Russian-born pianist Kirill Gerstein named 2010 Gilmore Artist; award worth $300,000
The quadrennial Gilmore Artist Award is a remarkable anti-competition prize for outstanding pianists, chosen after a confidential process. The players don't know they've been nominated, and don't know that folks from the advisory committee of the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival are listening to them in performance. It's everything that traditional keyboard competitions are not, which is one reason the award is held in high regard.
The just-named 2010 Gilmore Artist is Kirill Gerstein, a Russian-born pianist who became a U.S. citizen a few years ago. The prize includes $300,000 "in support of his musical and career goals over the next four years," as the press release puts its. Gerstein joins a roster that, since 1991, has included Piotr Anderszewski, Leif Ove Andsnes, Ingrid Fliter, Ralf Gothoni and David Owen Norris.
To give you an idea of what the committee found in this latest award-winner (the wonderful pianist Ann Schein, who taught for many years at Peabody, was on that committee), here are clips of Gerstein playing music by Rachmaninoff and Bernstein: