The Student Has Become the Master: Trifonov and Babayan in Concert

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Daniil Trifonov and Sergei Babayan play a piano recital for four hands at SF Symphony Feb. 28 in Davies Hall. (Photo: Courtesy of SF Symphony)

Daniil Trifonov and Sergei Babayan are two pianists with mad skills. Babayan was Trifonov’s piano teacher for a time, but now the student has surpassed the 57-year-old teacher, at least in reputation. At just 27, Trifonov stirs awe from critics and fellow pianists alike for the way he comes at the romantic canon with fresh ears and fingers. “What he does with his hands is technically incredible,” said pianist Martha Argerich when Trifonov was barely of drinking age, in 2011. “It’s also his touch — he has tenderness and also the demonic element."

Two pianos can really fill a concert hall — even the huge space of Davies Hall, where the two perform a program of Rachmaninoff, Schumann, Arvo Pärt and more on Feb. 27. Details here.