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Daniil Trifonov’s 2018-19 Highlights Include Season-Opening Concerts with NY Phil; Artistic Residencies with Berlin Phil, LSO and Vienna Musikverein; and New Rachmaninov Album on DG
Source: 21c

Grammy Award-winner Daniil Trifonov headlines the New York Philharmonic’s season-launching concerts, playing Ravel’s jazz-inflected Concerto in G for the opening-night gala under incoming Music Director Jaap van Zweden before rejoining the orchestra the following night for Beethoven’s mighty “Emperor” Concerto. This kicks off a characteristically full season for the versatile young Russian. October 12 brings the release of Destination Rachmaninov: Departure, a new album recorded – like 2015’s Rachmaninov: Variations – with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguinfor Deutsche Grammophon. On the heels of 2017-18’s “Perspectives” series at Carnegie Hall, Trifonov undertakes three more multi-faceted season-long residencies. With the Berlin Philharmonic, he showcases his artistry as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and composer; with the London Symphony Orchestra, he is the subject of an “Artist Portrait” series; and at Vienna’s Musikverein, he not only appears with the Vienna Philharmonic, but gives the Austrian premiere of his own Piano Concerto.
The coming season also sees the pianist return to a host of U.S. orchestras including the National Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, and Cleveland Orchestra, with which he embarks on a tour of Asia. In recital, he debuts a solo program of Beethoven, Schumann and Prokofiev that takes him back to Carnegie’s mainstage as well as to numerous additional U.S. and European destinations, including London, Vienna, and Berlin, where – as at New York’s 92nd Street Y – he also appears with his frequent recital partner, German baritone Matthias Goerne. As The Times of London observes, Trifonov is “without question the most astounding young pianist of our age.”

Ravel and Beethoven with New York Philharmonic and more

It was three seasons ago, when Trifonov headlined the New York Philharmonic’s “Rachmaninoff: A Philharmonic Festival,” that the New York Times exclaimed: “Few artists have burst onto the classical music scene in recent years with the incandescence of the pianist Daniil Trifonov.” Now the pianist looks forward to playing a similarly prominent role in the same orchestra’s season-launching concerts. First he performs Ravel’s G-major Concerto at the Philharmonic’s season-opening gala, which marks the inaugural appearance of Jaap van Zweden as its new Music Director (Sep 20). Then he reunites with the same forces as soloist not only in the Ravel but also in Beethoven’s “Emperor Concerto” (Sep 21, 22 & 25).
Both works also highlight Trifonov’s upcoming “Artist Portrait” series with the London Symphony Orchestra, when he revisits the Ravel under Sir Simon Rattle in London and during his residency at Vienna’s Musikverein (Feb 17 & 19) and reprises the “Emperor” under Michael Tilson Thomas (June 2). Beethoven’s concerto sees him collaborate with three leading U.S. orchestras too, in returns to Washington’s National Symphony under Gianandrea Noseda (Jan 31–Feb 2); the Cincinnati Symphony under Louis Langrée (May 3 & 4); and the Cleveland Orchestra, under Franz Welser-Möst, in Cleveland (March 25) and on a six-city tour of China and Taiwan (March 29–April 12).

Rachmaninov in concert and on new DG release

Figuring yet more prominently in the pianist’s coming season are the concertos of Rachmaninov. On Destination Rachmaninov: Departure, his seventh title as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, he plays his compatriot’s Second and Fourth Concertos. Already named Gramophone’s “Artist of the Year” 2016, Trifonov scored this year’s Grammy Award for “Best Solo Instrumental Album” with his Liszt collection, Transcendental, while his 2015 title, Rachmaninov: Variations, drew comparably widespread praise. Like the forthcoming release, it was captured with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the leadership of music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, prompting The Guardian to marvel: “Trifonov is exceptional, and this Rachmaninov collection shows exactly why.” Gramophone magazine agreed:
“[It’s] up there with the very best. That includes the indispensable benchmark recording with the composer and the same orchestra made in 1934. … Trifonov and Nézet-Séguin do seem genuinely to be a meeting of musical minds.”
In live performance, the pianist’s Rachmaninov has been hailed as “simply electrifying” (New York Times), and this season the Fourth Concerto is also the vehicle for his return to the Vienna Philharmonic under Alain Altinoglu (Jan 9-13) during his upcoming Musikverein residency, while the Third sees him collaborate with the Boston Symphonyand Andris Nelsons (April 25-30), the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and Karina Canellakis (May 15-17), and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Ceciliaand Antonio Pappano, in concerts in Rome and on a six-city tour of China, Taiwan, and South Korea (Nov 8-29). Finally, on a six-stop Spanish tour with Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra, he plays Rachmaninov’s Second, Third and Fourth piano concertos (March 7-15).

Season-long artistic residencies with Berlin Philharmonic, LSO, and Musikverein

Trifonov recently completed residencies in Vienna and San Francisco as well as a season-long “Perspectives” series at Carnegie Hall that showed him to be “not just one of the most spectacularly virtuosic pianists of the day but an uncommonly thoughtful artist” (New York Times). He now looks forward to high-profile artistic residencies with three of Europe’s most iconic musical institutions.
After making his triumphant debut in New Year Eve’s concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic two seasons ago, Trifonov returns this season as the orchestra’s 2018-19 Artist-in-Residence. This many-sided role sees him play Scriabin’s Piano Concertounder the baton of Andris Nelsons (June 20-22); join Scholars of the Karajan Academyand Gregor Mayrhofer for Baroque and 20th-century concertos by Bach, Schnittke, and Stravinsky (Sep 30); give a solo recital of Beethoven, Schumann, and Prokofiev (Feb 21; see below); and partner baritone Matthias Goerne for a lieder recital of Brahms, Schumann, Wolf, Berg, and Shostakovich (Jan 6). To complete the residency, he takes part in a chamber concert capped by a performance of his own Piano Quintet (June 23), of which he also gives the Cincinnati premiere with the Ariel Quartet back in the U.S. (May 5 & 6).
It was through winning both the First Prize and Grand Prix at Moscow’s 2011 Tchaikovsky Competition that Trifonov made his London Symphony Orchestra debut, since when his appearances with the orchestra have included accounts of Prokofiev’s First and Third Concertos at the 2015 BBC Proms that The Guardian found “utterly beguiling.” The pianist’s 2018-19 “Artist Portrait” series sees him conducted by three of the LSO’s named conductors. Besides playing Ravel under Music Director Sir Simon Rattle (Feb 17 & 19; see above) and Beethoven under Conductor Laureate Michael Tilson Thomas (June 2; see above), he joins Principal Guest Conductor Gianandrea Noseda and Principal Trumpet Philip Cobb for Shostakovich’s First Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and Strings, both in London and on tour in Dublin (June 14 & 16). He also, as in Berlin, presents a solo recital of Beethoven, Schumann, and Prokofiev (June 10; see below).
After last season’s residency at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Trifonov returns to the Austrian capital for five programs as Artist-in-Residence at the city’s storied Musikverein. In addition to playing Rachmaninov with Alain Altinoglu leading the Vienna Philharmonic(Jan 9-13; see above) and Ravel with Rattle and the LSO (Feb 19; see above), he joins his fellow 2011 Tchaikovsky Competition laureates Sergei Dogadin and Narek Hakhnazaryan for piano trios by Rachmaninov and Shostakovich (Jan 14), and revisits his new solo recital program (Feb 23; see below). To crown the residency, he joins the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra as soloist under the baton of Johannes Debus for the Austrian premiere of his own Piano Concerto (June 6). When Trifonov first premiered the concerto five years ago, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer marveled: “Even having seen it, one cannot quite believe it. Such is the artistry of pianist-composer Daniil Trifonov.”

New solo recital program at Carnegie Hall and more

Trifonov is as celebrated in solo recital as for his orchestral collaborations. After one of his solo appearances at London’s Wigmore Hall, the Financial Times observed: “The astonishing Russian pianist brings an ecstatic quality to his performances.” Similarly, after the most recent of his annual solo recitals on the mainstage of Carnegie Hall, the New York Times declared that “the brilliant and poetic components of his artistry found ideal balance in his magnificent performance.” This season, the pianist returns to the New York venue with a new program comprising Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 18 and Andante Favori, Schumann’s Bunte Blätter and Presto Passionato, and Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 8 (Feb 9). This concludes a U.S. tour that also sees stops in Durham, NC (Feb 5) and Richmond, VA (Feb 7), with a reprise at California’s La Jolla Music Society (April 17). Besides highlighting his residencies in Berlin, London, and Vienna (see above), the same program takes Trifonov to recitals throughout Europe, with dates in Slovenia, Austria, Croatia, and Slovakia (Oct 3-8); in Luxembourg, Switzerland, and in five cities across Italy (Oct 25-Nov 4); and at Germany’s MünchenMusik festival (Feb 12) and Hamburg Elbphilharmonie (Feb 14).

With Matthias Goerne in New York City and Berlin

Last season, Trifonov included recitals with Matthias Goerne in his residencies at the Vienna Konzerthaus and at Carnegie Hall. This season, after reuniting for a January recital at the Berlin Philharmonie (Jan 6, see above), he and the German baritone give a U.S. performance at New York’s 92nd Street Y. Representing the third of the pianist’s four New York City engagements this season, the concert is presented by the New York Philharmonic, four of whose principals will join him for Brahms’s Piano Quintet (March 17).

Chicago Symphony, Met Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic and other orchestral engagements

The pianist’s remaining U.S. orchestral dates include a return to Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium with longtime collaborator Valery Gergiev leading the Met Orchestra in Schumann’s Concerto (May 18), which also takes him to the New Jersey Symphony (Jan 25-27) and Indianapolis Symphony (May 10 & 11). In appearances with Marin Alsop and the Chicago Symphony, he reprises Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto (Oct 18-20), of which his interpretation was “the real revelation” (Telegraph, UK) of the 2013 Edinburgh Festival’s opening-night concert. The review continued:
“Trifonov delivered a performance of sometimes unsettling intensity – one that didn’t so much grab your attention as dared you to look away. His technical abilities were spellbinding – exquisitely weighted chords, beautifully graded runs, harmonies hammered out with percussive brilliance – yet they were all harnessed to serve a profoundly lyrical vision of the piece.”
The pianist completes his full 2018-19 season with accounts of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto – the work with which he made his LSO and Carnegie Hall debuts – in Tel Aviv, with Iván Fischer leading the Israel Philharmonic (May 25-30).
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