Twenty-four-year-old Daniil Trifonov has been generating buzz since 2011, when he took first prize in the Arthur Rubenstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv at age 20. Four years later, he joins the New York Philharmonic in presenting a series of Rachmaninoff pieces as part of the Philharmonic’s Rachmaninoff festival.
Thanks to the support of trustees like Chris Flowers (J.C. Flowers & Co.) and Oscar Straus Schafer (Rivulet Capital, LLC), the New York Philharmonic is putting on a three week Rachmaninoff festival featuring Trifonov, who is making quite the splash in the classical music scene. A month after winning first prize in the Rubenstein competition, Trifonov won the gold medal in the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. From there on out, it’s been a series of wildly popular performances and big-name mentors for the Russian pianist described by the New York Times as having “scintillating technique and a virtuosic flair.”
And it’s not only audiences and critics who are coming under Trifonov’s spell: Martha Argerich, arguably one of the world’s greatest pianists, wrote that “what [Trifonov] does with his hands is technically incredible….It’s also his touch—he has tenderness and also the demonic element.”
Daniil Trifonov was born in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia on March 5, 1991. His parents, both professional musicians, supported his forays into classical music from a very early age—he started playing the piano at age 5, composing and performing as well. He first performed with an orchestra at age 8. He recalls losing one of his baby teeth during the concert.
It’s no surprise, then, that by age 17, Trifonov was earning fifth place in Moscow’s International Scriabin Competition, the first in a run of extremely successful competition performances.
In February 2013, Trifonov signed with Deutsche Grammophon and recorded live at Carnegie Hall: Liszt’s Sonata in B minor, Scriabin’s Sonata No. 2 in G-sharp Minor Op. 19, and Chopin’s 24 Preludes Op. 28, among others.
Since then, he has traveled the world, performing at Wigmore Hall, the Berlin Philharmonic, London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Tokyo’s Opera City, and many more. In addition, he continues to study with Sergei Babayan and take composition lessons at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
After his performances with the New York Philharmonic, Trifonov will go on to perform Tchaikovsky in Carnegie Hall in October with the Mariinski Orchestra and conductor Valery Gergiev. He also remains a sensation on YouTube.