Stars when they were young (2): Daniil Trifonov, aged 8

Stars when they were young (2): Daniil Trifonov, aged 8


norman lebrecht

September 05, 2020

The posture has not changed.



  • anon says:

    It’s so beautiful to see the respect that people feel for classical music in Russia. Look at that packed hall for a competition with 8-year olds!


      With regard to Classical music, it is the same in other European countries. Classical music is not regarded as elitism.

    • MacroV says:

      I do love the Moscow concert culture, especially people bringing flowers up to conductors and soloists. Even the announcer who comes out to announce every piece. Not so crazy about the people who move up to more expensive seats well before they have reason to think someone won’t show up; they’ll move, but it gets annoying.

      One thing you also frequently hear is the resume of the featured performer – Honored Artist of Russia, Laureate of International Competitions, etc.. They do love to mention that people done well in international competitions. I’m not sure it’s an entirely healthy thing, though, to see a packed house at a competition for 8 YOs (ok, maybe he was competing against older pianists).

  • The talented Daniil started very young and he won the Tchaikovsky cotetest in 2011 maybe the best year of this contest. There were also Seong-Jin Cho and above Yeol Eum Son with her Mozart 21th for the ages.

  • Henry Cohen says:

    What are the two pieces he played?

  • christopher storey says:

    Is it my ears, or was he heavy-handed throughout both pieces ?

    • KH says:

      Not just you. Mechanical musical box-esque performance typical of children his age.

    • Edgar Self says:

      Christopher Storey, too prominent left hand, untypical of Russian piano school; I thought about that also. First piece something by Glinka. second short one I’ve never heard before. Abrupt ending. But, eight years old.

      • M2N2K says:

        The second piece is obviously his own composition and as a composer at that age he obviously was no Mozart. However, his playing in the piece by Glinka is absolutely gorgeous for an eight-year-old: warm tone, singing quality, seamless legato, sensitive voicing, elegant phrasing, steady rhythm. A little bit freer sense of pacing and perhaps clearer dynamic differences would have helped of course, but considering his age this performance is still outstanding.

  • says:

    Here’s another for your “when young” list:
    Yo-yo Ma