Pianists aren’t ranked like tennis players, but if they were, Yefim Bronfman would be right up there. He is a Russian-born pianist, long a U.S. citizen. (He celebrated his citizenship at the Russian Tea Room next to Carnegie Hall. Hosting the party was Isaac Stern, the legendary violinist.) Bronfman’s personal No. 1 is Emil Gilels, the Russian pianist who lived from 1916 to 1985.
Bronfman told me this in a Q&A we recorded in Salzburg, where he had been playing at the festival. To hear this podcast, go here. We discuss pianists, composers, singers — and a bit of life. “Fima” Bronfman is a thoughtful and kindly person, in addition to a great pianist and musician.
P.S. If you feel like a little reading, here’s a review of the Vienna Philharmonic, with Riccardo Muti conducting, and Bronfman serving as piano soloist. And here’s a post on Igor Levit, another Russian-born pianist, who has also been playing at the Salzburg Festival.