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Following Winter Triumphs, Daniil Trifonov Embarks Upon European Tour with Pittsburgh Symphony and Manfred Honeck This Spring

Daniil Trifonov
21C Media Group

Two-time Grammy Award nominee Daniil Trifonov - the Russian virtuoso The Times of London calls "without question the most astounding young pianist of our age" - embarks this spring on a European tour with Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony (May 21-June 3), alternating performances of Liszt's First Piano Concerto with Rachmaninoff's Second, after starting with two performances of the Liszt in Pittsburgh (May 6 & 8). This marks Trifonov's second collaboration with the Pittsburgh Symphony this season; last fall he joined Honeck and the orchestra for a "spellbinding" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) performance of his own Piano Concerto. Noting that the piece required "transcendental technique," Pennsylvania's called Trifonov's concerto "riveting throughout."

The Pittsburgh Symphony tour caps a string of outstanding successes for Trifonov this year, including a two-month, 14-city European solo recital tour, a recital debut at Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, a residency at London's Wigmore Hall, a performance of Prokofiev's third concerto with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, an extensive U.S. tour of the same piece with Kent Nagano and the Montreal Symphony that marked his debut with that orchestra, and a debut with the Berlin Staatskapelle under Pablo Heras-Casado. Just a few days ago he played Prokofiev's second concerto with Alan Gilbert leading the London Symphony, leaving the UK's Sunday Telegraph almost lost for words:

"His playing ... left me wishing I'd kept some superlatives in my critic's arsenal unused, so I could bring them out specifically for the occasion. He has everything: sensitivity, intelligence, and a technique that has to be seen and heard to be believed. ... I'd be willing to bet Daniil Trifonov will turn out to be one of the greats."

Trifonov headlined the New York Philharmonic's three-week "Rachmaninoff: A Philharmonic Festival" under Gilbert's baton last fall, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Rachmaninov Variations, his sophomore release as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, recorded in part with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Like Trifonov's debut album on DG, the Grammy-nominated and ECHO Klassik Award-winning Trifonov: The Carnegie Hall Recital, Rachmaninov Variations was met with effusive praise upon its release last year, inspiring Norman Lebrecht's comment in Sinfini Music that "No pianist under forty exerts this level of fascination." 

The chorus of critical accolades that follows in Trifonov's wake was plentifully evident as he ranged across Europe and North America this winter. After his BAM Prokofiev performance with Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra, the New York Times called him the "ideal soloist" for the piece, praising his "delicacy and sparkling clarity," and his Montreal Symphony tour likewise brought glowing reviews: San Francisco Classical Voice asserted that "what he managed with Prokofiev's third piano concerto verges on the incredible," while the Chicago Tribune marveled at his "stupendous technique" and "razor-sharp clarity, dexterity and strength." As the Washington Post declared: "Trifonov seared his way onto the scene a few years ago and has retained every bit of the spark that brought him to the ‘it' spot in the hot-young-soloist pantheon." After his Disney Hall debut recital the Los Angeles Times said, simply, "Therein lies a path, only just begun, to greatness."