Daniil Trifonov made his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in 2016 with one of the most difficult works in the repertoire: Sergei Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto, which is both virtuosic and romantic and demands extraordinary pianistic skill. “Again and again there were moments of magical affinity with the Philharmoniker,” wrote the critic in the Tagesspiegel. At his next appearance in January 2018 Trifonov displayed another facet of his artistry, playing Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto, which was composed as an alternative to the purely virtuoso concertos of that time. Now the young Russian musician returns to the orchestra as Artist in Residence for the 2018/2019 season.
An exceptional pianistic talent
Daniil Trifonov is regarded as an exceptional pianistic talent. In 2011 he won two prestigious international competitions, the Rubinstein Piano Competition in Tel Aviv and the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Within a short time, the son of professional musicians, who gave his first public concert performance with an orchestra at the age of eight, joined the ranks of the world’s leading pianists. A student of Tatiana Zelikman and Sergei Babayan, he impresses audiences with his technical brilliance and musical expressiveness. Trifonov seems to literally merge with the piano. With uncanny assurance he elicits a wide range of sounds from the instrument, from a tender pianissimo to the most powerful fortissimo. A decisive experience for his understanding of sound was the first time he heard Alexander Scriabin’s symphonic poem The Poem of Ecstasy, at the age of twelve. Since then he has endeavoured to convey the richness of Scriabin’s orchestral colours on the piano. The fact that he composes himself is an added advantage which enables him to develop his own particular approach to the works he interprets.
Soloist, chamber musician, composer
Daniil Trifonov has attracted attention not only with his distinctive playing but also because of his unconventional practice techniques. In order to gain the necessary strength for his fortissimo eruptions, he practices under water in a swimming pool or lying on the piano bench. “Every pianist must try to find a flexible and relaxing way to play,” he said in an interview for the Digital Concert Hall. As Artist in Residence Daniil Trifonov will display the full spectrum of his expertise, both as soloist and chamber musician. The artist will present the first concert of his residency with scholars from the Karajan Academy. During his second appearance the pianist will accompany baritone Matthias Goerne in a lieder programme. A solo recital follows in which Trifonov will play piano works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Robert Schumann and Sergei Prokofiev. He will also present a chamber music concert with members of the Berliner Philharmoniker, appearing both as pianist and composer, performing his own piano quintet. The conclusion and highlight of the residency will be the orchestral concert conducted by Andris Nelsons at the end of the season, at which Daniil Trifonov will play Alexander Scriabin’s rarely heard Piano Concerto.