Los Angeles Music Preview: DANIIL TRIFONOV & GIDON KREMER IN RECITAL (Disney Concert Hall)

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by Tony Frankel on January 9, 2015

in Theater-Los Angeles


All it took was one performance from 23-year-old Daniil Trifonov to resoundingly validate why he is the current Big Thing of the piano world. The Liszt-like master’s rendition of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 at the Hollywood Bowl (followed by a jaw-dropping encore of Stravinsky’s Firebird for piano) convinced me that this is a pianist for the ages. Next Wednesday, January 14, Trifonov will make his Walt Disney Concert Hall debut, but even more exciting is that he will be joined in recital by renowned violinist and established musical force Gidon Kremer and another young classical star, cellist Giedrė Dirvanauskaitė, who also makes her Disney Hall debut.


The recital opens with Kremer and Trifonov performing Mozart’s Violin Sonata in E-flat, K. 481 followed by Schubert’s Fantasy in C, D. 934. The recital closes with Trifonov, Kremer and Dirvanauskaitė playing Rachmaninoff’s Trio élégiaque No. 2 in D minor, Op. 9.


Reams have rightly been written about Kremer’s virtuosity, and the master has appeared on virtually every major concert stage with the most celebrated orchestras of Europe and America (he plays a Nicola Amati violin, dated from 1641). If you are attending for Kremer, you will stay for Trifonov. Combining flawless skill with a fierce tenderness, he is fascinating to watch live. When I saw him at the Bowl, the thin Russian hunched over the keys, pursed his lips, scrunched his face, and closed his eyes tight as if he were reliving some gloriously bittersweet and lovely memory. Sometimes, his face appeared to be grimacing with passionate intent, a physical determination that caused his hair to be matted with sweat.


The combination of possessed frenzy and ardent lovemaking on view belied his unswervingly amazing technique. Each note could be easily identified, yet they cascaded smoothly like a pulsating waterfall. The combination of strength and tenderness more than validated why Trifonov won medals at three of the most prestigious competitions in the music world: the Chopin Competition in Warsaw (Third Prize), the Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv (First Prize) and the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (First Prize and Grand Prix).

The sumptuous, romantic melodies on the upcoming program are achingly beautiful. With these prestigious musicians on hand, you will no doubt feel like you had an intense spa vacation. None of these artists are returning to L.A. soon, so don’t miss this opportunity.


photos courtesy of LA Phil

Daniil Trifonov, piano
Gidon Kremer, violin
Giedrė Dirvanauskaitė, cello
MOZART: Violin Sonata in E-flat, K. 481
SCHUBERT: Fantasy in C, D. 934
RACHMANINOFF: Trio élégiaque No.2 in D minor, Op. 9
Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave
Wednesday, January 11, 2015 at 8:00
for tickets, call 323.850.2000 or visit www.LAPhil.com

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