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Biography

The Grammy Award-winning pianist Yefim Bronfman is widely regarded as one of the most talented virtuosos performing today. His commanding technique and exceptional lyrical gifts have won him consistent critical acclaim and enthusiastic audiences worldwide, whether for his solo recitals, his prestigious orchestral engagements, or his rapidly growing catalogue of recordings.

As an “On Location” artist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the 2008-09 season, Yefim Bronfman will appear in two subscription concerts, give a tour of the Far East with the orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen, and give a chamber music concert with the orchestra’s musicians. Other highlights of Mr. Bronfman’s 2008-09 season include a duo recital tour with Emanuel Ax, with performances at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, Disney Hall, and Carnegie Hall; and a solo recital tour, traversing the U.S. and Europe and culminating in performances at London’s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and in St. Petersburg. North American engagements include opening the 2008-09 season with the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas and with the New York Philharmonic and Lorin Maazel, as well as performing with orchestras including the Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Montreal, and Toronto Symphonies. In Europe, Mr. Bronfman appears with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchestra, Orchestre Nationale de France, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival, and the Philharmonia Orchestra in London.

As a “Perspectives” artist at Carnegie Hall for the 2007-08 season, Bronfman partnered some of the world’s greatest orchestras and conductors, including the Vienna Philharmonic with Valery Gergiev, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with Mariss Jansons, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra with James Levine, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Within the scope of the seven concerts, he played repertoire ranging from solo piano and chamber to orchestral, by composers from Mozart to Prokofiev and Berg to Dalbavie. Other 2007-08 season engagements included a tour of Japan, with the Kirov Orchestra under Valery Gergiev, and a solo recital tour, beginning during the visit to Japan and traversing the U.S., culminating in Carnegie Hall in December, before continuing in Vienna, Paris, and Berlin. With orchestra, he appeared with the Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, New Jersey, and Toronto Symphony Orchestras and concluded the season with the west coast premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Piano Concerto with Salonen conducting, recorded live for Deutsche Grammophon.

For the Opening Gala of the New York Philharmonic in September 2006, Mr. Bronfman partnered Emanuel Ax in Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos under Lorin Maazel, with live national TV coverage. In winter 2007, he gave the world premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Piano Concerto, written for him and commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, and participated in the Israel Philharmonic’s 70th birthday celebrations, in concerts conducted by Zubin Mehta and Valery Gergiev. Other highlights of Bronfman’s 2006-07 season include appearances with the Boston, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Philadelphia, and National Symphony Orchestras; Los Angeles and Vienna Philharmonics; Orchestre de Paris and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; widely acclaimed performances at the Salzburg Easter Festival with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Sir Simon Rattle; and a European tour with mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena.

Yefim Bronfman appears regularly with such celebrated ensembles as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, London’s Philharmonia, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He has worked with an equally illustrious group of conductors, including Daniel Barenboim, Herbert Blomstedt, Christoph von Dohnányi, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Valery Gergiev, Mariss Jansons, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Yuri Temirkanov, Franz Welser-Möst, and David Zinman. Summer engagements have regularly taken him to the Aspen, Bad Kissingen, Blossom, Hollywood Bowl, Lucerne, Mann Music Center, Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, Salzburg, Saratoga, Tanglewood, and Verbier festivals.

Mr. Bronfman has also given numerous solo recitals in the leading halls of North America, Europe, and the Far East, including acclaimed debuts at Carnegie Hall in 1989 and Avery Fisher Hall in 1993. In 1991, he gave a series of joint recitals with Isaac Stern in Russia, marking Bronfman’s first public performances there since his emigration to Israel at age 15. That same year he was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize, one of the highest honors given to American instrumentalists.

Yefim Bronfman has won widespread praise for his solo, chamber, and orchestral recordings. He won a Grammy award in 1997 for his recording of the three Bartók Piano Concertos with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. His discography also includes the complete Prokofiev piano sonatas; all five of Prokofiev’s piano concertos, nominated for both Grammy and Gramophone Awards; and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3. His most recent releases are Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Mariss Jansons and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks; a recital disc, Perspectives, which complements Bronfman’s designation as a Carnegie Hall “Perspectives” artist for the 2007-08 season; and recordings of all the Beethoven piano concertos as well as the Triple Concerto, with violinist Gil Shaham, cellist Truls Mørk, and the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich under David Zinman for the Arte Nova/BMG label.

Yefim Bronfman’s recordings with Isaac Stern include the Brahms violin sonatas from their aforementioned Russian tour, a cycle of Mozart’s sonatas for violin and piano, and Bartók’s violin sonatas. Coinciding with the release of the Fantasia 2000 soundtrack, Bronfman was featured on his own Shostakovich album, performing the Piano Quintet alongside the two piano concertos with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Esa-Pekka Salonen. In 2002, Sony Classical released Bronfman’s two-piano recital (with Emanuel Ax) of works by Rachmaninoff, which was followed in March 2005 by their second recording of works by Brahms. Fall 2008 will see the release of Tchaikovsky’s Trio in A minor with partners Gil Shaham and Truls Mørk.

A devoted chamber music performer, Mr. Bronfman has collaborated with the Emerson, Cleveland, Guarneri, and Juilliard String Quartets, as well as the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has also played chamber music with Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Lynn Harrell, Shlomo Mintz, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Pinchas Zukerman, and many other artists.

Yefim Bronfman immigrated to Israel with his family in 1973, and made his international debut two years later with Zubin Mehta and the Montreal Symphony. He made his New York Philharmonic debut in May l978, his Washington recital debut in March l98l at the Kennedy Center, and his New York recital debut in January 1982 at the 92nd Street Y.

Mr. Bronfman was born in Tashkent in the Soviet Union, on April 10, 1958. In Israel, he studied with pianist Arie Vardi, head of the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University. In the United States, he studied at The Juilliard School, Marlboro, and the Curtis Institute, and with Rudolf Firkusny, Leon Fleisher, and Rudolf Serkin.

Yefim Bronfman became an American citizen in July 1989.

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