Daniil Trifonov wins first Grammy Award for "Transcendental

Daniil Trifonov
21C Media Group

It was announced at last night’s 60th annual Grammy Awards ceremony that celebrated Russian pianist and 2016 Gramophone Artist of the Year Daniil Trifonov– “without question the most astounding young pianist of our age” (The Times of London) – scored his first Grammy Award, winning in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo category for Transcendental. The album is Trifonov’s third title as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, and marks the first time the label has ever recorded Liszt’s complete concert etudes. Both the pianist’s previous albums were nominated for Grammy Awards, and his inaugural release, Trifonov: The Carnegie Recital, won an ECHO Klassik Award. That album also featured music of Liszt: the famously ahead-of-its-time Sonata in B minor. As the Washington Post declared after a performance of that piece in 2013, under the headline “At Kennedy Center, Daniil Trifonov proves himself an heir to Liszt”:

“We can’t actually know what Liszt sounded like, but we do know he was a virtuoso, and he mesmerized his listeners, and people found something distinctive and other-worldly and spiritual about him. All those things hold true of Trifonov, as well, though they add up to a pretty pale description of playing that can only be described as a visceral experience. Hearing Trifonov is like having a deep-tissue massage: You keep wanting to pull away from the sheer intensity of it, and you come out feeling as if your reality had been slightly altered. His recital Saturday afternoon at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater … was a knockout.”

Trifonov has chosen to devote much of his 2017-18 season to a long-term exploration of Chopin. In October he released Chopin: Evocations on Deutsche Grammophon, juxtaposing Chopin’s compositions with works by 20th-century composers who were influenced by him, and a host of recitals on the same theme have taken the Russian pianist across the U.S., Europe and Asia, with four yet to be performed this spring. Over the course of the season he has also curated a “Perspectives” series at Carnegie Hall, to which he returns in April for two all-Chopin concerts with the Kremerata Baltica chamber orchestra, before they embark on a European tour together featuring Trifonov’s own Double Concerto for violin, piano and orchestra. His final Carnegie Hall appearance of the season is a solo recital comprising seminal works from each decade of the 20th century. Rounding out Trifonov’s season are tours of Germany and the U.S. with his teacher and mentor, pianist Sergei Babayan; Prokofiev with the Cleveland Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas; Rachmaninoff with Tilson Thomas leading the San Francisco Symphony; Scriabin with the Seattle Symphony under Ludovic Morlot; two Rachmaninoff Concertos to be recorded live with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin; European tours with the London Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; and much more.

Watch Trifonov's Chopin performance in an NPR Tiny Desk concert, recorded earlier this month.

More information about Daniil Trifonov’s upcoming engagements and further details are available on his website.