Fresno had a rare double cultural treat yesterday afternoon. Daniil Trifonov, pianist, feasted listeners to an awe-inspiring recital followed by a riveting interview, revealing the artist’s profound thoughts about piano technique, performance, memorization, competitions, and more.
It was a perfectly delightful foray into the universe of a gifted performer who’s made a meteoric career rise by winning the Tchaikovsy and Rubinstein Piano Competitions.
His closely-spaced triumphs drew the attention of Andreas Werz, Artistic Director of the Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concerts who tapped Trifonov for an appearance on the well-reputed series, placing the pianist in the good company of Nikolai Lugansky who performed in Fresno a few months earlier.
Trifonov’s program included the works of Schubert/Liszt; Schubert–Sonata in Bb Major; Images Book I by Debussy: “Reflets dans l’eau,” “Hommage a Rameau,”
and “Mouvement,” in addition to the Twelve Chopin Etudes, Op. 10.
For each composer the artist elicited a uniquely individual mood and affect from the piano. A tone colorist in the Debussy, he made the instrument shimmer, while in the Schubert works he produced cantabile lines and richly voiced, sonorous chords. An appealing orchestral dimension permeated the Romantic compositions.
A standing ovation brought two well-played encores and sustained applause. Not to forget my daughter Aviva’s rush to the stage, embracing a colorful bouquet of flowers deposited in the pianist’s arms.
The icing on the cake, however, was Trifonov’s post-recital interview, captured “live” on video:
Aviva was thrilled to grab a photo op with Daniil:
“Born in Nizhniy Novgorod in 1991, Daniil Trifonov is emerging as one of the brightest new names of the next generation of pianists. During the 2010/11 season he won medals at three of the most prestigious competitions in the music world: the Chopin Competition in Warsaw (Bronze Medal), the Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv (First Prize) and the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (Gold Medal).
“During these performances he impressed jury members and observers such as Martha Argerich, Krystian Zimerman, Van Cliburn, Emanuel Ax, Nelson Freire, Yefim Bronfman and Valery Gergiev. Gergiev personally awarded Trifonov the ‘Grand Prix’ in Moscow, an additional award given to the best overall competitor in any of that Competition’s categories.
“Following these accolades, Trifonov has been invited to perform by many major promoters worldwide during the 2011/12 season. Highlights include debuts with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (tour), London Symphony Orchestra and Mariinsky Orchestra with Gergiev, Israel Philharmonic with Mehta, Russian National Orchestra with Pletnev, as well as collaborations with other conductors as Howard Shelly, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Pietari Inkinen, Sir Neville Marriner, Diego Matheuz, Antoni Wit. He also gives performances at the Salle Pleyel Paris, Carnegie Hall New York, Suntory Hall Tokyo, Wigmore Hall London, Musikverein Vienna; and venues across Europe, North and South America, Middle and Far East.
During the 2011/12 season Daniil has performed at International music festivals, among them International Piano Festival in the Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall (Russia), Festival of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (Israel), Red Sea International Classical Music Festival (Israel), International Keyboard Institute & Festival (USA), BNDNES International Piano Competition Festival (Brasil), International Music Festival “Chopin and his Europe” (Poland), International Chopin Piano Festival in Duszniki Zdroj (Poland).
“In next summer, the debuts in major summer festivals: Verbier, Montreux, Edinburgh, Tivoli, Kremerata Festival, Lockenhaus, Grafenegg, La Roque d’Anthéron, Klavier Festival Ruhr, in USA Blossom Festival and Chautauqua Festival. Among future confirmed engagements: New York Philharmonic Orchestra (Gilbert), Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Dutoit), San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra (Gaffigan), Philharmonia Orchestra (Maazel), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Dutoit), Orchestre de l’Opera de Paris (Jordan), Mariinsky Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra e Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (Gergiev), Russian National Orchestra (Pletnev), BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and recitals in Lucerne Piano Festival, London Queen Elizabeth Hall, Paris Auditorium du Louvre, Zurich Tonhalle, Washington Kennedy Center, New York Carnegie Hall (Stern auditorium), Berlin Philharmonie (Kammersaal), Amsterdaam Concertgebouw (main auditorium), Moscow Philharmonie, ecc.
“Daniil Trifonov began his musical studies at the age of five. He studied at Moscow Gnesin School of Music in the class of Tatiana Zelikman (2000-2009), teacher of such artists as Konstantin Lifschitz, Alexander Kobrin and Alexei Volodin. From 2006 to 2009 he also studied composition and has continued to write piano, chamber and orchestral music since then. Since 2009, he has studied piano at the Cleveland Institute of Music in the class of Sergei Babayan.
“Trifonov won many competitions and in 2008, at the age of 17, he was awarded at the 4th International Scriabin Competition (2008, Moscow) and triumphed at 3rd International Piano Competition of San Marino Republic (1st Prize and Special Prize “Republic of San Marino 2008”). He received a Guzik Foundation Career Grant in 2009, and toured the USA and Italy as a consequence of this.
“Recent concerts by Daniil Trifonov have included his Japanese debut in Tokyo, recitals at the Mariinsky Concert Hall and at Moscow Easter Festival, a Chopin birthday concert in Warsaw conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki, and recitals at the Teatro La Fenice in Italy and at the Brighton Festival in the UK, Festival Pianistico di Trieste (Italy), Rheingau (Germania), Crescendo (Russia), New Names (Russia), Arpeggione (Austria), Dame Myra Hess Series (USA), Round Top (USA). He has also recently performed with the Orchestra Verdi in Milan.
“His first CD was released on DECCA in 2011, featuring a selection of Chopin solo piano works. He’s made recordings for other labels and made a number of radio and television recordings in Russia, the USA and Italy:
Record Labels – DUX (Poland), The Fryderyk Chopin Institute (Poland), Classical Records (Russia), Zvuk Agency (Russia),
Television – Channel One (Russia), Kultura TV Channel (Russia), Nizhny Novgorod TV (Russia), TVP Kultura (Poland), San Marino TV,
Radio – Radio Russia, Polish Radio, BBC Radio 3(UK), WQXR (New York, USA), WFMT Radio (Chicago, USA), KUHF Radio (Houston, USA).”