The path of the pianist Lilya Zilberstein has been a rise to triumph through the stubborn defiance of obstacles that would have broken any other talent. The 1980s of the Soviet Union were times of open but unofficial anti-Semitism. Despite winning numerous important Soviet and Russian Competitions such as in 1985, she was openly told that her Jewish heritage meant that her presence in the Moscow Conservatory was not desirable.
In 1987 and exception was made - to allow her to take part in the Busoni Competition in Bolzano. Her victory was sensational – it was only five years later that this competition would award other first prize. Her first performance in the West was the turning point in her career as she interested the world’s discerning public across the world. Already in August 1998 she was awarded the “Accademia Musicale Chigiana” Prize in Sienna – an honour bestowed on Gidon Kremer, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Krystian Zimerman. This was quickly followed by major Western European concert tours and an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon.
Since that time Liyla Zilberstein appears on the major stages of the world. 1991 marked her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic under Claudio Abbado – the first step of their ongoing collaborations. She has played with some of the best orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra in Moscow, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchester Mailänder Scala and many others. Aside from Claudio Abbado, Zilberstein has collaborated with Paavo Berglund, Semyon Bychkov, Christoph Eschenbach, Vladimir Fedossejew, Dmitrij Kitajenko, James Levine, Marcello Viotti, Hugh Wolff and Michael Tilson Thomas.
Lilya Zilberstein produces legendary discs for Deutsche Grammophon. Of particular respect are her legendary recordings of Rachmaninov’s piano concertos with Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic.
Aside from her solo career, Lilya Zilberstein dedicates herself to chamber music and works with the finest soloists of our time. The piano duo of Martha Argerich and Lilya Zilberstein has left listeners across the world in awe for many years. Lilya Zilberstein regularly goes on tour with the violinist Maxim Vengerov.
The international press remarks: for her nothing is impossible! Lilya Zilberstein belongs to the magicians of piano sound.