Piano sensation Daniil Trifonov filling in at Bravo! Vail | VailDaily.com

Piano sensation Daniil Trifonov filling in at Bravo! Vail

Bravo! Vail has been trying to book Daniil Trifonov for years, and after a cancellation from another performer, the music fest was able to book the famed 26-year-old pianist on short notice for a performance Sunday, July 23.
Dario Acosta, Deutsche Grammophon | Special to the Daily |

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Daniil Trifonov performs Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Alan Gilbert on Sunday, July 23, at 6 p.m. This program replaces the previously announced program featuring Leonidas Kavakos leading and performing J.S. Bach’s Violin Concerto in D minor (reconstructed), BWV 1052. The New York Philharmonic will also perform on Saturday, July 22, at 6 p.m., with concertmaster Frank Huang filling in for Kavakos on Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5.

A major artist canceling two performances at the last minute is never a situation in which a festival presenter wishes to find themselves.

But for Bravo! Vail, that exact event led directly to a serendipitous opportunity when they learned that superstar pianist Daniil Trifonov was available to fill in for Leonidas Kavakos with the New York Philharmonic on Sunday. Trifonov will perform Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in his Bravo! Vail debut.

“We’ve been trying to book Trifonov for years, and it feels almost miraculous that we were able to make it happen now, at such short notice,” said Anne-Marie McDermott, artistic director for Bravo! Vail.

The stars aligned for this particular booking when Trifonov, who recently joined the Board of the New York Philharmonic, decided to cancel his summer concerts in Europe due to visa concerns. Europe’s loss is decidedly Vail’s gain.


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Who exactly is this artist who has the festival buzzing? Trifonov began studying piano at age 5 and grew up with music; he lost one of his baby teeth while performing a Mozart concerto at 8 years old. Now 26, Trifonov made a grand entrance onto the international classical scene after winning first prize at not one, but two prestigious international piano competitions — the Tchaikovsky and the Rubinstein — in 2011 at the age of 20.

His star has only risen from there; Trifonov is the rare artist who enthralls audiences, critics and fellow pianists alike.

“He has everything and more — tenderness and also the demonic element. I never heard anything like that,” said legendary pianist Martha Argerich.

And in a review of a recent recital, The Washington Post described Trifonov as the current “‘it’ pianist, young and blazingly talented, whom the whole world is clamoring to hear.”

Trifonov fits in this performance with Bravo! Vail amidst a busy schedule of international touring. He has played with the leading orchestras of the world, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. He was named Gramophone’s 2016 Artist of the Year and has received two Grammy Award nominations for his recordings.

On top of all of that, Trifonov is a composer himself, with a tour of his own Piano Concerto No. 1 planned for the fall.

As part of the 2017-18 season at Carnegie Hall, Trifonov will curate a seven-concert series, called Perspectives, comprising solo recitals, chamber music and concertos — prominently featuring Chopin, a composer who has always inspired Trifonov.

One of the world’s most in-demand pianists, performing music by his musical hero, with an orchestra whose future he is helping to steward — altogether, this might be the happiest ending possible to a last-minute cancellation at Bravo! Vail.

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