In Sunday’s (2/28) Chicago Sun-Times, Wynne Delacoma writes, “Russian-born pianist Kirill Gerstein, who performs with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra this week, knew something momentous was afoot when he walked into the bar at the Omni Hotel in Jacksonville, Fla., last November. His manager had told him a music critic from Houston wanted to meet him there. Instead, he found Daniel R. Gustin, director of the Irving S. Gilmore International Piano Festival, based in Kalamazoo, Mich. … Instead of a critic looking for an interview, Gustin arrived bearing one of the music world’s most munificent gifts. The 30-year-old Gerstein, now a U.S. citizen, had won the 2010 Gilmore Artist Award. Given every four years, the award carries a purse of $300,000. Winners are chosen by a committee that travels anonymously around the world to hear nominated artists during their regular schedule of concerts. … His repertoire is wide-ranging. He will play the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 for his CSO debut under the baton of Charles Dutoit. … But in coming months he also will be playing a Bach suite on a recital in Germany and Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra (‘The Age of Anxiety’) in Rochester, N.Y.”

Posted March 2, 2010