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Kirill Gerstein


  • Kirill Gerstein’s natural versatility and curiosity has led him to explore a wide range of repertoire and styles. From Bach to Adès, his playing is distinguished by a discerning intelligence, great virtuosity and a clarity of expression which he combines with an energetic and imaginative musical presence. He has been described as “gloriously free and unfazed by technical difficulties, he made the piano sing… The concerto that we’ve heard so many times before gained new life.” (Leipziger Volkszeitung)

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  • In the 2018/19 season Gerstein will give the world premiere performance of Thomas Adès’ new Piano Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer, with performances in Boston and in Carnegie Hall, New York. Gerstein and Adès will also give the European premiere with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. They will also collaborate for performances of In Seven Days in London with the London Philharmonic and in Los Angeles with the LA Philharmonic, and in recitals in New York and Boston.

    Elsewhere in this season, Gerstein appears with the Czech Philharmonic and Semyon Bychkov, and will return to the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Mark Elder. He will perform in China with the Shanghai and Guangzhou Symphony Orchestras, with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, and the Orquestra Sinfônica de São Paolo. He plays recitals in London, Stuttgart, Lisbon, Singapore, Melbourne and Copenhagen, as well as chamber performances with the Hagen Quartet, Veronika Eberle and Clemens Hagen in Lucerne.

    In Autumn 2018 Gerstein’s recording of Scriabin’s Prometheus: The Poem of Fire, with the Oslo Philharmonic and Vasily Petrenko will be reeleased on LAWO Classic’s. Future recording releases this season include Busoni’s Piano Concerto on myrios classics in spring 2019 and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto Nos. 1-3 in summer 2019, part of Semyon Bychkov’s Tchaikovsky Project recorded for Decca with the Czech Philharmonic. Recent recordings for myrios classics include The Gershwin Moment, released earlier this year; Liszt’s Transcendental Études, picked by The New Yorker as one of 2016’s notable recordings; and Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto in the composer’s own final version from 1879. He also released Imaginary Pictures which couples Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition with Schumann’s Carnaval, two discs with Tabea Zimmerman of sonatas for viola and piano by Brahms, Schubert, Franck, Clarke and Vieuxtemps, and a recital disc of works by Schumann, Liszt and Knussen.

    Kirill Gerstein was brought up in the former Soviet Union studying both classical and jazz piano, and at the age of 14 years he moved to the US where he was the youngest student to attend Boston’s Berklee College of Music. He subsequently shifted his focus to the classical repertoire and studied with Solomon Mikowsky in New York, Dmitri Bashkirov in Madrid and Ferenc Rados in Budapest. Gerstein won the first of a series of prestigious accolades in 2001: First Prize at the 10th Arthur Rubinstein Competition. In 2002, he won a Gilmore Young Artist Award, and in 2010 both an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Gilmore Artist Award, which provided the funds for him to commission new works from Timothy Andres, Chick Corea, Alexander Goehr, Oliver Knussen and Brad Mehldau.

    A committed teacher and pedagogue, Gerstein taught at the Stuttgart Musik Hochschule from 2007-2017 and from autumn 2018, will teach as part of Kronberg Academy’s newly announced Sir András Schiff Performance Programme for Young Artists.

    2018-2019 season / 585 words. Not to be altered without permission.


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Concerto engagements

Berlin Philharmonic, cond. Semyon Bychkov
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2

Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, cond. Semyon Bychkov
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2

Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, cond. Jakub Hrůša
Strauss Burleske / Liszt Totentanz

Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, cond. James Gaffigan
Strauss Burleske

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, cond. Semyon Bychkov
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Giancarlo Guerrero
Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue

London Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Vladimir Jurowski
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1 (composer’s original score)

Hallé Orchestra, cond. Markus Stenz
Ravel Piano Concerto for Left Hand / Liszt Totentanz

Royal Scottish National Orchestra, cond. Paul Daniel
Shostakovich Piano Concerto No.2

St Petersburg Philharmonic, cond. Vladimir Jurowski
Prokofiev Piano Concerto No.2

Bolshoi, cond. Semyon Bychkov
Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

Czech Philharmonic, cond. Jiří Bělohlávek
Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini / Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue

Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Zoltán Kocsis
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1 (composer’s original score)

St Louis Symphony, cond. David Robertson
Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, cond. Ben Gernon
Shostakovich Piano Concerto No.2

Toronto Symphony Orchestra, cond. James Gaffigan

San Francisco Symphony, cond. Thomas Adès
Adès In Seven Days

LA Philharmonic, cond. Cristian Macelaru
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2

Cincinnati Symphony, cond. Louis Langrée
R. Schumann / C. Schumann

Philadelphia Orchestra, cond. Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Shostakovich Piano Concerto No.2

Chicago Symphony Orchestra, cond. Riccardo Muti
Scriabin Prometheus: Poem of Fire

Houston Symphony Orchestra, cond. Andrés Orozco-Estrada
Ravel Piano Concerto for Left Hand

Nashville Symphony Orchestra, cond. Lawrence Foster
Bernstein The Age of Anxiety

Sydney Symphony, cond. James Gaffigan
Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

Concerto repertoire

Piano Concerto, In Seven Days

Piano Concerto No.1 in C, Op.15
Piano Concerto No.2 in B-flat, Op.19
Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor, Op.37
Piano Concerto No.4 in G, Op.58
Piano Concerto No.5 in E-flat, Op.73
Triple Concerto in C major, Op.56

Piano Concerto No.3

Chamber Concerto, Op.8

Age of Anxiety

Piano Concerto No.1 in D minor, Op.15
Piano Concerto No.2 in B-flat, Op.83

Rhapsody in Blue (original jazz band version & full orchestra
Concerto in F

Piano Concerto No.1 in E flat
Piano Concerto No.2 in A

Piano Concerto No.1 in G minor, Op.25
Piano Concerto No.2 in D minor, Op.40

Piano Concerto No.1 in F-sharp minor, Op.1
Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor, Op.18
Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor, Op.30
Piano Concerto No.4 in G minor, Op.40
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op.43

Concerto No.1, Op.10
Concerto No.2, Op.16

Concerto in G
Concerto for Left Hand in D major

Piano Concerto, Op.42
Ode to Napoleon, Op.41

Schumann, Clara
Piano Concerto, Op.7

Schumann, R.
Piano Concerto, Op.54

Piano Concerto in F-sharp minor, Op.20
Prometheus, Poem of Fire, Op.60

Piano Concerto No.2, Op.102


Concerto for Piano and Winds

Piano Concerto No.1 in B-flat minor, Op.23

Konzertstuck for Piano and Orchestra, Op.79

Recital engagements

Zankel Hall
Wigmore Hall
Czech Philharmonie
92nd Street Y
Gilmore Festival
Sydney Opera House
Vienna Konzerthaus 

Technically flawless and imbued with benign authority, his performance was studded with moments of unexpected beauty; one seldom sees an audience erupt with such spontaneous delight.

The Independent

Kirill Gerstein… brought the house down with his rapturously acclaimed debut with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. With the massive bell-like introduction, which in Kirill Gerstein’s hands crescendoed like a magical force, he presented himself as a true partner to the orchestra… He has the touch and fluidity of a Liszt virtuoso and at the same time the intuition of a chamber musician.

Der Tagesspiel

This is the kind of serious, intelligent and virtuosic music-making that keeps classical music alive.


All artists


Mark Simpson


HK Gruber


Tim Mead

Piano accompanist

Roger Vignoles