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January 7, 2010

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:

Posted by Tim Smith at 11:33 AM | | Comments (1)


Wanted to add that Ivan Moshchuk, a freshman at the Peabody Conservatory was named one of two Gilmore Young Artists for 2010. His teacher at Peabody is Boris Slutsky, who chairs the piano department.

Thanks very much for sharing that info. I hope I get to hear him soon. TIM

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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