“He has everything and more ... tenderness and also the demonic element. I never heard anything like that.”
“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.”
Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov has made a spectacular ascent in the world of classical music 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.”
The 2016-17 season brings the release of Transcendental, a double album that not only represents Trifonov’s third title as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, but also the first time that Liszt’s complete concert etudes have been recorded for the label in full. In concert, the pianist – winner of Gramophone’s 2016 Artist of the Year award – plays Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto under Riccardo Muti in the historic gala finale of the Chicago Symphony’s 125th anniversary celebrations. Having scored his second Grammy Award nomination with Rachmaninoff Variations, he performs Rachmaninoff for his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle at the orchestra’s famous New Year’s Eve concerts, scheduled to air live in cinemas throughout Europe. Also with Rachmaninoff, he makes debuts with the Melbourne and Sydney Symphonies, returns to the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and headlines the Munich Philharmonic’s “Rachmaninoff Cycle” tour with longtime collaborator Valery Gergiev. Mozart is the vehicle for his reengagements with the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, and Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as for dates with the Staatskapelle Dresden at home and at the Salzburg Festival and London’s BBC Proms. He rejoins the Staatskapelle for Ravel, besides playing Beethoven with Zurich’s Tonhalle Orchestra; Prokofiev with the Rotterdam Philharmonic; Chopin on tour with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra; and Schumann with the Houston Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, and on tour with Riccardo Chailly and La Scala Orchestra.
An accomplished composer, Trifonov also reprises his own acclaimed concerto in Kansas City. With a new program of Schumann, Shostakovich, and Stravinsky, he makes recital debuts at London’s Barbican and Melbourne’s Recital Centre; appears in Berlin, Vienna, Florence, Madrid, Oslo, Moscow, and other European hotspots; and returns to Philadelphia, Baltimore, and – for the fourth consecutive year – the mainstage of New York’s Carnegie Hall. He also gives duo recitals with his former teacher, pianist Sergei Babayan, in Princeton and Sarasota, and looks forward to returning to the Tanglewood, Verbier, Baden-Baden, and Salzburg Festivals.
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.”