"Winning" is possibly the wrong word. The Gilmore is the award that pianists don't know they're in for. It's the one where you suddenly receive a phone call or someone takes you out to lunch and tells you you're being given $300,000 and record contracts, top-notch concert dates and the rest of it will all follow. The shock value is astonishing. Previous awards have gone to Leif Ove Andsnes, Piotr Anderszewski and Ingrid Fliter. This time it's the turn of 30-year-old Kirill Gerstein, and if anyone can withstand such a terrific transformation and live up to it, it's him.
Born in Russia, Gerstein studied in the US and Budapest and won the Rubinstein Competition in 2001. He is as cool and laid-back a customer as any grand piano could hope to meet on a busy night, an expert jazzer as well as a classy classicist and a pianist with a fine, rich, transparent tone with mind and musicality to match. We send him the very greatest congratulations.
By the way, the Gilmore is based in Kalamazoo. Honest, guv.
Here is Gerstein in the beginning of Rachmaninov's Third Concerto.
Jessica Duchen is a music journalist and the author of four novels, two biographies and several stage works. She writes regularly for The Independent and BBC Music Magazine. Her latest novel, Songs of Triumphant Love, is published by Hodder.
- The Compleat Corbyn — a round-up of Standpoint's Corbyn coverage this month
- We Told You So
- Sir Raymond Carr in Standpoint
- Conduct Unbecoming: The Classical Commentaries of Norman Lebrecht in Standpoint
- Chronicling The Crash: A Standpoint Ebook
- Grounds for Hope
- Is Islam a Peaceful Religion? Daniel Johnson at the Oxford Union
- Standpoint's Autumn Salons
- Is Hunter's History Bunk?
- Lawson Collects on Climate Change Bet
- The Cabinet meeting that kept Salman Rushdie alive
- Friends of Russia or Friends of Putin?
- Russia's Win-Win Election
- The Kremlin Plays Old Tricks With Pussy Riot
- A Pyrrhic Victory for Georgian Democracy
- Abandoned in Moscow
- Standpoint's New Facebook Page
- No need to pander to the Bear, Mr Obama
- Standpoint Recommends: The Tacitus Lecture 2012
- Goodbye, Vienna
- Friends Indeed — Daniel Johnson on Gertrude Himmelfarb
- New Culture Forum Lecture: Jeremy Hunt
- Kangaroo Courts Arrive Down Under
- The BBC's painful novelties
- Money can't buy you love - Nichi Hodgson
- World Youth Day Diary: Day Four