March 24, 2015

CIM faculty member and student shine at recent Cleveland Orchestra concert

CIM faculty member and student shine at recent Cleveland Orchestra concert

Cleveland Institute of Music trumpet head and principal of The Cleveland Orchestra, Michael Sachs, teamed up with CIM alumnus and rising star Daniil Trifonov (AD ’15, Babayan) for a tremendous performance of Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 1. The first piece of the evening, Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2, was complete with an “affecting solo” by principal clarinetist and CIM clarinet department head, Franklin Cohen.

The night was filled with “sparkle” as the Orchestra’s former conductor Jahja Ling led the performers through a lively program of Russian composers.

The Plain Dealer’s Zachary Lewis wrote that Trifonov was, “a principal attraction, and deserved every accolade he received.

Just as Rachmaninoff isn't for every conductor, so isn't every pianist right for Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 1. In this case, however, a finer interpreter than Trifonov is hard to imagine.

A virtuoso of uncommon dexterity, Trifonov tore through this most unconventional and frenzied of concertos like a rock star, with electric, percussive flair. The zanier, the more satirical the music, the more dynamic the pianist became. To its few quiet passages, meanwhile, he brought pinpoint clarity, funneling listeners into his introspective states.”

Lewis praised the performance by Michael Sachs who he called, “A vital player in the concerto…he matched Trifonov Thursday perfectly, supplying ample doses of eloquence and folksy charm. What's more, he fit the theme marvelously. Few musicians in Cleveland are more recognizable.”

Read the full review on