October 16, 2018
Musical America Names CIM Alumnus Daniil Trifonov “Artist of the Year”
Musical America, now in its third century as the indispensable resource for the performing arts, today announced the winners of the annual Musical America Awards, recognizing artistic excellence and achievement in the arts.
According to the announcement from Musical America, “The brilliant Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov (AC’13, AD’15, Babayan) is a true virtuoso: All the notes are stunningly in place, but also, by turns, gloriously invested with color, expression, and style."
“In Trifonov's hands every note seems filled with meaning. He was 20 when he won the Arthur Rubinstein Competition in 2011, and that same year he took first place at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Before long, the pianist had performed with all of the 'big five' orchestras (New York, Cleveland, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago), and signed an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon recording contract."
“For DG, Trifonov is in the process of recording Rachmaninoff's piano concertos with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, as well as selected solo works. He has also recorded his own virtuoso composition, Rachmaniana. A superb recording of Liszt's Transcendental Etudes also met with high critical acclaim."
“The pianist's spirit of discovery is reflected in his recent seven-concert Carnegie Hall 'Perspectives' series, which included collaborations with Gidon Kremer's Kremerata Baltica chamber orchestra and cellist Gautier Capuçon; baritone Matthias Goerne; Sergei Babayan; and Valery Gergiev leading the Mariinsky Orchestra. The music included both Chopin and seminal pieces from each decade of the 20th century, with works by Berg, Prokofiev, Bartók, Copland, Messiaen, Ligeti, Stockhausen, Adams, Corigliano, and Adès, with original music by the pianist himself. (He recently toured his own Piano Concerto with the Mariinsky Orchestra.) On ECM, he has recorded music for violin and piano of Mieczyslaw Weinberg with Kremer. He plans to offer more contemporary works in the future."
In additional reporting, Musical America describes Trfonov’s selection of CIM:
“His early training was at Moscow’s Gnessin School for young, gifted musicians, where he studied piano with Tatiana Zelikman. When it came time to move on, in 2009, Zelikman suggested that he study with pianist Sergei Babayan, who was at the Cleveland Institute of Music. The two had never met. ‘He called me,’ remembers Babayan, ‘and when I inquired why he wanted to study with me he replied, ‘because I trust my teacher.’"
“Tatiana Zelikman was prescient. In the end, Babayan’s aesthetic outlook—stressing both communicativeness and taste—perfectly suited the young Russian’s. ‘I want the piano to speak like the human voice,’ explains the teacher.”