“He surrendered neither the smoothness nor the dynamic fluidity that the modern piano allows, and he gave his sense of fantasy free rein, and creating an almost confessional spirit..”

--The New York Times


Photo: Christian Steiner


The distinguished pianist Alexander Kobrin— heralded as the “Van Cliburn of today” by the BBC Russia, has placed himself at the forefront of today's performing musicians. His many prize-winning performances have been praised for their brilliant technique, musicality, and emotional engagement with the audience. Reviewing
Mr. Kobrin’s performance of Mozart’s Sonata in B flat (K. 333) at the Mannes College the New School for Music, Allan Kozinn of The New York Times wrote:

“He surrendered neither the smoothness nor the dynamic fluidity that the modern piano allows, and he gave his sense of fantasy free rein, and creating an almost confessional spirit."                      —July 25, 2012

In the summer of 2019, Mr. Kobrin appeared in recital at the Amphitheater at Chautauqua Institution, Fulkerson Recital Hall, North Coast Festival at the Humboldt University, and Homecoming Chamber Music Festival at the Kärdla Museum; he also gave master classes at the Sherwood-March Piano Studios of Chautauqua Institution.

Mr. Kobrin embarks on a new recording project in August 2019 with Yamaha Artist Services, using Yamaha’s exclusive new recording technology on the Bösendorfer Disklavier 280VC;  his recordings of four Beethoven piano sonatas—Op. 2 No. 1, Op. 7, Op. 13 (“Pathétique”), and Op. 14 No. 2—will be released on the Centaur label later this year. Celebrating the launch of this recording, Mr. Kobrin will make his Carnegie Hall debut with a recital in Zankel Hall on December 19, 2019, featuring Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 4, Op. 7, Schumann’s Waldszenen, and Brahms’s Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 5, presented by Yamaha Artist Services.

Mr. Kobrin has been an active guest soloist with leading orchestras throughout his career, 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. He has collaborated with such conductors as 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 Avery Fisher Hall in New York, the Kennedy Centre in Washington D.C., Albert Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, the Louvre Auditorium, la Salle Gaveau and Salle Cortot in Paris, Munich’s Herkulesaal and Berlin’s Filarmonia Hall in Germany, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire, Sheung Wan Civic Centre in Hong Kong, and the Sala Verdi in Milan, amongst others. Notable past
engagements have included recitals under the aegis of the Cliburn Series, Washington Performing Arts Society, La Roque d'Antheron, Ravinia Festival, Beethoven Easter Festival, Busoni Festival, Klavier-Festival Ruhr, Festival Musique dans le Grésivaudan, and International Keyboard Institute & Festival, as well as annual concert tours in Japan, China, and Taiwan.

In addition to his international performing career, Mr. Kobrin has also been an active figure in music education for many years. From 2003 to 2010 he served on the faculty of the Russian State Gnessin’s Academy of Music. In 2010 Alexander Kobrin was named the L. Rexford Distinguished Chair in Piano at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University, and since 2013 until 2017 has been a member of the celebrated Artist Faculty of New York University’s Steinhardt School. In July 2017, Mr. Kobrin has joined the faculty of the renowned Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. His masterclasses schedule has included engagements with the International Piano Series and the Conservatories of Japan and China, as well as jury participation for the Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano, Hamamatsu International Piano Competition, the Blüthner International Piano Competition in Vienna, E-Competition in Fairbanks, Alaska, 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. Bryce Morrison of Gramophone Magazine endorsed 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” (Issue 2, 2006).

Born in Moscow in 1980, Mr. Kobrin was enrolled in the world-famous Gnessin Special School of Music at the age of five, after which he attended the prestigious Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatoire. His teachers have included renowned professors Tatiana Zelikman and Lev Naumov. Mr. Kobrin is the winner of numerous international piano competitions—besides the Van Cliburn, he has garnered prizes from the Busoni, Hamamatsu, and Glasgow International Piano Competitions.