Piotr Anderszewski
pianist

Jean-Philippe Collard
pianist

Kirill Gerstein
pianist

Horacio Gutierrez
pianist

Daniel Hege
conductor

Angela Hewitt
pianist

Steven Hough
pianist

Leila Josefowicz
violinist

Carlos Kalmar
conductor

Eri Klas
conductor

Stephen Kovacevich
pianist

David Lockington
conductor

Louis Lortie
pianist

Ivan Moravec
pianist

Elmar Oliveira
violinist

Awadagin Pratt
pianist

Thomas Quasthoff
bass-baritone

Peter Serkin
pianist

The Takacs Quartet

Christian Tetzlaff
violinist

Maximiano Valdes
conductor

Andre Watts
pianist

Kirill Gerstein

pianist

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  Biography

June 2004

Russian pianist Kirill Gerstein is quickly proving to be one of today's most promising and intriguing young artists. Already recognized for his deeply musical interpretations and masterful technique, he was the First Prize winner at the 2001 Arthur Rubinstein Piano Competition in Tel Aviv and was chosen to receive a 2002 Gilmore Young Artist Award, an honor given to young pianists who have demonstrated significant potential to develop outstanding performing careers as concert artists.

Kirill Gerstein was born in 1979 in Voronezh, Russia where he attended one of the country's special music schools for gifted children. He won his first competition - the International Bach Competition in Gorzuw, Poland - at the age of 11 and over the next several years, attended jazz workshops after having taught himself to play jazz by listening to his parents' extensive record collection. It was while participating at a jazz festival in Poland that a faculty member of the Berklee College of Music in Boston noticed his precocious affinity for playing jazz piano. In 1993, following a subsequent meeting in St. Petersburg with the vibraphonist Gary Burton, the Executive Vice President of Berklee, Mr. Gerstein attended the college's summer program and the following fall was invited to attend the college on a full scholarship. He accepted the offer and in May 1994 moved to Boston with his mother (his father was eventually allowed to join them) and at the age of 14 became the youngest college student in the school's history.

During his years at Berklee, he continued to practice the classical piano repertoire and also attended the Boston University summer program at Tanglewood in 1995 and 1996. It was following his second summer at Tanglewood that he decided that classical music would be his main focus. He moved to New York City to attend the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Solomon Mikowsky and earned both his Bachelor and Masters of Music degrees by the age of 20. Mr. Gerstein continued his studies in Madrid with the famed piano pedagogue Dmitri Bashkirov, with whom he still coaches on a regular basis.

Kirill Gerstein made his major orchestral debut in September 2000 with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra and David Zinman and was immediately re-engaged for the following season. Additional European orchestral appearances include performances with the National Orchestra of Spain with Gunther Herbig, Israel Philharmonic, Orchestre de Lille with Sergui Comissiona, Stuttgart Radio Orchestra, Bamberg Symphony, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and the Jerusalem Symphony with Lawrence Foster. He has appeared in recital in Paris, Hamburg, Bonn, Zurich, Prague, Warsaw and throughout Spain, while his summer festival appearances include three consecutive summers at the Verbier Festival, Ruhr Piano Festival, Gstaad, the Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival with Elena Bashkirova and the London Proms with cellist Steven Isserlis.

In the United States, Mr. Gerstein made his Ravinia Festival concerto debut with the Chicago Symphony and Christoph Eschenbach in 2002 and also appeared in recital at the 2002 Gilmore Piano Festival, on Ravinia's Rising Star Series and in Boston on the Boston Conservatory's Piano Masters Series. During the 2003/04 season, he returned to Boston for a second recital on the Piano Masters Series; appeared at the 2004 Gilmore Piano Festival for performances with the Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo symphonies; and made his recital debuts in Kansas City, Portland, Oregon and at the Kennedy Center.

Highlights of Mr. Gerstein's upcoming engagements include appearances with the Houston, Quebec and California symphonies and the Florida Orchestra; recitals in Vancouver, Stuttgart and the Louvre in Paris; a chamber music project with Joshua Bell and Steven Isserlis in Carnegie's Zankel Hall and Wigmore Hall in London; and a tour of Germany with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra led by Charles Dutoit. His debut recital recording of works by Bach, Beethoven, Scriabin and George Gershwin arranged by Earl Wild was recently released on the Oehms Classics label.

Kirill Gerstein has also been chosen by Carnegie Hall to participate in the Rising Star project of the European Concert Hall Organization (ECHO) and during the 05/06 season, will appear in recital at Europe's most important concert halls as well as at Carnegie Hall, which is the only non-European member of ECHO.

Kirill Gerstein currently resides in Freiburg, Germany and in September 2003, became an American citizen.

 

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