Alexander Kobrin – Russia/United States
“He surrendered neither the smoothness nor the dynamic fluidity that the modern piano allows, and he gave his sense of fantasy free rein, and creating an almost confessional spirit .” — The New York Times
Called the “Van Cliburn of today” by the BBC, pianist Alexander Kobrin has placed himself at the forefront of today’s performing musicians. His prize-winning performances have been praised for their brilliant technique, musicality, and emotional engagement with the audience. The New York Times has written that Mr. Kobrin was a “fastidious guide” to Schumann’s “otherworldly visions, pointing out hunters, flowers, haunted corners and friendly bowers, all captured in richly characterized vignettes.” “This was a performance that will be revered and remembered as a landmark of the regeneration of exceptional classical music in Central New York,” the critic wrote after Mr. Kobrin’s performance of Second Piano Concerto by Johannes Brahms with Syracuse Symphony.
In 2005, Mr. Kobrin was awarded the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Gold Medal at the Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, TX. His numerous successes in competitions also include top prizes at the Busoni International Piano Competition, Hamamatsu International Piano Competition, and Scottish International Piano Competition in Glasgow.
Mr. Kobrin has performed with many of the world’s great orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, Russian National Orchestra, Belgrade Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Verdi, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Moscow Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Berliner Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, Swedish Radio Symphony, Birmingham Symphony, Warsaw Philharmonic, and BBC Symphony Orchestra. He has collaborated with such conductors as Mikhail Pletnev, Mikhail Jurovsky, Mark Elder, Vassiliy Sinaisky, James Conlon, Claus Peter Flor, Alexander Lazarev, Vasily Petrenko, and Yuri Bashmet.
He has appeared in recital at major halls worldwide, including the Avery Fisher Hall in New York, Kennedy Center in Washington, Albert Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, Louvre Auditorium, Salle Gaveau and Salle Cortot in Paris, Munich Herkulesaal and Berliner Filarmonia Hall in Germany, Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire, Sheung Wan Civic Centre in Hong Kong, as well as Sala Verdi in Milan and many others. Other past performances have included recitals at Bass Performance Hall for Cliburn Concerts, Washington Performing Arts Society, La Roque d’Antheron, Ravinia Festival, Beethoven Easter Festival, Busoni Festival, Klavier-Festival Ruhr, Festival Musique dans le Grésivaudan, International Keyboard Institute & Festival, and annual concert tours in Japan, China, and Taiwan.
Though widely acclaimed as a performer, Mr. Kobrin’s teaching has been an inspiration to many students through his passion for music. From 2003 to 2010, he served on the faculty of the Russian State Gnessin’s Academy of Music. In 2010, he was named the L. Rexford Distinguished Chair in Piano at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University, and from 2013 to 2017 was member of the celebrated artist faculty of New York University’s Steinhardt School. In July 2017, he joined the faculty of the renowned Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. He has also given masterclasses in Europe and Asia, on International Piano Series, and at the Conservatories of Japan and China.
Mr. Kobrin has been a jury member for many international piano competitions, including the Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano, Hamamatsu International Piano Competion, Blüthner International Piano Competition in Vienna, E-Competition in Fairbanks, Alaska, and the Neuhaus International Piano Festival in Moscow.
Mr. Kobrin has released recordings on the harmonia mundi, Quartz, and Centaur labels, covering a wide swath of the piano literature. His Schumann album, released on Centaur Records, was included into top-five albums of the year in 2015 by Fanfare Magazine. Gramophone raved about his Cliburn Competition release on harmonia mundi, writing that “in [Rachmaninov’s] Second Sonata (played in the 1931 revision), despite fire-storms of virtuosity, there is always room for everything to tell and Kobrin achieves a hypnotic sense of the music’s dark necromancy.”
Mr. Kobrin was born in 1980 in Moscow. At the age of 5, he was enrolled in the world-famous Gnessin Special School of Music after which he attended the prestigious Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. His teachers have included renowned professors Tatiana Zelikman and Lev Naumov.