Russian pianist DANIIL TRIFONOV (dan-EEL TREE-fon-ov) has made a spectacular ascent to classical music stardom since winning First Prize at both the Tchaikovsky and Rubinstein competitions in 2011 at the age of 20. Combining consummate technique with rare sensitivity and depth, his performances are a perpetual source of awe. “He has everything and more ... tenderness and also the demonic element. I never heard anything like that,” stated pianist Martha Argerich, while the Financial Times observes, “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.”
Following the August release of Rachmaninoff Variations – his second title as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, recorded with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin – Trifonov remains focused on his compatriot’s music in the 2015/16 season. He plays complete concerto cycles at the New York Philharmonic’s Rachmaninoff Festival and with London’s Philharmonia Orchestra; Rachmaninoff’s Third for debuts with the Berlin Staatskapelle and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, where he headlines the prestigious Nobel Prize Concert, and with both the Orchestre National de Lyon and the Munich Philharmonic under Valery Gergiev; Rachmaninoff’s Fourth for his subscription debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra; and Rachmaninoff’s Second on an Asian tour with the Czech Philharmonic.
Prokofiev’s Third is the vehicle for his debut with the Montreal Symphony, on an extensive North American tour, and Prokofiev’s Second for dates with the Orchestre National de France and the London Symphony Orchestra under Alan Gilbert. He also performs Chopin’s Second with the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas, Tchaikovsky’s First with the La Scala Orchestra, and Liszt’s First with the Pittsburgh Symphony, at home and on a ten-stop North European tour. Trifonov is an accomplished composer, and it is with the Pittsburgh Symphony that he reprises his own acclaimed concerto.
Besides making his recital debut in Los Angeles, Trifonov undertakes an extensive European recital tour that includes stops in the principal venues of Vienna, Berlin, Geneva, Paris, Rome, Lisbon, Barcelona, and Amsterdam. He looks forward to residencies in Lugano, Switzerland, and at London’s Wigmore Hall, where he collaborates on piano duos with his former teacher, pianist Sergei Babayan, and on violin and piano duos with Gidon Kremer, whom he rejoins for concertos at the Cologne Philharmonic.
Last season saw the release of Trifonov: The Carnegie Recital, the pianist’s first recording as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist; captured live at his sold-out 2013 Carnegie Hall recital debut, the album scored both an ECHO Klassik Award and a Grammy nomination. His discography also features a Chopin album for Decca and a recording of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto with Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra on the ensemble’s own label.
It was during the 2010-2011 season that Trifonov won medals at three of the music world’s most prestigious competitions, taking Third Prize in Warsaw’s Chopin Competition, First Prize in Tel Aviv’s Rubinstein Competition, and both First Prize and Grand Prix – an additional honor bestowed on the best overall competitor in any category – in Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Competition. In 2013 he was also awarded the prestigious Franco Abbiati Prize for Best Instrumental Soloist by Italy’s foremost music critics.
Born in Nizhny Novgorod in 1991, Trifonov began his musical training at the age of five, and went on to attend Moscow’s Gnessin School of Music as a student of Tatiana Zelikman, before pursuing his piano studies with Sergei Babayan at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He has also studied composition, and continues to write for piano, chamber ensemble, and orchestra. When he premiered his own piano concerto in 2013, the Cleveland Plain Dealer marveled: “Even having seen it, one cannot quite believe it. Such is the artistry of pianist-composer Daniil Trifonov.”