Daniil Trifonov salutes Russia’s ‘Silver Age’

"The Silver Age in Russian history is not a single aesthetic," says pianist Daniil Trifonov. "It's a cocktail of different artistic expressions, in agitated interaction.”

Dario Acosta

Note: Due to an elbow injury, Daniil Trifonov has postponed his Nov. 12 recital, part of a multi-city U.S. tour. A new date of Feb. 5 has been announced, and tickets for Nov. 12 will be honored for the rescheduled concert. Flexible options, including exchanging tickets for other concerts, are also available. More information is available at cso.org or by calling Symphony Center Patron Services at (312) 294-3000.

Born in Russia and an alumnus of the Cleveland Institute of Music, pianist Daniil Trifonov has put down roots in a city that many wouldn't necessarily associate with him: New York.

“I already felt comfortable here,” said Trifonov during an interview with the New York Times. “New York just felt like my kind of city.” Accordingly, he had a 2019-20 season residency with the New York Philharmonic, where he has become a regular since his 2012 debut there.

He likes to limit his time on the road, since he "doesn't like living out of a suitcase." His latest tour brings him to Chicago for an SCP Piano recital on Feb. 5. His program consists of Prokofiev's Sarcasms, Op. 17; Szymanowski's Sonata No. 3, Op. 36; Debussy's Pour le piano, and Brahms' Sonata No. 3 in F Minor, Op. 5.

The program is inspired in part by his latest disc "Silver Age" (2020, Deutsche Grammophon), recorded with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra, featuring three giants of Russian music: Scriabin, Stravinsky and Prokofiev.

“The Silver Age period of art in Russian history is not a single aesthetic, but describes an increasingly fractured social, political and intellectual environment — a cocktail of different artistic expressions, in agitated interaction,” Trifonov explains in the disc's liner notes. “Scriabin wished to combine all aesthetic experience in a single, mystical, musical vision; Stravinsky unified the arts through a radical reinterpretation of ballet; Prokofiev, meanwhile, embraced cinema as the most complete and modern synthesis of the senses.”

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