Kirill Gerstein’s curiosity and versatility has led him to explore a wide range of repertoire and styles. From Bach to Adès, his playing is distinguished by a discerning intelligence, great virtuosity and a clarity of expression. He has been described as “Gloriously free and unfazed by technical difficulties, he made the piano sing… The concerto that we’ve heard so many times before gained new life.” (Leipziger Volkszeitung) In recent seasons Gerstein has made his debuts with the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestras.
In Europe this season Gerstein will tour with the Leipzig Gewandhaus under Blomstedt, and RAI Torino under Bychkov, and perform with the Bayerischen Rundfunks Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Pappano; the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and Adès; Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Oramo; and the Czech Philharmonic and Bychkov. He also appears with the Oslo Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Gürzenich Orchestra, Hamburg Symphony, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. In the US, he will perform piano concertos by Brahms with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Muti, Bach with the Boston Symphony and Nelsons, and Gershwin with the Baltimore Symphony and Alsop.
In recital, Gerstein appears at London’s Wigmore Hall, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, the Rudolfinum in Prague as well as part of the Arthur Rubinstein Festival in Lodz, the Gilmore Keyboard Festival and the Peoples’ Symphony Concerts in New York. Equally at home in chamber music, Gerstein will tour Japan with Daishin Kashimoto, and perform in a French programme at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and on tour in North America with Clemens Hagen performing Beethoven’s Cello Sonatas.
Gerstein has recorded Scriabin’s Piano Concerto in F-sharp minor with the Oslo Philharmonic and Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko which will be released in Autumn 2017 by LAWO Classics. In 2018 Gerstein released Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F and Rhapsody in Blue with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and David Robertson for myrios classics. “Both the Concerto and the Rhapsody in Blue are tours de force, and easily claim a place among the great readings, be they by Levant, Sanromá, Wild or Gershwin himself.” – Gramophone Magazine. Gerstein’s previous recordings for the label include Liszt’s Transcendental Études, selected by The New Yorker as one of 2016’s notable recordings; Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto in the composer’s own final version from 1879 which won an ECHO Klassik Award for Concerto Recording of the Year and was described by The Observer as “…the kind of serious, intelligent and virtuosic music-making that keeps classical music alive.”; Imaginary Pictures coupling Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition with Schumann’s Carnaval; two discs with Tabea Zimmerman of sonatas for viola and piano by Brahms, Schubert, Franck, Clarke and Vieuxtemps; and a recital disc of works by Schumann, Liszt and Knussen.
Brought up in the former Soviet Union studying both classical and jazz piano, at 14 Gerstein moved to the US where he was the youngest student to attend Boston’s Berklee College of Music. Shifting his focus to the classical repertoire, he studied with Solomon Mikowsky in New York, Dmitri Bashkirov in Madrid and Ferenc Rados in Budapest. Gerstein won the first of a series of prestigious accolades in 2001: First Prize at the 10th Arthur Rubinstein Competition. In 2002, he won a Gilmore Young Artist Award, and in 2010 both an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Gilmore Artist Award, which provided the funds for him to commission new works from Timothy Andres, Chick Corea, Alexander Goehr, Oliver Knussen and Brad Mehldau. Following his belief in the importance of teaching, Gerstein taught at the Stuttgart Musik Hochschule from 2007-2017 and, from autumn 2018, will teach as part of Kronberg Academy’s newly announced Sir András Schiff Performance Programme for Young Artists.