Rachmaninoff Festival: Second Piano Concerto and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

The New York Philharmonic

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Second Piano Concerto and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini


David Geffen Hall

Price Range



1 hour & 45 minutes with intermission

No Late Seating
Date & Times


Nov, 2015

Wednesday, 7:30 PM


Nov, 2015

Thursday, 7:30 PM


Nov, 2015

Friday, 8:00 PM


Nov, 2015

Saturday, 8:00 PM


Nov, 2015

Tuesday, 7:30 PM

Event Info

Part of Rachmaninoff: A Philharmonic Festival

You'll recognize Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini from Groundhog Day, when Bill Murray used it to melt Andie MacDowell’s heart. In The Seven Year Itch, the Second Piano Concerto plays in a dream sequence to woo Marilyn Monroe. But there’s more than just swoon-worthy melodies in these Rachmaninoff favorites: virtuosic fireworks abound too, especially in the hands of 24-year-old dynamo Daniil Trifonov.

The November 12 performance will be broadcast live on WQXR, New York’s classical station, at 105.9 FM and wqxr.org at 7:30 p.m. After the November 14 concert, Daniil Trifonov will sign copies of his CD Rachmaninov Variations in the David Geffen Hall lobby.

Read about Daniil Trifonov in The Times (London)



The Isle of the Dead



Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini



Piano Concerto No. 2


Cristian Măcelaru


Cristian Măcelaru



Winner of the 2014 Solti Conducting Award, Cristian Măcelaru is conductor-in-residence of The Philadelphia Orchestra, with which he made his unexpected subscription debut in April 2013. He has since conducted four of its subscription programs, and leads another in the 2015–16 season. Other season highlights include his Lincoln Center debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival, as well as this New York Philharmonic debut. He returns to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and National Symphony Orchestra. Internationally, he makes debuts with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Royal Scottish National, Dublin’s RTE National Symphony, and Tokyo’s Metropolitan Symphony orchestras. In North America, his debuts include the Atlanta, Cincinnati, New World, and San Diego symphony orchestras, Minnesota Orchestra, and National Arts Centre Orchestra. 

Cristian Măcelaru made his first appearance at Carnegie Hall in 2012, leading a work alongside Valery Gergiev in a Georg Solti Centennial Celebration, and in 2015 he made his full Carnegie debut leading the Danish National Symphony Orchestra with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. In June 2015 he made his Cincinnati Opera debut in highly acclaimed performances of Verdi’s Il Trovatore.

An accomplished violinist from an early age, Christian Măcelaru was the youngest concertmaster in the history of the Miami Symphony Orchestra, and played in the first violin section of the Houston Symphony for two seasons. After participating in the conducting programs of the Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival and School, he received the Sir Georg Solti Emerging Conductor Award in 2012. He completed undergraduate studies in violin performance at the University of Miami and subsequently studied with Larry Rachleff at Rice University, where he received master’s degrees in conducting and violin performance.

Learn more about Cristian Măcelaru

Daniil Trifonov


Daniil Trifonov


Daniil Trifonov by Dario Acosta


Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov has been named The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence for the 2019–20 season. His activities reflect his many talents: champion of the concerto repertoire, with performances of works by Scriabin and Mozart in New York and on tour; solo artist, with a recital at Alice Tully Hall; and collaborator in chamber music and composer, with a performance with the New York Philharmonic String Quartet of his Piano Quintet at 92nd Street Y, the work’s New York Premiere.

Mr. Trifonov was named Musical America’s Artist of the Year of 2019 and Gramophone’s Artist of the Year in 2016. In 2018 he won his first Grammy Award: Best Instrumental Solo Album for Transcendental, a double album of works by Liszt and his third title as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon (DG) artist.

Mr. Trifonov launched the New York Philharmonic’s 2018–19 season and Jaap van Zweden’s tenure as Music Director with Ravel’s Concerto in G for the Opening Gala Concert, and Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto in the opening subscription program. He revisits the Ravel on tour with the London Symphony Orchestra and Simon Rattle, and during a residency at Vienna’s Musikverein, where he appears with the Vienna Philharmonic and gives the Austrian premiere of his own Piano Concerto. He also performs the Emperor with the London, National, and Cincinnati symphony orchestras, as well as The Cleveland Orchestra, with which he embarks on a tour of Asia.

During a season-long residency with the Berlin Philharmonic, Daniil Trifonov plays Scriabin’s concerto with Andris Nelsons. Other highlights include returns to Carnegie Hall with longtime collaborator Valery Gergiev and the MET Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. On his upcoming DG release, Destination Rachmaninov: Departure, he performs the Second and Fourth Piano Concertos with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, his partners on 2015’s Rachmaninov: Variations.

In recital this season, Mr. Trifonov plays concertos by Beethoven, Schumann, and Prokofiev at Carnegie and in Berlin, where his Berlin Philharmonic residency features multiple solo and chamber performances. These include accounts of his own Piano Quintet, of which he also gives the Cincinnati Premiere with the Ariel Quartet. In Berlin, and at 92nd Street Y, he plays duo recitals with his frequent partner, baritone Matthias Goerne.

The Philharmonic’s relationship with Daniil Trifonov began with his critically acclaimed Philharmonic debut in 2012 at the age of 21. In November 2015 he was the featured soloist in Rachmaninoff: A Philharmonic Festival and subsequently joined the Philharmonic Board of Directors.

Learn more about Daniil Trifonov

Special Thanks

Major support for these concerts is provided by Laura Chang and Arnold Chavkin.

Cristian Măcelaru's appearance is made possible through the Daisy and Paul Soros Endowment Fund.

The November 12 performance of The Isle of the Dead is graciously sponsored by Kimberly V. Strauss.

For November 12 Radio Broadcast, Daniil Trifonov appears courtesy Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft.


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