When: Tue., Aug. 2, 8 p.m. 2016
The classical-music world turns out prodigies with such consistency that it’s hard not to be skeptical when some new whippersnapper emerges from the woodwork to breeze through a masterpiece with technical assurance but little personality. In recent years Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov—now at the ripe age of 25—has separated himself from that class. On last year’s striking Rachmaninov Variations (Deutsche Grammophon) he erases any lingering doubt that he’s just a technical wizard, performing the music with not only breathless precision but humor and personality as well. The CD also includes the pianist’s own “Rachmaniana,” a solo suite he composed in homage to the composer while adjusting to his new home in the U.S. as a late teen. For this evening’s performance Trifonov will join the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for a rendition of Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A Minor. The 1845 work by the influential Romantic is his only of that format, and interestingly enough, it provided the model for Edvard Grieg’s own piano concerto—which was subsequently employed as a model by Rachmaninov for his first foray into the form. The program is rounded out by Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”) and the overture of Weber’s Der Freischütz.