The multifaceted pianist Kirill Gerstein has rapidly ascended into classical musicís highest ranks. Reaching beyond the classical genre with his unique background in jazz, coupled with a masterful technique, musical curiosity and an energetic and expressive musical personality, Mr. Gerstein has proven to be one of todayís most intriguing musicians.
In January 2010, Mr. Gerstein was named the recipient of the 2010 Gilmore Artist Award. Only the sixth pianist to have been so honored, the Gilmore Award is awarded to an exceptional pianist who, regardless of age or nationality, possesses broad and profound musicianship and charisma and who desires and can sustain a career as a major international concert artist. He has since shared his Gilmore prize by commissioning boundary crossing new works by Brad Mehldau and Chick Corea. Mr. Gerstein was also awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in April 2010, and received a 2002 Gilmore Young Artist Award as well as first prize at the 2001 Arthur Rubinstein Piano Competition in Tel Aviv.
Highlights of Kirill Gersteinís 13/14 season in North America include subscription debuts with the New York Philharmonic and the Minnesota Orchestra; re-engagements with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago, San Francisco, St. Louis, Detroit, Cincinnati and Houston symphonies; and return visits to Aspen and the Grant Park Music Festival. Internationally, he has been re-engaged by Londonís Philharmonic and Philharmonia Orchestras as well as by the Czech Philharmonic and the Finnish Radio, and also appears with the Danish Radio, Dresden Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony and the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome.
This season in recital, he premieres a newly commissioned work by Timothy Andres, titled Old Friend. The work will be featured on a program at Jordan Hall in Boston and for the Gilmore Foundation in Kalamazoo, MI. He also performs recitals in Toronto, Denver, Princeton and at Duke University, and returns to Kalamazoo for the 2014 Gilmore International Keyboard Festival to give both classical and jazz concerts, including a performance with vocalist Storm Large from Pink Martini.
Mr. Gersteinís recent engagements in North America include performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Boston, Toronto, Montreal, Atlanta, Dallas, Baltimore, Seattle and Vancouver symphonies among others; festival appearances at the Mann Music Center, Saratoga and Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony, Blossom with the Cleveland Orchestra and at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival; and recitals in Vancouver, Miami, Detroit, Cal Performances at UC Berkeley, Washingtonís Kennedy Center and New Yorkís 92nd St. Y.
Internationally, Kirill Gerstein has worked with such prominent European orchestras as the Munich, Rotterdam and Royal Philharmonics, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Staatskappelle, Zurich Tonhalle, the Swedish Radio Orchestra, WDR Cologne and the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, as well as with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo and the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra in Caracas with Gustavo Dudamel. He has also performed recitals in Paris, Prague, Hamburg, Londonís Wigmore Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall and at the Liszt Academy in Budapest. He made his Salzburg Festival debut playing solo and two piano works with Andras Schiff and has also appeared at the Verbier, Lucerne and Jerusalem Chamber Music Festivals as well as at the Proms in London.
Named one of the ten best recordings of 2010 by the New York Times, Kirill Gersteinís first recording for Myrios Classics of recital works by Schumann, Liszt and Oliver Knussen was released in October 2010, following by a duo recital disc with violist Tabea Zimmermann.
Born in 1979 in Voronezh, Russia, Mr. Gerstein attended one of the country's special music schools for gifted children and taught himself to play jazz by listening to his parentsí extensive record collection. He came to the US at 14 to study jazz piano as the youngest student ever to attend Bostonís Berklee College of Music, but also continued his classical studies. At the age of 16 he decided to focus on classical music and moved to New York City to attend the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Solomon Mikowsky and earned Bachelors and Masters of Music degrees. He continued his studies with Dmitri Bashkirov in Madrid and Ferenc Rados in Budapest.
Kirill Gerstein became an American citizen in 2003 and is currently a professor of piano at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart.