January 24, 2020

Pianists Sergei Babayan and Daniil Trifonov to Perform Duo Recital to Benefit CIM Scholarship Fund

Daniil Trifonov and Sergei Babayan

Two of Cleveland Institute of Music’s most acclaimed artists come together to celebrate the legendary conservatory’s 100th anniversary in an exclusive, one-night-only recital to benefit CIM student scholarships. On February 19 at 8pm in CIM’s Mixon Hall, this duo performance with CIM Artist-in-Residence Sergei Babayan and alumnus Daniil Trifonov (AC ’13, AD ’15, Babayan) will feature works by Schumann, Mozart and Rachmaninoff.

The night’s festivities begin with a dinner at 6pm for All-Inclusive Patrons, followed by the concert at 8pm, and ending the night with a post-concert reception for all guests. The ticket packages—All-Inclusive Package ($1,000), Guest Package ($500) and Sponsor a Student ($350)—are available online now at cim.edu/benefit-tickets.  

“We are grateful for the incredible generosity of these two consummate artists who live CIM’s ideals every day,” said CIM President and CEO Paul W. Hogle. “Their relationship has transformed from a remarkable teacher-student bond into one of tremendous mutual respect and unmatched creativity. When the stars aligned to make this concert happen we knew immediately that it will be nothing short of dazzling. Sergei and Daniil have traveled the world together performing in front of sold-out audiences, receiving such rave reviews describing their recitals as ‘lyrical,’ ‘beguiling,’ ‘exhilarating’ and ‘a breathtaking display of sizzling virtuosity’ to name only a few. We are honored and humbled to have them perform in beautiful Mixon Hall.”

The Los Angeles Times reviewed one of their recitals in 2018: “When a special kind of music telepathy is required, never underestimate the power of the student-mentor relationship. On Sunday night, virtuoso pianists Daniil Trifonov and Sergei Babayan emphatically displayed a mysterious kind of thought transference in their recital at Walt Disney Concert Hall… the two musicians proved equal partners, a tribute to Babayan’s teaching and to Trifonov’s astonishing musical intelligence and technique.”

Babayan, a member of the CIM piano faculty and Artist-in-Residence since 1992, is one of the leading pianists of our time. Born in Armenia into a musical family, Babayan began his studies there with Georgy Saradjev and continued at the Moscow Conservatory with Mikhail Pletnev, Vera Gornostayeva and Lev Naumov. Hailed for his emotional intensity, bold energy and remarkable levels of color, he brings a deep understanding and insight to an exceptionally diverse repertoire. A Deutsche Grammophon exclusive artist, Babayan’s engagements and tours have taken him to such preeminent international concert venues as Carnegie Hall, Severance Hall, Warsaw Philharmony, Herkulessaal in Munich, Liederhalle in Stuttgart, Meistersingerhalle in Nuremberg, Konzerthaus Berlin, Beethovenhalle Bonn, Rudolfinum-Dvorak Hall in Prague, Victoria Hall in Geneva and many others.

The Russian-born Trifonov – 2019 Musical America Artist of the Year and winner of Gramophone’s 2016 Artist of the Year award – has made a spectacular ascent in the classical music world as a solo artist, champion of the concerto repertoire, chamber and vocal collaborator, and composer. 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,” marveled pianist Martha Argerich, widely considered as one of the greatest pianists in the world. Trifonov added a first Grammy Award to his already considerable string of honors, winning Best Instrumental Solo Album of 2018 with Transcendental, a Liszt collection that marked his third title as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist. As The Times of London notes, he is “without question the most astounding pianist of our age.”

CIM, which is celebrating 100 years of educating young classical musicians, was founded in the spring of 1920 by the forward-thinking women of the Fortnightly Musical Club of Cleveland. It is one of the oldest continuous music clubs in the country.

For more details about the concert, visit cim.edu/benefit


Limited tickets available. All proceeds benefit CIM student scholarships. 

  • $1,000 All-inclusive package ($875 tax deductible)
  • $500 Guest package ($425 tax deductible)
  • $350 Sponsor a student package (fully tax deductible)

Learn more about ticket packages and reserve your seats today!