Friday, May 6, 2016

Tchaikovsky Symphonies and Trifonov Plays Liszt at PSO Concerts

Pianist Daniil Trifanov to Perform Liszt's Concerto No. 1 

Pianist Daniil Trifonov returns to Pittsburgh’s Heinz Hall for another brilliant performance this season, performing Liszt’s Concerto No. 1, a showpiece for a virtuostic pianist, on Friday and Sunday. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra  program on Friday and Sunday also features Haydn’s Symphony No. 93 and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. Saturday’s program features Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 and Symphony No. 5 only.
Trifonov will be joining the Pittsburgh Symphony for its European Tour in May, performing at 10 concerts during the tour. The Liszt Concerto is one of the pieces he will perform with the orchestra in Europe.

A pre-concert talk, open to all ticket holders and led by Assistant Conductor Andrés Franco, will occur on stage one hour before each concert. Program notes for the weekend are available online at and on the PSO mobile app the day of the concert.

During the weekend, beginning one hour before concert time, student musicians will perform in the Grand Lobby of Heinz Hall. This weekend, Young Steinway Artists will perform before each concert. These performances are free to ticketholders.
The concert begins at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets, ranging in price from $20 to $94, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or visiting

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,” 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 2015-2016 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 10-stop North European tour.

An accomplished composer, it is also 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, Trifonov made debuts with the Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle and Toronto Symphonies and returned to orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Washington’s National Symphony and London’s Philharmonia. For his second appearance at the BBC Proms with the London Symphony and on a Japanese tour with the Mariinsky Orchestra, his conductor was Valery Gergiev, with whom he reunited to open the 2015 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. The pianist toured a solo recital program to such key venues as London’s Royal Festival Hall, the Théâtre des Champs Élysées in Paris, Tokyo’s Opera City, Barcelona’s Palau de la Musica, and New York’s Carnegie Hall, to which he returned as the final stop on a U.S. duo recital tour with violinist Gidon Kremer.

In 2012-2013, Trifonov made debuts with all the “Big Five” orchestras: the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, and Philadelphia Orchestra; with European ensembles including Rome’s Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and London’s Royal Philharmonic; and at London’s BBC Proms. The following season, he collaborated with 19 of the world’s foremost orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the symphony orchestras of Washington, San Francisco and London.

Since making solo recital debuts at Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, Vienna’s Musikverein, Japan’s Suntory Hall and the Salle Pleyel in Paris in the 2012-2013 season, Trifonov has given solo recitals at venues including the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Boston’s Celebrity Series, 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 and the Seoul Arts Center.

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."

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