Marking a major career milestone for Daniil Trifonov, this month the young Russian master pianist headlines “Rachmaninoff: A Philharmonic Festival,” the New York Philharmonic’s three-week immersion in the composer’s music. The collaboration kicks off tonight, November 11, when Trifonov gives the first of five performances as soloist in Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto and “Paganini Variations,” both under the baton of Cristian Macelaru (Nov 11–17). Next week, he plays the Fourth Piano Concerto with Neeme Järvi (Nov 19–21), and later this month he performs the Third Piano Concerto under the leadership of Ludovic Morlot (Nov 24–28). To round out the festival – the Philharmonic’s first Rachmaninoff celebration to date – Trifonov makes his 92nd Street Y debut with a rare chamber music appearance, collaborating with members of the orchestra on the Russian composer’s “Trio élégiaque” No. 2 (Nov 22).
By way of a preview, earlier this week the pianist gave an intimate recital at the Greene Space in downtown Manhattan. WQXR’s Annie Bergen hosted the sold-out event, in which Trifonov not only played Rachmaninoff’s Second Suite for Two Pianos with his teacher, fellow pianist Sergei Babayan, but gave a solo rendition of Rachmaniana, his own Rachmaninoff-inspired suite. An atmospheric and virtuosic work that was originally dedicated to Babayan, Trifonov’s composition may also be heard on his most recent Deutsche Grammophon release, Rachmaninov Variations.