Artists Management in association with Enticott Music Management
From Bach to Adès, pianist Kirill Gerstein’s playing is distinguished by a ferocious technique and discerning intelligence, matched with an energetic, imaginative musical presence that places him at the top of the international profession, with solo and concerto engagements taking him from Europe to the United States, East Asia and Australia. Born in the former Soviet Union, Gerstein is an American citizen based in Berlin whose heritage combines the traditions of Russian, American and Central European music-making with an insatiable curiosity. These qualities and the relationships that he has developed with orchestras, conductors, instrumentalists, singers and composers, have led him to explore a huge spectrum of repertoire both new and old.
In the coming season, Gerstein will feature as a Spotlight Artist with the London Symphony Orchestra, performing four concerti across the season at the orchestra’s Barbican Centre home and on tour, including Adès with Antonio Pappano, Rachmaninoff and Ravel with Susanna Mälkki, and Gershwin with Simon Rattle. Gerstein’s flair for curation recently also found expression as Artist-in-Residence with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, in presenting a three-part concert series entitled ‘Busoni and His World’ at London’s Wigmore Hall, and as resident artist at the Festival Aix-en-Provence.
Elsewhere during 2023-24 season, Gerstein returns to orchestras such as the Leipzig Gewandhaus with Nelsons, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Chamber Orchestra of Europe with Ticciati, Orchestre national de France with Măcelaru, Rotterdam Philharmonic with Shani, Boston Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic with Adès, Munich Philharmonic with Popelka, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala with Harding, Orchestre national de Lyon with Szeps-Znaider, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecila with Kavakos and with Hrůša, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich with Payare, Minnesota Orchestra with Søndergård, and the radio orchestras of Stuttgart, Hamburg, and Cologne, among others. In recital, Gerstein will reprise with Christian Tetzlaff Suite from The Tempest for violin and piano, which was written for them by Thomas Adès, for premières in New York, Washington, and Boston. Gerstein will also appear in solo recital at Carnegie Hall New York, Chamber Music Napa Valley, the Vienna Konzerthaus, and the Abu Dhabi Festival among others.Read more
Presenting and commissioning new music has long been part of Gerstein’s calling and in recent years, he has premièred two new piano concertos written especially for him: the first by British composer Thomas Adès, and the second by Austrian composer Thomas Larcher. Gerstein most recently gave Adès’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra its national premières in France, Belgium and Italy, and in 2023 performs the work with Vladimir Jurowski and the Berlin Radio Symphony at Grafenegg, the BBC Proms, and the Berlin Musikfest. The Larcher Piano Concerto will be recorded for ECM with the Bergen Philharmonic and Ed Gardner.
A long-time believer in the importance of teaching in the life of a musician, Kirill Gerstein is currently Professor of Piano at Berlin’s Hanns Eisler Hochschule and on the faculty of Kronberg Academy. Under the auspices of Kronberg Academy, his series of free and open online seminars entitled Kirill Gerstein invites is now in its fifth season. Featuring conversations with leading artistic minds, guest speakers have included Ai Weiwei, Andreas Staier, Brad Melhdau, Thomas Adès, Iván Fischer, Alex Ross, Matthew Aucoin, Kirill Serebrennikov, Elizabeth Wilson, Simon & Gerard McBurney, Robert Levin, Reinhard Goebel, Simon Callow. Emma Smith, Deborah Borda, Rafael Viñoly, Sir Antonio Pappano, Kaija Saariaho, Joshua Redman, Khatchig Mouradian and Michael Haas. Gerstein has also coached students at the Verbier Festival Academy, Aix-en-Provence Chamber Music Academy, and Prussia Cove.
Kirill Gerstein’s forthcoming release on the Platoon label will pair music by Debussy with that of Armenian priest, musicologist, and composer Komitas, featuring collaborations with Thomas Adès, Ruzan Mantashyan and Katia Skanavi. Gerstein released his Rachmaninoff 150 recording in 2023 as a tribute to the mark the composer’s 150th year, featuring his performance of the Second Piano Concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic and Kirill Petrenko recorded live on Berlin’s infamous Waldbühne stage. His first collaboration with myrios classics was 10 years ago and, as a result of the partnership, has realized many thoughtfully curated projects including Mozart Four-Hand Piano Sonatas with his mentor of 17 years, Ferenc Rados; a compendium of Thomas Adès’s works for piano in collaboration with the composer which won a 2021 International Classical Music Award; Strauss’s Enoch Arden with the late Bruno Ganz (Wings of Desire; Downfall); Busoni’s monumental Piano Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Sakari Oramo; The Gershwin Moment with the St Louis Symphony and David Robertson, including special appearances from Storm Large and Gerstein’s former mentor Gary Burton; Liszt’s Transcendental Études, picked by The New Yorker as one of 2016’s notable recordings; and Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto in the composer’s own final version from 1879.
Earlier recordings on myrios classics include Imaginary Pictures coupling Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition with Schumann’s Carnaval; two discs of sonatas for viola and piano by Brahms, Schubert, Franck, Clarke and Vieuxtemps recorded with Tabea Zimmermann; and a recital disc of works by Schumann, Liszt and Knussen. Deutsche Grammophon’s 2020 release of Gerstein’s world première performance of Adès’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra with the Boston Symphony Orchestra won a 2020 Gramophone Award and was nominated for three GRAMMY Awards. He has additionally recorded Tchaikovsky with Semyon Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic as part of The Tchaikovsky Project released by Decca Classics; and Scriabin with the Oslo Philharmonic and Vasily Petrenko for LAWO Classics.
Born in 1979 in Voronezh, Russia, Kirill Gerstein attended one of the country’s special music schools for gifted children and taught himself to play jazz at home by listening to his parents’ record collection. Following a chance encounter with jazz legend Gary Burton in St. Petersburg when he was 14, he was invited as the youngest student to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied jazz piano in tandem with his classical piano studies. At the age of 16, Gerstein decided to focus on classical music completing his undergraduate and graduate degrees with Solomon Mikowsky at New York’s Manhattan School of Music, followed by further studies with Dmitri Bashkirov in Madrid and Ferenc Rados in Budapest. Gerstein is the sixth recipient of the prestigious Gilmore Artist Award – enabling him to commission new works from Timo Andres, Chick Corea, Alexander Goehr, Oliver Knussen and Brad Mehldau – First Prize winner at the 10th Arthur Rubinstein Competition and an Avery Fisher Career Grant holder. In May 2021, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Manhattan School of Music.
“the soloist Kirill Gerstein found a gentle silvery tone, and in the yearning melody of the first movement, he anticipated the beat by a fraction to seize its heart-fluttering quality.” (Schumann Piano Concerto with BBC Symphony Orchestra and Semyon Bychkov at BBC Proms 2021)
“The real highlight of the night, however, was the Schumann Piano Concerto that separated overture and symphony. Perhaps best known for muscular, virtuosic works, the pianist Kirill Gerstein rippled through the music with quicksilver grace, practically dancing up and down the keyboard… Gerstein’s impetuous encore — a fiendish Busoni transcription of a Bach chorale — was, in a word, breathtaking.” (Schumann Piano Concerto with BBC Symphony Orchestra and Semyon Bychkov at BBC Proms 2021)
“How often is it that a piano disc comes along consisting entirely of new music as technically exhilarating in its modern way as any disc of Chopin or Liszt? There is life in the virtuoso concert pianist yet. This collection of pieces by Thomas Adès includes works for solo piano, for two pianos, and for piano and orchestra. The pianist who is common to all is Kirill Gerstein…. Gerstein is a virtuoso and his brilliance pays dividends here.”
“Kirill Gerstein now belongs to the class of the most renowned classical pianists thanks to the idiosyncratic sound worlds he creates and his profoundly universal understanding of music”