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October 2013
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Exclusive: One on One with Kirill Gerstein

Pianist Kirill Gerstein

“Every day is fun.”

—Kirill Gerstein

It seems there’s no repertoire that doesn’t wallow under the fingers of Russian pianist Kirill Gerstein. At fourteen, Gerstein moved from Russia to the US to study jazz at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. Last week it was New York and Rachmaninoff with the Philharmonic; this week it’s Chicago and Prokofiev. Gerstein is in demand as a Russian on Russian, but his schedule also includes a healthy amount of Haydn, Liszt, Ligeti, and Gershwin; with a newly commissioned piece by Timo Andres for good measure. Traveling with his young family in tow (a one-year-old who has more frequent flier miles than most of us), Gerstein kicks back after a rehearsal with the Chicago Symphony, looking tired, and smiles at his good fortune. It’s his 33rd birthday. When asked if he would find time to do something fun to celebrate, he replied, “Every day is fun.”

Listen to Kirill Gerstein speaking with WFMT’s Noel Morris about the Prokofiev Second Concerto, which he’ll perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Semyon Bychkov this weekend.

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