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Kirill Gerstein, who was born in 1979 in Voronezh, Russia, came to classical music via jazz. At the age of 14 he was accepted to the Berklee College of Music in Boston to study the latter discipline. After three years he decided to continue his training in the traditional classical field and studied with Solomon Mikowsky in New York, Dmitri Bashkirov in Madrid, and Ferenc Rados in Budapest. In 2001 Ger-stein won first prize at the Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv, in 2002 he garnered the Gilmore Young Artist Award, and in 2010 he was given an Avery Fisher Grant Award. This distinction has led to numerous appearances with leading American orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony and the Cleveland Orchestra as well as the New York Philharmonic. His European career has also flourished. Gerstein has concertized with the Munich Philharmonic, the NDR Symphony Orchestra, the SWR Symphony Orchestra of Baden-Baden and Freiburg, the Czech Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic, and the Finnish as well as the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestras. In the current 2013-14 season he will in addition make his debut with the Vienna Philharmonic and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Gerstein is a sought-after chamber musician. He has to date released two CDs with the violist Tabea Zimmermann, and he plays in a duo with Steven Isserlis and in a piano trio with Kolja Blacher and Clemens Hagen, which is currently presenting a Beethoven cycle in Basel and Florence. He moreover enjoys a friendship with András Schiff, who has invited him to perform at the Salzburg Festival as well as in Ittingen. Gerstein’s first solo CD, which was released in 2011, includes works by Liszt, Schumann, and Oliver Knussen.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 1 September 2005 playing works by Schubert, Rachmaninoff, and Kreisler.