People - Piano Studies

Piano Faculty: Alexander Kobrin

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,” a critic wrote after Mr. Kobrin’s performance of Second Piano Concerto by Johannes Brahms with Syracuse Symphony in Syracuse, NY.

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 (First Prize), Hamamatsu International Piano Competition (Top Prize), and the Scottish International Piano Competition in Glasgow (First Prize)

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 the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductors he has collaborated with include Mikhail Pletnev, Mikhail Jurovsky, Mark Elder, Vassiliy Sinaisky, James Conlon, Claus Peter Flor, Alexander Lazarev, Vassiliy Petrenko, and Yuri Bashmet.

He has appeared in recital at major halls worldwide, including the Louvre Auditorium, Salle Gaveau and Salle Cortot in Paris, Albert Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, Munich Herkulesaal and Berliner Filarmonia Hall in Germany, the Kennedy Centre in Washington, Avery Fisher Hall in New York, the Great Hall at 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 Hall for the Cliburn Series, The Washington Performing Arts Society, La Roque d'Antheron, the Ravinia Festival, The Beethoven Easter Festival, Busoni Festival, The renowned Klavier-Festival Ruhr, The Festival Musique dans le Grésivaudan, The 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. He served on the faculty of the Gnessin's Academy of Music from 2003 to 2010. In 2010, Mr. Kobrin was named the L. Rexford Whiddon Distinguished Chair in Piano at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University and in 2013 he joined the renowned Artist Faculty of New York University's Steinhardt School. Mr. Kobrin has also given masterclasses in Europe and Asia, the 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, "Prix Animato" in Paris, the Blüthner International Piano Competition in Vienna, E-Competition in Fairbanks, AK, 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 has been included into top-5 albums of the year in 2015 by Fanfare Magazine. Gramophone Magazine raved about his Cliburn Competition release on Harmonia Mundi, writing that “in [Rachmaninoff’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 five, he was enrolled in the world-famous Gnessin Special School of Music after which he attended the prestigious Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatoire. His teachers have included renowned professors Tatiana Zelikman and Lev Naumov.