Gilmore Artist Kirill Gerstein Kicks Off New Year with High-Profile Concerto Engagements

Kirill Gerstein, winner of the 2010 Gilmore Artist Award and of lavish praise for his most recent solo recording, launches the New Year with high-profile concerto performances across Europe and the US. The last two weeks of January see the pianist performing Shostakovich’s Second with Esa-Pekka Salonen in Wales, Beethoven’s “Emperor” in Germany, Rachmaninoff’s First with the Baltimore Symphony, and the Shostakovich again with the St. Louis Symphony. Then in February Gerstein plays Brahms’s Second in Iceland and Venezuela, the latter performance under Gustavo Dudamel.

Gerstein’s new solo recital album, released in early November by Myrios Classics, features Schumann’s Humoreske, Liszt’s B-minor Sonata, and the debut recording of contemporary British composer Oliver Knussen’s Ophelia’s Last Dance, which Gerstein premiered at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival in May 2010. The New York Times lauded the disc as being “played with exquisite technique, refined musicianship, and engrossing imagination.” A National Public Radio feature singled out the pianist’s take on the Schumann: “Gerstein explains that the Humoresque portrays an ‘intimate tracing of Schumann’s emotional states.’ Throughout the five-movement work, Gerstein deftly interprets those emotions, ranging from light tenderness to virtuosic strength.” The Los Angeles Times described his Liszt interpretation as “thoughtfully lyrical” and the Knussen as “haunting.”

Gerstein in the US

On January 20 and 23, Gerstein performs Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Baltimore Symphony conducted by Marin Alsop. On January 28-30, the pianist teams up with one of his key collaborators, conductor Semyon Bychkov, to perform Shostakovich’s Second Concerto with the St. Louis Symphony. A celebrated Rachmaninoff interpreter, on February 4-5 Gerstein returns to the composer and his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with the Columbus Symphony in Ohio. March brings Beethoven in New Orleans; in April, it’s Rachmaninoff’s Second in Milwaukee. In May, Gerstein shares the stage with the Tokyo String Quartet for an all-Beethoven program at New York’s 92nd Street Y, performing the composer’s C-minor Sonata, Op. 111, and the Bagatelles, Op. 119. A complete list of Gerstein’s winter and spring 2011 dates follows below.

Born in 1979 in Voronezh, Russia, Kirill Gerstein has been an American citizen since 2003. He was elected into an elite circle of pianists in 2010 when he won the Gilmore Artist Award (previous award-winners include Leif Ove Andsnes, Piotr Anderszewski, and Ingrid Fliter). His recording of Schumann, Liszt, and Knussen follows an esteemed 2004 album of Bach, Beethoven, Scriabin, and Gershwin/Wild, which was released on the Oehms Classics label. Gerstein won First Prize at the 2001 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Israel; according to the Boston Globe, the pianist is “on the fast track to a major career, and he deserves to be.”

Kirill Gerstein: engagements, winter/spring 2011

January 20 and 23
Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra / Marin Alsop
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 1

January 28-30
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis Symphony / Semyon Bychkov
Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 2

February 4-5
Columbus, Ohio
Columbus Symphony / Larry Rachleff
Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

February 17
Reykjavik, Iceland
Iceland Symphony / Louis Langrée
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2

February 21-27
Caracas, Venezuela
Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra / Gustavo Dudamel
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2

March 11-12
New Orleans, Louisiana
Louisiana Philharmonic / Klauspeter Seibel
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1

April 1-3
Kitchener, Ontario
Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra / Edwin Outwater
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2

April 7-9
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville Symphony / Giancarlo Guerrero
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2

April 15-16
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra / Gilbert Varga
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1

April 30
San Diego, California
Solo recital

May 7
New York, New York
92nd Street Y
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111; Bagatelles, Op. 119

May 13
Semur-en-Auxois, France
Solo recital

May 18-20
Liverpool, UK
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra / Vasily Petrenko
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 1

May 24-25
Tel Aviv, Israel
with Hagen String Quartet
Brahms: Piano Quintet

May 27
Neumarkt, Germany
with Hagen String Quartet
Brahms: Piano Quintet

May 28
Vienna, Austria
with Hagen String Quartet
Brahms: Piano Quintet

June 5
Stuttgart, Germany
Lieder recital with Robert Hall

June 9
London, UK
Philharmonia Orchestra / Yuri Temirkanov
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2

June 12
Ittingen, Switzerland
Brahms: Variations on a Theme of Paganini
Busoni: Fantasia contrappuntistica for two pianos, with András Schiff

June 14
Aldeburgh, UK
Aldeburgh Festival, with Tabea Zimmermann, viola; Jörg Widmann, clarinet

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