Sergei Babayan releases first album with Martha Argerich on Deutsche Grammophon
Sergei Babayan releases his debut album with long-term friend Martha Argerich on 23 March 2018 entitled Prokofiev for Two. The album features a number works by Prokofiev, transcribed for two pianos by Babayan himself, including 12 Movements from Romeo and Juliet, Incidental Music To Hamlet and To Eugene Onegin, the film score for The Queen of Spades, as well as Natasha’s and Andrei’s Valse from War and Peace.
Babayan and Argerich have performed various works from the album on numerous occasions, most recently in Basel, Stuttgart and Bern. The album has been lauded by Concerti as their CD of the Month for April:
“One can hear that there are two artists of excellent rhythmic understanding at work here. The two experienced pianists have a range of different moods and finesse of touch in their pianistic repertoire: melancholy, humor, irony, grace.” Concerti, April 2018
Watch a trailer for the album below.
Sergei Babayan & Daniil Trifonov begin duo recital tour of Germany & the United States
Sergei Babayan and Daniil Trifonov embark on a duo recital tour around Germany and the US this month, starting at Essen's Philharmonie on 21 February 2018. They then travel to Berlin the following day to perform at the Pierre Boulez Saal. The duo then continue on to the United States to perform recitals at Los Angeles' Walt Disney Concert Hall on 25 February, Davies Hall in San Francisco on 27 February, Carnegie Hall on 1 March and NEC’s Brown Hall in Boston on 3 March.
Their programme features music by Schumann, Stravinsky, Rachmaninov, Ravel and a special world premiere and LA Philharmonic co-commission of a new piece for two pianos by Mauro Lanza.
Following their duo recital at the Wigmore Hall in 2016, Babayan and Trifonov received outstanding critical acclaim:
"[Their concert] was a beguiling affair that combined formidable technique with musicianship of great elegance... Their playing blends rigour with great charm and an almost tangible sense of their own enjoyment... The precision, panache and exuberance with which Trifonov and Babayan played were simply breathtaking, the standing ovation that followed richly deserved."
Guardian, February 2016
Verbier Festival announces 2018 programme
Verbier Festival has announced its programme for 2018, with a typically star-studded line-up featuring a host of Intermusica artists. Highlights include a gala concert celebrating 25 years of Verbier, a solo recital from Daniil Trifonov and a Mischa Maisky ‘Carte Blanche’ concert.
George Li joins Valery Gergiev and the Verbier Festival Orchestra for the opening concert of the festival on 19 July at 19:00 at the Salle des Combins.
Sergei Babayan performs with Yuri Bashmet on 20 July at 11:00 at the Église with a programme of J.S. Bach Schnittke and Shostakovich.
On 21 July, Leonidas Kavakos performs his first concert of the festival with Diemut Poppen and Gautier Capuçon at 20:00 at the Église.
Kristóf Baráti and Sergei Babayan join friends for a recital on 22 July at 20:00 at the Église.
On 23 July, Mischa Maisky performs a ‘Carte Blanche’ concert with various musical friends, including son Sascha Maisky and daughter Lily Maisky at 20:00 at the Église.
Kavakos joins the Verbier Festival Orchestra, Christopher Eschenbach and Ying Fang for a programme of Mahler and Berg on 23 July at 19:00 at the Salle des Combins.
Baráti performs with Lucas Debargue at 11:00 at the Église, with music by Debussy, Franck and Brahms.
On 25 July, a gala concert celebrates Verbier Festival’s silver jubilee at the Salle des Combins at 18:00. Performers include Babayan, Kavakos, Renaud Capuçon, Maisky and Daniil Trifonov, among many other stars of the classical world.
Baráti performs another recital at the Église on 27 July at 17:00, with Daniel Lozakovich, Eduard Wulfson and Zarina Shimanskaya.
Capuçon and Kavakos join forces with Yuja Wang and others on 27 July at the Église at 20:00 for a programme of Mozart and Tchaikovsky.
Kian Soltani and Trifonov perform at the Église at 11:00 on 29 July for music by Robert and Clara Schumann, and a piece by Trifonov himself.
Richard Goode returns to the festival at 15:00 on 29 July to perform Mozart with the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra and conductor Alain Altinoglu.
Capuçon joins various fellow musicians for an all-Brahms programme on 29 July at 20:00 at the Église.
Soltani joins a quartet on 20 July at 17:00 at the Église for a concert of Lucas Debargue (also one of the performers) and Brahms.
Babayan performs a solo recital on 31 July at 11:00 at the Église.
Kavakos joins another A-list line up for a programme of Prokofiev, Schoenberg, Fauré and Chausson on 31 July at 20:00 at the Église.
Trifonov performs a solo recital at 19:00 at the Salle des Combins the same day, 31 July, with a programme exploring Chopin.
Soltani joins Aaron Pilsan on 1 August at 11:00 at the Église for a duo recital.
Maisky performs with Iván Fischer and the Verbier Festival Orchestra on 2 August at 19:00 at the Salle des Combins, performing Dvořák’s Cello Concerto.
Visit the Verbier Festival website for the full list of concerts for 2018.
Sergei Babayan returns to the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra
Sergei Babayan travels to Serbia this month to give two concerts with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra on 7 and 8 December 2017. Conducted by Hans Graf, Babayan performs Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1 at Belgrade's Kolarac Hall.
The following week, Babayan travels to Tallinn to perform a solo recital at the Estonia Kontserdisaal on 12 December. His characteristically wide-ranging programme encompasses music by Arvo Pärt, Vladimir Ryabov, J.S. Bach, and Chopin.
Sergei Babayan performs Rachmaninov with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Sergei Babayan returns to Switzerland this month to perform with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande on 15 November 2017. Babayan joins the orchestra and conductor Jonathon Nott to perform Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini at Geneva’s Victoria Hall.
Babayan also gives several recitals in November around Europe. On 6 December he and Martha Argerich reunite for a duo recital at Suttgart's Liederhalle, performing works for two pianos by Mozart and his own arrangements of works by Prokofiev including Romeo and Juliet and 7 Piano Pieces from Eugene Onegin, Hamlet, Queen of Spades and War and Peace. Following his concert in Geneva, he gives solo recitals in Oldenburg on 19 November and Lyon on 24 November, performing programmes drawn from the works of Chopin, Liszt, Arvo Pärt, JS Bach and Rachmaninov.
Babayan also performs at a special concert in aid of Medair, a charity which works with some of the world's most vulnerable people. Babayan is joined onstage by the Calidore String Quartet for a programme of works by Chopin and Brahms.
Sergei Babayan performs in recital at the Rubinstein Piano Festival
Sergei Babayan travels to Poland this month, giving two recitals at this year’s Rubinstein Piano Festival in Poland on 17 and 18 October 2017. The first concert takes place at the Arthur Rubinstein Philharmonic Concert Hall in Lodz and the second at the Bronislav Huberman Philharmonic Concert Hall in Czestochowa. Babayan’s extensive programme includes Arvo Pärt Für Alina, Liszt Ballade No.2 in B minor, Ryabov Fantasia in C minor, and a collection of pieces by J.S. Bach, Chopin and Rachmaninov.
Following a similar programme of Pärt, Ryabov, Chopin and Bach in Montreal, Le Devoir wrote:
“[Sergei Babayan] is a genius. Full stop. ... [He] possesses a palette of sounds that is magical and infinite. We desperately want to see this artist again, often, before other musical venues realise just how outstanding he is.”
Sergei Babayan performs Schumann in return to the Edinburgh International Festival
Sergei Babayan returns to the Edinburgh International Festival this summer, performing with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at Usher Hall on 8 August 2017. Under conductor Thomas Dausgaard, Babayan performs Schumann Piano Concerto in A minor.
The concert at Edinburgh follows soon after two performances for Babayan at the Verbier Festival: a performance of Mozart Piano Concerto No.25 with Gianandrea Noseda and the Verbier Festival Orchestra and a chamber concert with Kirill Gerstein, Yuja Wang and the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra.
Following the performance at Edinburgh, Babayan embarks on a duo recital tour with Martha Argerich.
Intermusica artists at the 2017 Verbier Festival
Intermusica artists appear throughout the 2017 Verbier Festival, with all performances streamed live by Medici.tv. See all the performance times, dates and venues below:
Also performing at the Église on 22 July is the Pavel Haas Quartet. At 8pm they are joined by pianist Barry Douglas for a performance of Brahms Piano Quintet in F minor and Beethoven String Quartet No.
Richard Goode, Renaud Capuçon and Edgar Moreau appear at the Église at 8pm on 24 July to perform Brahms Piano Trio No.2. In the second half of the recital, Capuçon and Moreau are joined by Lahav Shani, Maxim Rysanov and Leigh Mesh for a performance of Schubert Piano Quintet in A major 'The Trout'.
The Pavel Haas Quartet makes its second appearance at the festival on 25 July, performing in recital at the Église at 11am. The quartet presents a programme of quartets by Martinů and Smetana as well as Dvořák String Quintet No.3, for which they are joined by the quartet's friend and former colleague Pavel Nikl.
Lahav Shani then conducts the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra at the Salle des Combins at 7pm on 25 July, leading a programme of Mozart Il nozze di Figaro Overture, Bruch Violin Concerto No.1 with soloist Daniel Lozakovich and Schubert Symphony No.9.
The Choir of King's College, Cambridge, makes its festival debut this year, performing at the Église at 8pm on 26 July. They give a concert of works by Duruflé, Tomkins, Byrd and Poulence among others.
Joshua Weilerstein conducts the Junior Orchestra at 4pm at the Salle des Combins on 27 July. Weilerstein conducts a programme of Fauré Elegie for Cello and Orchestra with Edgar Moreau followed by Bruch Kol Nidrei and Dvořák Symphony No.6.
Richard Goode makes his second appearance at the festival, performing a programme of Mozart, Janáček, Debussy and Beethoven at the Église at 11am on 29 July.
Joshua Weilerstein is joined by George Li at the Salle des Combins at 4pm on 29 July for a concert with the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra. Li performs Liszt Piano Concerto No.1, with Weilerstein then conducting Dvořák Symphony No.6.
Kirill Gerstein and Sergei Babayan join Yuja Wang and the Verber Festival Chamber Orchestra at the Salle des Combins at 7pm on 29 July for a performance of Bach concertos under the direction of Roberto Gonzáles-Monjas.
At 11am on 30 July, Kirill Gerstein is joined by Truls Mørk to perform sonatas by Brahms, Janáček and Prokofiev at the Église.
In the evening of 30 July, Antoine Tamestit and Mischa Maisky appear at the Salle des Combins alongside Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Roman Simović and Evgeny Kissin. They perform a programme of Mozart String Quartet No.1, Fauré String Quartet No.1 and Dvořák Piano Quintet No.2.
On 31 July, George Li performs a solo recital of Beethoven and Liszt at 11am at the Église.
Joshua Weilerstein joins Martin Frost and the Verbier Festival Orchestra at the Salle des Combins on 31 July at 7pm. Weilerstein conducts a programme of Copland, Lutoslawski, Shaw and Prokofiev.
On 1 August at 11am, Tamestit joins Roberto González-Monjas, Alexander Sitkovetsky, Pablo Ferrández, Lukas Geniušas & Yuja Wang to perform works by Schubert, Beethoven & Brahms.
Tamestit and Maisky reunite at the Église at 8pm on 3 August, this time performing Brahms Piano Quartet No.3 with Nikolai Lugansky. Tamestit also performs Brahms Sonata for Viola and Piano with Lugansky, while Maisky and Lugansky play the composer's Sonata for Violin and Piano No.1 in an arrangement for cello and piano by Paul Klengel.
On 5 August at the Salle des Combins at 7pm, James Ehnes, Antoine Tamestit, Mischa Maisky, Pamela Frank, Roman Simović, Pablo Ferrández, Martin Fröst, Nikolai Lugansky, Yuja Wang, the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra and Antonio Pappano will join forces for an evening celebrating friendship and musical excellence.
Daniil Trifonov & Sergei Babayan perform at the Edinburgh International Festival
Following a performance of Beethoven Piano Concerto No.1 with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Daniel Harding on 19 August 2016, Daniil Trifonov features again in the Edinburgh International Festival on Monday 22 August.
He will give a recital at the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh, performing Rachmaninov Piano Suites Nos 1 and 2 with long-standing musical collaborator Sergei Babayan (piano), before being joined by Gidon Kremer (violin) and Giedrė Dirvanauskaitė (cello) to perform Rachmaninov Trio élégiaque No.2.
The recital will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.
"An evening of awe inspiring, world class piano playing": Sergei Babayan and Daniel Trifonov praised for Wigmore Hall recital
Sergei Babayan’s recent recital at the Wigmore Hall with long-standing musical collaborator and fellow Intermusica artist Daniil Trifonov on 14 February 2016 has received widespread critical acclaim. The duo performed a programme of Schumann Andante and Variations for Two Pianos, Schubert Fantasia in F minor, Brahms Hungarian Dances no. 9, 10, 17, 18 and 21, and Rachmaninov Suites Nos 1 and 2.
"[Their concert] was a beguiling affair that combined formidable technique with musicianship of great elegance. Their platform partnership is clearly founded on deep mutual understanding and respect...
Their playing blends rigour with great charm and an almost tangible sense of their own enjoyment... Schumann’s Andante and Variations showed their stylistic unity from the outset. Schubert’s great Fantaisie in F minor... was done with great sensitivity and depth of feeling, its opening melody shuttled between them with wonderful refinement...
The precision, panache and exuberance with which Trifonov and Babayan played were simply breathtaking, the standing ovation that followed richly deserved."
Guardian, February 2016
"I was struck by the highly cultivated nature of this performance [of Schubert’s F Minor Fantasie]: both performers played with enormous sensitivity and depth of feeling. They allowed the composer’s wonderful melodies to breathe while the handling of some of the extraordinary modulations was gorgeous... It was a remarkable performance of one of the great masterpieces of the repertoire...
This was an evening of awe inspiring, world class piano playing – bravo to both pianists."
Seen and Heard International, February 2016
Sergei Babayan joins Valery Gergiev's Prokofiev cycle at the BBC Proms
On 28 July 2015, Sergei Babayan performed Prokofiev Piano Concertos no.2 and 5 with the London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev to resounding praise. This concert, part of the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, featured a cycle of all of the Prokofiev Piano Concertos performed in order, with pianists Daniil Trifonov and Alexei Volodin dividing the other concertos between them.
“Babayan exuded the gravity of a monumental sculpture in bronze, as he teased out the beauties of this more ruminative work.”
Independent, July 2015
“Sergei Babayan offered a thoughtful, carefully modulated interpretation of the Second, judiciously integrating the first movement’s mega-cadenza into the musical logic of the whole, and reserving overt pyrotechnics for the Fifth.”
Guardian, July 2015
“Babayan … is able to make the long passages of runs seem effortless, including the one that makes up the entire second movement of this concerto. His greatest moment was the intense cadenza of the first movement, played with a paradoxical mix of weighty conviction and deftness of touch.”
Arts Desk, July 2015