Two winners of this year’s Arthur Rubinstein Piano Competition – Israeli Boris
Giltburg (second prize) and Daniil Trifonov of Russia (gold medal) – will
perform recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall on March 12 and 14,
The concerts are initiated by Idith Zvi, the artistic
director of the Arthur Rubinstein International Music Society, with the support
of the BBC and of Lady Annabel Weidenfeld, who shared the last 12 years of
Arthur Rubinstein’s life with him and is in constant contact with the society
and the competition. A group of supporters of the Arthur Rubinstein
International Society will join them in London as well.
recital, which features pieces by Rachmaninov, Prokofiev and Schumann, will be
broadcast live by the BBC. Two days later Trifonov, who is also a gold medal
winner of the prestigious Tchaikovsky Piano Competition and is regarded as one
of the finest pianists of his generation, will play pieces by Schubert, Liszt,
Tchaikovsky and Chopin. That concert will be recorded and will be available on
the Arthur Rubinstein Society website.
The modest, charismatic Trifonov
is a welcome guest on our shores.
After his most recent Israeli recital,
which took place at the Red Sea Classics Festival earlier this year, he gave a
brief interview with The Jerusalem Post, speaking about what has changed and
what has not following his victories in the two major piano
For starters, how does it feel to find himself at the top
of the music world at the age of 21? “I don’t think that a performing artist
should even think of it,” he says. “Of course, it is great that I played well at
the two important competitions and that my performance was appreciated by the
jury members. But it still does not mean one should make a case of it and think
of what a great musician I am.
What is important now is to advance, to
discover new possibilities of the instrument. I am really grateful to my
teachers, who are still my strict and uncompromising critics.”
course, his life has changed considerably.
“The major change is that I
now work with artists’ agencies, which offer me concert performances. And it
means that I have to learn quite a few new concertos for piano and orchestra, as
well as widen my solo repertoire. I also have to limit my concert schedule to
some 90 concerts a season. To play more than 100 concerts a year is very hard,
and with such a schedule you are simply unable to really learn new pieces and to
advance as a musician.
The main thing now is to manage my time properly,”
In addition to his performing activities, Trifonov continues his
studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music in the framework of the Artists’
Certificate Program, which is tailored for musicians who are unable to spend the
entire academic year at school.
Trifonov, who tried his hand at
composing, admits that nowadays he has no time for writing music of his
“I am not working on major pieces, just collecting material. I hope
to return to composing music, and I plan to compose a piano concerto, but
certainly not in the next two years. This activity demands not only a lot of
time but, above all, the utmost concentration.”
He does, however, attend
concerts and operas and listens to recordings of his favorite pianists of the
past, such as Sergei Rachmaninov, Dinu Lipati, Vladimir Sofronitsky, Alfred
Cortot and Vladimir Horovitz.
What is important for him as a performer,
he says, are spontaneity and immersion into the atmosphere of the piece. “You
have to capture the spirit of the music, to listen to it, to follow what it
suggests. A lot depends on the instrument, on the acoustics, the audience and,
yes, on your mood. But again, this all is first and foremost about
As for his favorite composers, the pianist says, “The
ones that I am currently playing. Well, Chopin, Schumann, Scriabin, but also
Bach, Beethoven, Schubert and now Rachmaninov, too.”
When it comes to the
future, Trifonov says he will continue to challenge himself with new and
And some teaching perhaps? “Maybe,” he says, “but
certainly not now. I prefer to be a performer and a little bit of a composer,”
he laughs.For more details: http://www.arims.org.il