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Daniil Trifonov, Piano
Sergei Babayan, Piano

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Daniil Trifonov by Dario Acosta / DG, Sergei Babayan by Marco Borggreve
A joint recital with Daniil Trifonov and Sergei Babayan is a breathtaking display of sizzling virtuosity coupled with delicate musical soundscapes. “The firepower they achieved together is rare among piano duos,” said The New York Times of their 2018 Carnegie Hall recital. They reveal a world of spectacular color, melodic splendor, and rhythmic drive in music by Ravel, Rachmaninoff, and—in superb transcriptions by Babayan—Prokofiev’s ballet and opera music.

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Daniil Trifonov, Piano
Sergei Babayan, Piano
Gabriel Globus-Hoenich, Percussion


SCHUMANN Andante and Variations in B-flat Major, WoO 10 (arr. Sergei Babayan)

PROKOFIEV Twelve Movements from Romeo and Juliet (transcr. Sergei Babayan)

RACHMANINOFF Symphonic Dances, Op. 45

RAVEL Rapsodie espagnole


PROKOFIEV Idée fixe from The Queen of Spades, Op. 70 (transcr. Sergei Babayan)

RAVEL "Feria" from Rapsodie espagnole

Event Duration

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

Sponsored by KPMG LLP

In honor of the centenary of his birth, Carnegie Hall’s 2019–2020 season is dedicated to the memory of Isaac Stern in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to Carnegie Hall, arts advocacy, and the field of music.

At a Glance

SCHUMANN  Andante and Variations in B-flat Major, WoO 10 (arr. Sergei Babayan)

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. We hear Sergei Babayan’s own two-piano arrangement of the original work on this evening’s program.


PROKOFIEV  Twelve Movements from Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64 (transcr. Sergei Babayan)

As both a composer and a pianist, Prokofiev cultivated an ironic, sharply etched, and occasionally acerbic style that propelled him to the forefront of the modernist movement in the years before and during World War I. Yet in his lyrical moments, the Russian composer was equally capable of childlike directness and simplicity. Both sides of his artistic persona are on display in this evening’s selections from the ballet Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64, imaginatively transcribed for two pianos by Sergei Babayan.


RACHMANINOFF  Symphonic Dances, Op. 45

Rachmaninoff’s final work, this suite of three dances was intended to be the score for a ballet that never materialized. Fortunately, the music more than stands on its own in the composer’s alternative versions for orchestra and piano duet. One of the greatest virtuosos in history, Rachmaninoff’s conception of the piano was essentially symphonic; the keyboard version of Op. 45 is no less captivating than the colorfully orchestrated original.


RAVEL  Rapsodie espagnole

The son of a Basque woman who grew up with the sounds of Spanish folk songs in his ears, Ravel memorialized the Iberian Peninsula throughout his career, from his early “Habanera” for piano duet to the ever-popular orchestral showpiece Bolero. In 1907, he incorporated the “Habanera” into Rapsodie espagnole, a four-movement valentine to his mother’s homeland. Although Ravel didn’t visit Spain until 1924, Manuel de Falla described his musical evocations as “subtly genuine.”


Daniil Trifonov

Winner of Musical America’s 2019 Artist of the Year Award, Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov has made a spectacular ascent in the world of classical music as a solo artist, champion of ...

Winner of Musical America’s 2019 Artist of the Year Award, Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov has made a spectacular ascent in the world of classical music as a solo artist, champion of the concerto repertoire, chamber musician, and composer. Mr. Trifonov recently added a Grammy Award to his considerable string of honors, winning Best Classical Instrumental Solo of 2018 for Transcendental, a double album of Liszt’s works that marked his third title as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist.

This fall sees the release of a new album on Deutsche Grammophon—Destination Rachmaninov: Arrival—following 2018’s Destination Rachmaninov: Departure and 2015’s Grammy Award–nominated Rachmaninov Variations, all of which were recorded with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. As the New York Philharmonic’s 2019–2020 artist-in-residence, Mr. Trifonov joins the orchestra for concertos in New York and Europe, and gives the New York premiere of his own Piano Quintet. Additional season highlights include collaborations with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New World Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, and The Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as Bach-themed solo recitals in New York, Chicago, Boston, and Europe.

Mr. Trifonov recently took on four season-long residencies with Carnegie Hall, Vienna’s Musikverein, Berliner Philharmoniker, and the London Symphony Orchestra. Other recent highlights include launching the New York Philharmonic’s 2018–2019 season; headlining the gala finale of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s 125th anniversary celebrations; collaborations with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; and solo recitals at venues that include Boston’s Celebrity Series, London’s Barbican Centre and Royal Festival Hall, Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and Salle Pleyel, Brussels’s Palais des Beaux-Arts, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Berlin’s Philharmonie, Zurich’s Tonhalle, Vienna’s Musikverein, Barcelona’s Palau de la Música Catalana, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and Opera City, Seoul Arts Center, Melbourne Recital Centre, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

During the 2010–2011 season, Mr. Trifonov won first prize at Tel Aviv’s Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, third prize at Warsaw’s International Chopin Piano Competition, and first prize and grand prize at Moscow’s International Tchaikovsky Competition. He also won Italy’s Franco Abbiati Prize for Best Instrumental Soloist in 2013 and Gramophone’s Artist of the Year Award in 2016. Born in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, in 1991, Mr. Trifonov attended Moscow’s Gnessin School of Music before studying piano and composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

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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 a deep understanding and ...

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 a deep understanding and insight to an exceptionally diverse repertoire.

A curating artist at Konzerthaus Dortmund, Mr. Babayan’s 2019–2020 season includes performances with the Bamberg Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Mariinsky Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and Verbier Festival Orchestra. He also returns to major festivals that include La Roque d’Anthéron, Gstaad Menuhin, Verbier, and Piano aux Jacobins in France.

Throughout his career, Mr. Babayan has collaborated with such conductors as Valery Gergiev, David Robertson, Neeme Järvi, Thomas Dausgaard, and Tugan Sokhiev. He regularly performs with the world’s foremost orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lille, The Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and New World Symphony. He has appeared on stage at many prestigious venues, including Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, London’s Wigmore Hall, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Munich’s Prince Regent Theatre, Paris’s Maison de la Radio, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, and Zurich’s Tonhalle.

Mr. Babayan records exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon. His latest release—Prokofiev for Twofeatures his own two-piano transcriptions of works by Prokofiev performed with Martha Argerich.

An American citizen living in New York City, Mr. Babayan was born in Armenia to a musical family. He began his piano 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, Mr. Babayan won consecutive first prizes in several major competitions, including the Cleveland, Hamamatsu, and Scottish international piano competitions.

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Gabriel Globus-Hoenich

Percussionist Gabriel Globus-Hoenich blends a multitude of musical influences in his work as a performer and educator. He has performed on drum set and percussion with a wide ...

Percussionist Gabriel Globus-Hoenich blends a multitude of musical influences in his work as a performer and educator. He has performed on drum set and percussion with a wide range of artists and orchestras, including Morgan James, Jim James, Omara Portuondo, Telmary Díaz, Roberto Fonseca, Tirso Duarte, Steve Hackman, Tessa Lark, The Philly Pops, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra, and Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra. Mr. Globus-Hoenich also collaborates frequently with Teddy Abrams and the Sixth Floor Trio, serving as principal percussionist and education director for the trio’s chamber music festival, Garden Music, in South Miami. An active composer and arranger, Mr. Globus-Hoenich has written music for the Louisville Orchestra, Achilles Liarmakopoulos of Canadian Brass, and Grammy-nominated Afro-Caribbean group Tiempo Libre. In 2018, he performed Julia Wolfe’s percussion concerto riSE and fLY with Mr. Abrams and the Louisville Orchestra.

Mr. Globus-Hoenich works as a teaching artist for the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, The Philadelphia Orchestra, 92nd Street Y, and Marquis Studios. He founded People of Earth—a 15-person Latin fusion group—in 2017. He also co-founded PlasticBand, a community drumming group based in Harlem that received a grant through NeON Arts, a program of the NYC Department of Probation in partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. Mr. Globus-Hoenich is a 2008 graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Don Liuzzi and Robert van Sice.

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