Brought up in the former Soviet Union studying both classical and jazz piano, Kirill Gerstein moved to the US at age fourteen where he was the youngest student to attend Boston’s Berklee College of Music. Shifting his focus to the classical repertory, he studied with Solomon Mikowsky in New York, Dmitri Bashkirov in Madrid, and Ferenc Rados in Budapest. He received first prize at the Arthur Rubinstein Competition in 2001, a Gilmore Young Artist Award in 2002, and in 2010, both an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Gilmore Artist Award, which led him to commission new works from Timothy Andres, Chick Corea, Alexander Goehr, Oliver Knussen, and Brad Mehldau.
Highlights of his 2017-18 season include debuts with the Pittsburgh and National symphonies; re-engagements with the Minnesota Orchestra and the Boston, Chicago, Indianapolis, Houston, Colorado, and Oregon symphonies; summer festival appearances at Ravinia, Aspen, and his debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival; and a tour with cellist Clemens Hagen with performances in Philadelphia, Toronto, and Montreal. Internationally, Mr. Gerstein performs with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig and on tour in Paris and Vienna; the Bavarian Radio Orchestra; the Czech, Rotterdam, Stockholm, and Oslo philharmonics; and at the BBC Proms in London.
Autumn 2017 marked the release of a recording of Scriabin’s Piano Concerto with the Oslo Philharmonic and Vasily Petrenko on LAWO Classics, and a recording of Scriabin’s Prometheus, The Poem of Fire with the same forces. His most recent release is of Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F and Rhapsody in Blue with the Saint Louis Symphony and David Robertson for Myrios Classics. His previous recordings for the label include Liszt’s Transcendental Études, named by The New Yorker as one of 2016’s most notable recordings; Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in the composer’s own final version from 1879; Imaginary Pictures coupling Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition with Schumann’s Carnaval; a recital disc of works by Schumann, Liszt, and Knussen; and two discs with Tabea Zimmerman of sonatas for viola and piano by Brahms, Schubert, Franck, Clarke, and Vieuxtemps.
Keenly aware of the importance of working with young musicians, Mr. Gerstein taught at the Stuttgart Hochschule Musik from 2007 to 2017 and, beginning in the fall of 2018, will teach at the Kronberg Academy’s newly announced Sir András Schiff Performance Program for Young Artists. He made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 2005.