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Below: the Budapest Liszt winner Alexander Ullman is congratulated by conductor Ádám Medveczky

“I’ve never had anybody in my studio more focused or going to his goal more completely,” Babayan said of his pupil. “He’s like a rare diamond. A talent like this is maybe born every 100 years. He breathes music.” This assessment was reinforced by none other than renowned Argentinian pianist Martha Argerich. “He has everything and more,” she said. “What he does with his hands is technically incredible. It’s also his touch – he has tenderness and also the demonic element. I never heard anything like that.” Trifonov’s CV is already looking like that of an international star. It lists performances in Russia, Poland, Japan, Germany, Austria, Italy,

Photography: courtesy Top of the World; Zsolt Kovats (Ullman)

Left: Top of the World winner Alberto Nosè from Italy (right) with second placed Ashot Khachaturian from Armenia (left) and third prize winner Yaron Kohlberg from Israel (centre)

Netherlands, UK, Switzerland, China, Canada, USA and Israel, and since his triumphs in Tel Aviv and Moscow he has performed alongside Valery Gergiev with the Mariinsky Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra in the USA and UK respectively. He also has three CDs of Chopin to his name, the latest, Daniil Trifonov plays Frederic Chopin, released in 2011 on Decca. As he takes his place on the world stage, Trifonov has been advised by Gergiev that it’s time to quit the competition circuit. The world’s aspiring young pianists will be praying that he takes the hint. Q

2011 competition results Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, Tel Aviv 10th-26th May

Cleveland International Piano Competition, Cleveland 26th July-7th August

Piano Competition in Memoriam Ferenc Liszt, Budapest 8th-19th September

1. Daniil Trifonov (Russia) 2. Boris Giltburg (Israel) 3. Ilya Rashkovsky (Russia) 4. Eric Zuber (USA) 5. Alexandre Moutouzkine (Russia) 6. Kotaro Fukuma (Japan)

1. Alexander Schimpf (Germany) 2. Alexei Chernov (Russia) 3. Eric Zuber (USA) 4. Kyu-Yeon Kim (South Korea)

1. Alexander Ullman (United Kingdom) 2. Ilya Kondratiev (Russia) 3. Balázs János Jr (Hungary)

International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition, Moscow 15th-30th June 1. Daniil Trifonov (Russia) 2. Yeol Eum Son (South Korea) 3. Seong Jin Cho (South Korea) 4. Alexander Romanovsky (Ukraine) 5. Alexei Chernov (Russia) Top of the World International Piano Competition, Tromsø 19th-24th June 1. Alberto Nosè (Italy) 2. Ashot Khachaturian (Armenia) 3. Yaron Kohlberg (Israel)



Busoni International Piano Competition, Bolzano 24th August-2nd September 1. Not awarded 2. = Antonii Baryshevskyi (Ukraine) and Anna Bulkina (Russia) 3. Tatiana Chernichka (Russia) Internationaler Musikwettbewerb der ARD, Munich 1st-11th September 1. Alexej Gorlatch (Ukraine) 2. Claire Huangci [under the name of Tori Huang] (USA) 3. Dasol Kim (South Korea)

Schubert International Piano Competition, Dortmund 30th September-9th October 1. Vadym Kholodenko (Ukraine) 2. Chi Ho Han (South Korea) 3. Ah Ruem Ahn (South Korea) 7th International Franz Liszt Piano Competition, Weimar-Bayreuth 20th-30th October 1. Marina Yakhlakova (Russia) 2. Sergey Sobolev (Russia) 3. Ilya Kondratiev (Russia)

Steinway & Sons, Owners' Magazine – Issue One 2012