Kirill Gerstein

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Kirill Gerstein (Russian: Кирилл Герштейн), (born 1979, Voronezh, Soviet Union) is a Jewish American and Russian pianist. He was the First Prize winner at the 2001 Arthur Rubinstein Piano Competition in Tel Aviv. He was chosen to receive a 2002 Gilmore Young Artist Award, and was selected as Carnegie Hall's "Rising Star" for the 2005–2006 season. He became an American citizen in 2003 and is currently a professor of piano at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart.[1] He is the 2010 recipient of the $300,000 Gilmore Artist Award.


Kirill Gerstein was born to Jewish parents in 1979 in Voronezh (former USSR). At the age of 11, he won his first competition - the International Bach Competition in Gorzów, Poland. After attending the summer program at Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts in 1993, he was invited to attend the college on full scholarship.

He next attended the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Solomon Mikowsky, earning both his Bachelor's and Master's of Music degrees by the age of 20. His studies later took him to Madrid with the piano pedagogue Dmitri Bashkirov and Claudio Martínez Mehner at the Queen Sofía College of Music. He also was one of only six pianists selected to study in 2003 and 2004 at the International Piano Academy Lake Como.


Kirill Gerstein made his major orchestral debut with David Zinman and the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra in September 2000. He was immediately re-engaged the following season. He also toured Germany with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra led by Charles Dutoit and appeared in the London BBC Proms with cellist Steven Isserlis.

Gerstein made his Ravinia Festival concerto debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Christoph Eschenbach in 2002. He also appeared in recital at the 2002 Gilmore Piano Festival, on Ravinia's Rising Star Series and in the Boston Conservatory's Piano Masters Series.

On 17 and 18 March 2006, Gerstein stepped in for Boris Berezovsky as the soloist in Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30 with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra when Berezovsky withdrew from the two concerts in Hong Kong due to illness. He made his Cleveland Orchestra debut on 12 July 2008, again with Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 3.

In January 2010, Mr. Gerstein was announced as the sixth recipient of the $300,000 Gilmore Artist Award.[2] Previous winners of this prestigious award include Leif Ove Andsnes from Norway, Piotr Anderszewski from Poland and Ingrid Fliter from Argentina.


His debut recital recording of works by Bach, Beethoven, Scriabin and Gershwin arranged by Earl Wild was released in 2004 on the Oehms Classics label.

Gerstein’s first recital disc featuring works by Schumann, Liszt and Oliver Knussen was named one of the ten best recordings of 2010 by the New York Times, and was followed by a second solo disc for Myrios Classics in June 2014.

His 2014 recording "Imaginary Pictures" featuring "Pictures at an Exhibition" by Mussorgsky and "Carnival" by Schumann was named one of the best classical recordings of 2014 by the New York Times. [3]

Gerstein’s first orchestral recording, released by myrios classics in February 2015, marks the world première recording of the 1879 version of Tchaikovsky’s first Piano Concerto. Based on Tchaikovsky’s own conducting score from his last public concert, the new critical Urtext edition will be published in 2015 by the Tchaikovsky Museum in Klin, tying in with Tchaikovsky’s 175th anniversary and marking 140 years since the concerto’s world première in Boston, in 1875. For the recording, Kirill was granted special pre-publication access to the new Urtext edition.[4]


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