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Daniil Trifonov, Piano
Sergei Babayan, Piano

Thursday, March 1, 2018 7:30 PM Zankel Hall
Daniil Trifonov by Dario Acosta / DG, Sergei Babayan by Marco Borggreve
Daniil Trifonov has been lauded for “the ecstatic quality he brings to his performances … that translates into something thrilling, absorbing, inspiring” (Financial Times). The excitement level will be twice as high with a rare opportunity to hear him perform with his mentor Sergei Babayan in a program of two-piano music by Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Schumann, and Arvo Pärt.


Daniil Trifonov, Piano
Sergei Babayan, Piano


SCHUMANN Andante and Variations in B-flat Major, Op. 46

ARVO PÄRT Pari intervallo

MOZART Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, K. 448

RACHMANINOFF Suite No. 1 for Two Pianos

RACHMANINOFF Suite No. 2 for Two Pianos


RIMSKY-KORSAKOV "Dance of the Tumblers" from The Snow Maiden (arr. Victor Babin)

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
Daniil Trifonov introduces his 2017–2018 Perspectives series

Perspectives: Daniil Trifonov

Lead support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Additional funding is provided by members of Carnegie Hall's Composer Club.

At a Glance

ROBERT SCHUMANN  Andante and Variations in B-flat Major, Op. 46

Best known as a piano duet, Schumann’s beguiling Andante and Variations in B-flat Major was enriched in its first incarnation by the inclusion of two cellos and a French horn. Though slightly abridged, his later, two-piano arrangement retains the rich sonorities and elegiac atmosphere of the original.


ARVO PÄRT  Pari intervallo

Now in his early 80s, Estonian composer Arvo Pärt continues to explore the ramifications of the radically stripped-down musical language that grew out of his study of chant and early vocal polyphony. Pari intervallo illustrates his project of distilling musical materials and expression to their essence.


WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART  Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, K. 448

Whether written for two players on one keyboard (four-hand) or two keyboards, keyboard duets were a staple of amateur music-making in the late 18th century. Johann Christian Bach was the first composer to publish a set of duo piano sonatas in 1777, and Mozart’s masterful K. 448, written for one of his favorite female students in Vienna, followed soon thereafter.


SERGEI RACHMANINOFF  Suite No. 1 for Two Pianos, Op. 5; Suite No. 2 for Two Pianos, Op. 17

Rachmaninoff’s two early suites for piano duet display his trademark blend of Russian-flavored lyricism and pyrotechnic virtuosity. Dating from the first decade of the composer’s career, these four-movement works also chart his growing mastery of the pianistic idiom.


Daniil Trifonov

Grammy Award–winning Russian pianist and winner of Gramophone’s 2016 Artist of the Year award, Daniil Trifonov has made a spectacular ascent in the world of classical music as a  ...
Grammy Award–winning Russian pianist and winner of Gramophone’s 2016 Artist of the Year award, Daniil Trifonov has made a spectacular ascent in the world of classical music as a solo artist, composer, champion of the concerto repertoire, and collaborator at the keyboard in chamber music and song. The Times (London) calls Mr. Trifonov “without question the most astounding pianist of our age.” His album Transcendental won the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo.

Focusing on Chopin during the 2017–2018 season, Mr. Trifonov releases Chopin Evocations—his fourth album as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist—marking his first foray into a new repertoire with works of 20th-century composers who were greatly influenced by the Polish master, including Samuel Barber and Frederic Mompou.

Mr. Trifonov gives more than 20 performances on this theme across the US, Europe, and Asia, including three as part of his self-curated, seven-concert Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall: a solo recital and two all-Chopin programs with Kremerata Baltica. Additional concerts in the series include a recital with Matthias Goerne; this evening’s collaboration with Mr. Trifonov’s teacher Sergei Babayan; a performance of Mr. Trifonov’s own Piano Concerto with Valery Gergiev leading the Mariinsky Orchestra, culminating another US tour; and a solo recital in Zankel Hall that includes a seminal piece from each decade of the 20th century. Mr. Trifonov curates a similar series this season at Vienna’s Konzerthaus, as well as in San Francisco, concluding with a season-closing Rachmaninoff performance with the San Francisco Symphony.

Additional highlights of the 2017–2018 season include European tours with Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica, as well as with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala. Mr. Trifonov’s orchestral appearances include Strauss’s Burleske with the Orquesta Nacional de España and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Schumann’s Piano Concerto with Lisbon’s Gulbenkian Orchestra and the Berliner Philharmoniker; Scriabin’s Piano Concerto with the Seattle Symphony; a performance of his own Piano Concerto with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Prokofiev with the Mariinsky Orchestra and The Cleveland Orchestra; and Rachmaninoff with the Munich Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and The Philadelphia Orchestra. 
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Sergei Babayan

Sergei Babayan is one of the leading pianists of our time. Hailed for his emotional intensity, bold energy, and remarkable levels of color, Mr. Babayan brings deep understanding and insight  ...

Sergei Babayan is one of the leading pianists of our time. Hailed for his emotional intensity, bold energy, and remarkable levels of color, Mr. Babayan brings deep understanding and insight to a stylistically diverse repertoire.

Mr. Babayan has collaborated with such conductors as Yuri Temirkanov, Neeme Järvi, Hans Graf, David Robertson, Tugan Sokhiev, and Dima Slobodeniouk; in addition, he has frequently performed with Valery Gergiev to great critical acclaim. With Mr. Gergiev, he has given festival performances at the Stars of the White Nights Festival, Moscow Easter Festival, Salzburg Festival, and Rotterdam Philharmonic Gergiev Festival, as well as appearances at renowned venues, including the Barbican Centre with the London Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, and Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Élyseés.

The 2017–2018 season sees Mr. Babayan in performances with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Cameristi del Teatro alla Scala, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Mariinsky Orchestra, Szczecin Philharmonic, Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, and Verbier Festival Orchestra. He will appear at Berlin’s new Pierre Boulez Saal, Essen’s Philharmonie, and Stuttgart’s Liederhalle. With Martha Argerich, a frequent collaborator, he will also perform in numerous cities across Europe.

Engagements and tours have brought Mr. Babayan to preeminent international concert venues, including Carnegie Hall, Cleveland’s Severance Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, Paris’s Salle Gaveau, Warsaw’s National Philharmonic, Munich’s Herkulessaal, Nuremberg’s Meistersingerhalle, Berlin’s Konzerthaus, Karlsruhe’s Johannes-Brahms-Saal, Bonn’s Beethovenhalle, Prague’s Dvořák Hall, and Geneva’s Victoria Hall. His performances have been broadcast by Radio France, Polish Radio and Television, BBC-TV, BBC Radio 3, NHK, and medici.tv.

An American citizen living in New York City, Mr. Babayan was born in Armenia to a musical family. He began his studies in Armenia under the tutelage of Georgy Saradjev, and continued at the Moscow Conservatory, where he worked with Mikhail Pletnev, Vera Gornostayeva, and Lev Naumov. Following his first trip outside of the USSR in 1989, he won consecutive first prizes in several major competitions, including the Cleveland, Hamamatsu, and Scottish international piano competitions.

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