Interview with Daniil Trifonov
20 Sep 2012
When did you first hear the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No 1 and do you remember which pianist it was? Did you immediately have the intention to play it one day?
Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No 1 is one of the greatest landmarks of Russian music literature. Of course I am sure that I heard it many times before my first memorable experience of listening to it – it was Van Cliburn's interpretation of that concerto that I played at the Tchaikovsky Competition. I was studying at that time in Gnessin's school and the presence of great power of expression and the masterful delivery of it by Van Cliburn left an unforgettable impression on me. At that time I maybe was not able to understand all the depth of every emotion of this music but the desire of learning this concerto was born in my soul. I was however afraid to learn this piece "too early" as there is great respect for that music. Finally I decided to go to the Tchaikovsky Competition and I my chance to start working on this concerto. It took me few months before the competition. It has a very different world of images and even technical approaches comparing to what I had been playing before. So it was a challenge.