Tue, August 23, 2016
21:00 – 22:00
VILLA LA PIETRA
Via Bolognese, 120
50139 Firenze, ITALIA
An evening of music performed by tenor Toby Spence, accompanied by pianist Kirill Gerstein
Toby Spence is an internationally renowned British tenor. After graduating with an honors degree in music from New College in Oxford, he studied opera at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Spence made his professional debut in the Welsh National Opera’s production of Idomene in 1995. Since then, he has performed in concert with the Cleveland Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, among others. Select operatic performances have taken place at the Paris Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, the San Francisco Opera, Teatro Real in Madrid, Bayerische Staatsoper, the English National Opera, the Royal Opera, and Covent Garden. Recent highlights include the role of Eisentstein in die Fledermaus at the Metropolitan Opera, David in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Paris Opera, and the title role in Idomeneo at the Garsington Opera. Spence was honored as “Best Singer” in 2012 by the Royal Philharmonic Society.
Based both in Europe and in the US, Kirill Gerstein appears world-wide in performances ranging from concerts with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic to recitals in London, Paris and New York. In addition to touring extensively as a recitalist and concerto soloist and performing chamber music with his colleagues, he is committed to fostering the next generation of musicians and has held a piano professorship at the Musikhochschule Stuttgart since 2007.
Gerstein‘s first recital disc on the myrios classics label featured works by Schumann, Liszt and Oliver Knussen and was named one of the best recordings of 2010 by the New York Times and one of the best Schumann recordings – in the year of the composer’s bicentenary – by NPR Music. In collaboration with Tabea Zimmermann, he has since made two recordings of sonatas for viola and piano for myrios classics, which include works by Brahms and Schubert, as well as César Franck, Rebecca Clarke and Henri Vieuxtemps. The second of the two discs was awarded the 2013 Diapason d’Or.
Born in 1979 in Voronezh, Russia, Kirill Gerstein attended one of the country‘s special music schools for gifted children and taught himself to play jazz by listening to his parents’ record collection. Following a chance encounter with jazz legend Gary Burton in St. Petersburg when he was 14, he was invited to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied jazz piano but also continued his classical piano studies. At the age of 16, he decided to focus on classical music and moved to New York City to attend the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Solomon Mikowsky and earned both his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees by age 20. He continued his studies with Dmitri Bashkirov in Madrid and Ferenc Rados in Budapest.
Kirill Gerstein was named the recipient of the prestigious 2010 Gilmore Artist Award and was also the first prize winner at the 2001 Arthur Rubinstein Piano Competition in Tel Aviv. He has used a portion of his Gilmore award funds to commission boundary-crossing works by Oliver Knussen, Brad Mehldau, Chick Corea, Timothy Andres and Alexander Goehr.
For more information: www.kirillgerstein.com