Performance Thursday, February 6, 2014 | 8 PM

Daniil Trifonov

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Dynamo pianist Daniil Trifonov has not only earned critical acclaim, but has garnered the respect and admiration of his peers as well. In a recent interview in the Financial Times, pianist Martha Argerich proclaimed, “what he does with his hands is technically incredible ... I never heard anything like that.” Hear his “dazzling technique” with “elegant touch and witty grace in more lighthearted moments and poetic insight in more introspective passages” (The New York Times) in this not-to-be-missed Carnegie Hall recital.


  • Daniil Trifonov, Piano


  • STRAVINSKY Serenade in A
  • DEBUSSY CLAUDE DEBUSSY Selections from Images, Book I
    ·· Reflets dans l'eau
    ·· Mouvement
  • RAVEL Selections from Miroirs
  • SCHUMANN Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13 (with posthumous etudes)

  • Encores:
  • CHOPIN Prelude in A-flat Major, Op. 28, No. 17
  • CHOPIN Prelude in B-flat minor, Op. 28, No. 16
  • DANIIL TRIFONOV Scherzo from Piano Sonata

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.


  • Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov 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," pianist Martha Argerich has stated.

    The 2013-2014 season promises to be a banner one for Mr. Trifonov. Deutsche Grammophon signed him as an exclusive recording artist, and his first album for the label, Trifonov: The Carnegie Recital-recorded live at his recent sold-out Carnegie Hall recital debut-is due to be released in the US this winter to coincide with his return to the Hall. Additional recital engagements include performances in Chicago, London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Rio de Janeiro, among many other international cities. His extensive orchestral collaborations include concertos by Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Scriabin, Shostakovich, Chopin, and Mozart in performances with 19 of the world's foremost orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, and Rome's Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Chamber music highlights include a duo-recital tour with his teacher and fellow pianist, Sergei Babayan, that kicks off with a gala concert at the Dallas Chamber Music Society.

    In the 2012-2013 season, Mr. Trifonov made debuts with each of the "Big Five" orchestras-the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago and Boston symphony orchestras, and the Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras-as well as with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and London's Royal Philharmonic and Philharmonia orchestras. In addition, he made returns to the London Symphony Orchestra and the Mariinsky Orchestra led by Valery Gergiev, the Russian National Orchestra under Mikhail Pletnev, and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra with Antoni Wit. In addition to Carnegie Hall, Mr. Trifonov made solo recital debuts at London's Wigmore Hall, Vienna's Musikverein, Japan's Suntory Hall, and the Salle Pleyel in Paris; at the Verbier and Edinburgh festivals; and at the BBC Proms in London's Royal Albert Hall.

    Additional recital engagements have included performances at the Celebrity Series of Boston, London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw (Master Piano Series), Berlin's Philharmonie (the Kammermusiksaal), Munich's Herkulessaal, Bavaria's Schloss Elmau, Zurich's Tonhalle, the Lucerne Piano Festival, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, the Seoul Arts Center, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

    An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, Mr. Trifonov's future plans with the label include recording Rachmaninoff's complete piano concertos. His existing discography 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.

    During the 2010-2011 season, Mr. 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 in Moscow's Tchaikovsky Competition. Jury members and observers at these events included Martha Argerich, Krystian Zimerman, Van Cliburn, Emanuel Ax, Nelson Freire, Yefim Bronfman, and Valery Gergiev, who personally awarded Mr. Trifonov the Moscow Grand Prix, an additional honor bestowed on the best overall competitor in any category.

    Born in Nizhny Novgorod in 1991, Mr. Trifinov 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 music for piano, chamber ensemble, and orchestra.
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Schubert's "Erlkönig"
Daniil Trifonov, Piano

At a Glance


Stravinsky’s four short piano pieces comprise a lightweight and very modern suite in the 18th-century manner, beginning with a formal introduction and ending with a ceremonial flourish. Stravinsky wrote the Serenade in A on an American concert tour in 1925. Each piece takes about three minutes to perform—not coincidentally, the amount of music that fit on one side of an early gramophone record.

CLAUDE DEBUSSY  Selections from Images, Book I

Debussy’s first book of Images, completed in 1905, gave a fresh and personal twist to Chopin’s innovations in the realm of harmony, melody, and figuration. The Frenchman might have been referring to himself when he wrote in his edition of Chopin’s waltzes: “Chopin was a delightful teller of tales of love and war, and he often slips away to that forest of As You Like It in which the fairies are the sole mistresses of the mind.”

MAURICE RAVEL  Selections from Miroirs

Roughly contemporary with Debussy’s Images, Ravel’s Miroirs are similarly adventurous in their approach to harmony, form, and keyboard technique. Although the titles of the pieces evoke pictorial imagery, Ravel is less concerned with traditional tone painting than with capturing the flickering reflections of pianistic sonorities and textures in his musical “mirror.”

ROBERT SCHUMANN  Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13 (with posthumous etudes)

Like most of Schumann’s solo piano works of the 1830s, the Symphonic Etudes contrast the personalities of Schumann’s fictitious alter egos: the stormy, impulsive Florestan and the dreamy, ruminative Eusebius. Although the composer was engaged to Clara Wieck when the work came to fruition in 1837, the inception of Op. 13 memorializes his first love, a young pianist named Ernestine von Fricken, whose father wrote the theme on which the etude-variations are based.

Program Notes
This performance is part of Keyboard Virtuosos II, and Keyboard Virtuosos II Sampler.