo recital tour with preeminent Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer (Jan 23). Launching in Princeton on January 5, the tour also includes stops in Berkeley, Baltimore, Montreal, Toronto, and at LA’s Disney Hall, with a characteristically varied program of Mozart, Schubert, Weinberg, and Philip Glass. As on their ECM recording, released earlier this year, the pair will play Weinberg’s Third Violin Sonata, of which, in its five-star review of the album, BBC Music magazine praised their “incisive, committed performance.”

In Europe, Trifonov and Kremer reprise their program for duo recitals in Brussels (April 28) and Paris (May 5). They also reunite for orchestral concerts with the violinist’s innovative ensemble, the Kremerata Baltica, pairing Chopin with Weinberg in Brussels (April 29) and performing Chopin’s First and Second Piano Concertos on a nine-city tour of Germany and Switzerland (Feb 10–21).

Triumphant debuts with Seattle & Toronto Symphonies, and at London’s Royal Festival Hall
Trifonov’s upcoming NYC engagements follow his trio of triumphant debuts earlier this season. In his first appearance at London’s Royal Festival Hall, his solo recital received five-star reviews from both the Financial Times and The Telegraph, which proclaimed his performance “staggering.” Similarly, making his Toronto Symphony debut with Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody, the Russian pianist succeeded in “deliver[ing] magic” (Toronto Star). And, launching the season with Tchaikovsky for his first appearances with the Seattle Symphony, Trifonov gave “the performance of a fully formed virtuoso with an artistic soul to match his mighty fingers,” proving himself to be “what music lovers live for: a talent compelling and thrilling enough to lift you right out of your chair” (Seattle Times).

More information about Daniil Trifonov’s upcoming engagements can be found below, and further details are available on his web site:


Daniil Trifonov: upcoming engagements

Dec 9
New York, NY
Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium
Bach (transcr. Liszt): Fantasy and Fugue for Organ in G minor, BWV 542
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 32, Op. 111
Liszt: Transcendental Études S. 139 live webcast; WQXR live broadcast

Dec 22
Moscow, Russia
Pushkin Museum
Bach: TBD
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 32, Op. 111
Liszt: Transcendental Études S. 139

Dec 30; Jan 2, 3 & 6
New York, NY
Avery Fisher Hall
New York Philharmonic / Juanjo Mena
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 1

Jan 5–23
North American duo recital tour with Gidon Kremer
Mozart: Violin Sonata in E-flat, K. 481
Glass: Violin Sonata
Weinberg: Violin Sonata No. 3
Schubert: Fantasy in C, D. 934
Jan 5: Princeton, NJ (McCarter Theater Center)
Jan 13: Berkeley, CA (Cal Performances)
Jan 14: Los Angeles, CA (Walt Disney Concert Hall, presented by Los Angeles Philharmonic)
Jan 15: La Jolla, CA (La Jolla Music Society)
Jan 17: Beverly Hills, MI (Seligman Performing Arts Center)
Jan 18: Baltimore, MD (Shriver Hall)
Jan 20: Toronto, ON, Canada (Koerner Hall)
Jan 21: Montreal, QC (Montreal Symphony Hall)
Jan 23: New York, NY (Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium)

Jan 8 & 10
Atlanta, GA
Atlanta Symphony Hall
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (debut) / Asher Fisch
Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

Jan 28–Feb 1
Spain tour with Philharmonia Orchestra / Clemens Schuldt
Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2
Jan 28: Madrid, Spain (Auditorio Nacional)
Jan 29: Barcelona, Spain (L’Auditori)
Jan 30: Oviedo, Spain
Feb 1: Valencia, Spain (Palau de la Música)

Feb 3–5
Recitals in Spain
Feb 3: Bilbao, Spain (Sociedad Filarmónica)
Feb 4: Lisbon, Portugal (Fundacão GulbenkIan)
Feb 5: Valladolid, Spain (Centro Cultural Miguel Delibes)

Feb 10–21
European tour with Kremerata Baltica
Chopin: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2
Feb 10: Frankfurt, Germany (Alte Oper)
Feb 11: Essen, Germany (Philharmonie)
Feb 12: Neumarkt, Germany
Feb 13: Stuttgart, Germany (Liederhalle)
Feb 15: Mannheim, Germany (Rosengarten)
Feb 16: Geneva, Switzerland (Victoria Hall)
Feb 18: Hamburg, Germany (Laeiszhalle)
Feb 19: Berlin, Germany (Philharmonie)
Feb 21: Munich, Germany (Prinzregententheater)

Feb 25–27
Prague, Czech Republic
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra / Jirí Belohlávek
Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

March 13
Boston, MA
Jordan Hall
Celebrity Series of Boston
Bach (transcr. Liszt): Fantasy and Fugue for Organ in G minor, BWV 542
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 32, Op. 111
Liszt: Transcendental Études, S. 139

March 19–22
Cleveland, OH
Severance Hall (debut)
Cleveland Orchestra / Jahja Ling
Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 1

March 26-29
Dallas, TX
Meyerson Symphony Center
Dallas Symphony Orchestra (debut) / Jaap van Zweden
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 1

April 2–4
Washington, DC
Kennedy Center
National Symphony Orchestra / Krzysztof Urbanski
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3

April 10
La Jolla, CA
Museum of Contemporary Art
Bach (transcr. Liszt): Fantasy and Fugue for Organ in G minor, BWV 542
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 32, Op. 111
Liszt: Transcendental Études, S. 139

April 12
Aliso Viejo, CA
Soka Performing Arts Center
Bach (transcr. Liszt): Fantasy and Fugue for Organ in G minor, BWV 542
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 32, Op. 111
Liszt: Transcendental Études, S. 139

April 16–21
Chicago, IL
Symphony Hall
Chicago Symphony Orchestra / Semyon Bychkov
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 1

April 26
London, England
Southbank Centre
Philharmonia Orchestra / Yuri Temirkanov
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 1

April 28
Brussels, Belgium
Palais des Beaux-Arts
Recital with Gidon Kremer
Mozart: Violin Sonata in E-Flat, K. 481
Glass: Violin Sonata
Weinberg: Violin Sonata No. 3
Schubert: Fantasy in C, D. 934

April 29
Brussels, Belgium
Palais des Beaux-Arts
Kremerata Baltica
Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1
Weinberg: Piano Quintet

May 5
Paris, France
Théâtre des Champs-Élysées
Recital with Gidon Kremer
Mozart: Violin Sonata in E-Flat, K. 481
Glass: Violin Sonata
Weinberg: Violin Sonata No. 3
Schubert: Fantasy in C, D. 934

May 13
Mestre, Italy
Teatro Toniolo
Bach (transcr. Liszt): Fantasy and Fugue for Organ in G minor, BWV 542
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 32, Op. 111
Liszt: Transcendental Études, S. 139

May 15–17
London, England
Southbank Centre
Philharmonia Orchestra / Vladimir Ashkenazy
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3

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 © 21C Media Group, November 2014

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